508 Central Ave SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
A few weeks ago I moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Oakland, California. However, before I completely move on from New Mexico to sample all the delectable Asian food in the Bay Area, I wanted to do one last post about Asian food in the Land of Enchantment.
At the beginning of the year a Korean couple took over the ownership of the former Teriyaki Chicken place on Central Ave, near the heart of downtown. The former owners were also Korean and had a side menu of Korean food in addition with the Americanized Japanese items. But the current owners were different – they decided to do a fully Korean menu while renaming the place and putting up some fresh paint in the process.
Most of the menu now is fully dedicated to Korean dishes, primarily Korean barbecue meat items that go well on a rice bowl or rice play for the lunch break clientele in downtown Albuquerque. Because I went there fairly often for lunch when I still lived there, I have tried most of their menu. Below you’ll find some of their dishes and my comments on them:
- Beef and Spicy Pork Rice Plate – Along with rice bowls (with come with some jap chae), rice plates are the staple items of Asian Pear. Rice plates have more meat is basically the different, in price and presentation. The beef itself are nice thinly sliced beef bulgogi and the spicy pork in spicy but not so hot to make you sweat. The rice is nice and shredded lettuce is a nice bonus to get some greens.
- Ramyun – Unlike Japanese ramen with its slowly simmered broth and fresh noodles made with alkaline water, almost all the Korean ramyun I’ve eaten have come from a package. But don’t mistake packaged ramen for bad ramen, as Korean ramen, like the one at Asian Pear, is flavorful with a spicy broth and typically includes a boiled egg and some chopped cilantro. I typically add grilled chicken as you can see on the photo. It’s a nice dish to have on a cold winter day in Albuquerque
- Jeon – Korean pancakes are great, but I think the ones at Asian Pear are the most favorite I have ever eaten at a restaurant. They are thin, crispy, and filled with nicely cooked and julienned vegetable.
- Banchan – What I appreciate about Asian Pear is their enthusiasm to give customers their banchan. Most of the time it is just some form of kimchi – typically napa cabbage or cucumber, but it can also included some nicely fried cucumber tempura with some gochujang like sauce and cooked beansprouts.
Best of all, even when they are extremely busy, they really like to go out of their way to take care of their customers. I’m also delighted to see them expanding and trying out more Korean food options, which I hope gets picked up in demand by the clientele. So all in all their food is good, especially in Albuquerque where Korean options are a bit limited. Hopefully this is a sign of more and more great Korean food coming to please the palates of New Mexicans.