Woo Nam Jeong is a smallish restaurant on Buford Highway, tucked away in a narrow strip mall north of Oak Cliff road and south of the larger ‘L’ shaped mall that houses Sushi House Hayakawa. It’s very much a family affair. There are postings, on entry, of a previous restaurant. The owners are thus veterans of the restaurant scene, and I’m not clued into the reason for the movement to the warmer climate of Atlanta. Sean P. has written what I consider to be the definitive set of reviews of this restaurant in a series of articles, both on his blog and on UrbanSpoon. There isn’t much I can add to his exhaustive coverage of their 12 course tasting menu. What I can give you is my personal reaction to a restaurant that is regarded by some as the best Korean restaurant in town.
Initially, this establishment is quite friendly, but they have a very small staff. That means you will be greeted, seated, but don’t expect to be doted on as you might in other establishments. The food is good. Though I’m hardly a banchan expert, the sprouts and the kimchi have a fresh taste I don’t often get at other locations. The stock soon dubu jigae has a lot of little things added, friendly touches, such as multiple kinds of onion, bits of meat, tiny clams and either baby squid or baby octopus as well. Their house hot sauce will warm your mouth but is hardly scalding. I wonder at times if it is toned down a little for Atlantan tastes. Banchan are plentiful but are generally served once. This isn’t a place with the time for many refills.
What I can confirm is that I’ve seen an older man and woman around and active in this eatery, and “Grandma” does come out, greet people, and say a few words. When I mentioned that I was a diabetic, she said “So am I” and told me that I shouldn’t eat white rice, but ask for their brown rice. If they do serve brown rice, I’ll have to take my wife here sometime. Not many Asian restaurants will serve brown rice, and my wife has grown to make that exclusively at home.
Verdict: Graceful restaurant, good food, a family atmosphere unlike any other. Highly recommended.
Woo Nam Jeong
5953 Buford Highway
Atlanta, GA 30340