This week’s Womply Merchant Spotlight is on Mokomandy. It’s not your everyday occurrence to find both Korean and Cajun cuisine housed in the same restaurant so this is a place you should definitely try. Inspired by his Cajun mother and Korean-American father, Thaddeus, the owner of Mokomandy has created one of the most unique restaurants in Northern Virgina.
Mokomandy won Diner’s Choice Award from Open Table in 2011 and 2012 but really, its menu speaks for itself. With dishes ranging from seafood gumbo to a wild boar bowl to poutine, there is something on the menu that will please even the pickiest palate. The menu has also been adapted to cater to how much you want to eat with the option of small, medium, and large servings. You can also order snack size bites of items such as spicy kimchi, jalapeno hush puppies, and fried kale chips.
Mokomandy also offers a large dessert menu selection along with French press coffee, tea, and assorted liquors to finish off your meal. Furthermore, let’s not forget to mention the extensive drink menu that includes a large selection of wine, beer, and uniquely handcrafted cocktails. A smoked sugar rim sounds like the perfect touch to this cocktail, wouldn’t you agree?
Womply got the wonderful opportunity to chat with Thaddeus Kim, the owner of Mokomandy. He let us in on things such as the history behind Mokomandy, his favorite night of the week at the restaurant, and now we are so excited to share them with you. What a humble and genuinely friendly person. We are proud to have Mokomandy as a part of the Womply team! We hope you enjoy reading the interview!
Womply’s Interview with Thaddeus from Mokomandy
What is your name and title?
Thaddeus Kim, President/Managing Member
When did you know that this was your dream and passion?
I knew that having a restaurant was my dream and passion when others told me I couldn’t do it…that a Korean and Cajun restaurant would never work. It was this challenge to offer something new and exciting that drove me to open Mokomandy.
What inspired you to start a restaurant?
My unique upbringing as the son of Korean-American father and a Cajun Mother. I was also inspired from visits to Seoul, Korea, where my grandfather had a restaurant.
What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
That’s hard to say, but I will go with my mother’s kalbi-tchim. It’s a Korean comfort food made with beef short-ribs and potatoes. We feature it on the menu when it gets cold, known as the Korean Pot Roast.
What characteristics of the dish make it your favorite?
I like the sweetness and texture of the beef after it has been cooked down. I also love eating plenty of rice with the sauce and potatoes and entering a food-induced coma.
What is your favorite night of the week here and why?
I love Tuesday nights. It’s an off-day early in the week and you get people who come in who truly care about eating tasty food for the sheer joy of it. Those people make me happy because they’re out to eat and not looking to just fulfill the weekend ritual of dining out.
Care to share a tip on how to run a successful restaurant with us?
Listen more than talk. Listen to your customers, employees, and most importantly, your heart. If you do those things, all parties involved will be happy.
What was one of the most enjoyable experiences you’ve had with a customer?
The most enjoyable experience I had with a customer was learning that this was the best meal they’ve had in the entire DC Metro area. Furthermore, they keep bringing friends in who’ve dined all over the world and wish us to expand to all major cities. The customer also appreciated the details that often go overlooked in a restaurant operation, which means a lot to Chef Stevens and the crew.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mokomandy is a casual, fine-dining restaurant. We are not a fusion restaurant, but rather serve modern style Korean and Cajun cuisine. Always bring to our attention anything to enhance your dining experience and we will gladly do our best to exceed your expectations.
Mokomandy is located at 20789 Great Falls Plz, Ste. 176 in Sterling, VA
A special thanks to Thad from Mokomandy for taking the time to chat with us!