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16 Catt. 1: In re Seoul Food

2013 January 9
by CATTLEYA, J.

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

I granted cartiorari to Seoul Food’s winter special, Mushroom and Pork Donburi. Seoul Food’s dishes have been placed on the bench of this court on several occasions. The Steak Superbowl (a Korean-Mexican rice bowl) was made with high-quality ingredients but in the end the fusion mix was not my personal favorite. See In re Seoul Food (The Korean Superbowl Case), 3 Catt. 1 (2011). The Steak Bibimbap (a more traditional Korean dish) was executed to perfection and has fed the Justices of this court many times since that first lunch. See In re Seoul Food (The Beef Bibimbap Case), 3 Catt. 2 (2011). The Chief Justice was also very impressed with last winter’s seasonal soups. See In re Seoul Food (The Winter Soups Case), 5 Catt. 4 (2012). With this record, Seoul Food has shown itself to be a leader on Arlington’s food truck scene, so I had high expectations for its special menu item.

Seoul Food

Seoul Food’s Mushroom and Pork Donburi ($9) [1] is made with shitake, oyster, and crimini mushrooms. The pork is marinated in sake, red wine, and sweet soy. The meat-and-mushroom dish is completed with vegetables (carrots) and topped off with sesame seeds and green onions. To add heat, diced jalapeños are added upon request. (You should request.)

Because rice bowls are not “street food,” i.e., “the kind[] . . . that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up,” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011), Seoul Food’s donburi is not entitled to the presumption that it belongs on the street and should be affirmed by this court. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). But no matter, the dish stands up on its own, and I affirm.

Mushroom and Pork Donburi

The Mushroom and Pork Donburi was a satisfying lunch. It could have been a satisfying dinner too, since the serving size was so generous, but I didn’t have the strength to stop eating halfway through even though I was full. Here’s why: The pork was tender and full of flavor. The mushrooms were succulent and earthy. And there was just the right amount of heat – my nose got a little runny, as often happens with spicy food, but it was not spicy enough to blind my eyes with tears. Lastly, and most importantly in my opinion, the bed of white rice was sticky and chewy, just the way I like it. See In re AZNeats, 2 Catt. 3 (2011).

As I expected, Seoul Food’s Mushroom and Pork Donburi was tasty and well-executed. Another solid dish from a food truck that aims high and rarely disappoints.

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

[1] Seoul Food offers a small discount for customers who bring back a plastic food container for re-use.

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