Hodori Korean Restaurant, located a short walk from the MCC Southern and Dobson campus at 1116 S. Dobson Road in Mesa, offers amazing tasting food at reasonable prices. Their lunch prices, offered Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. are especially appealing to the college student on a budget. The portions tend to be fairly large, so going on an empty stomach has never been an issue for me, and taking some home for later is also an option. One of the appetizers on offer, goon mandu, are potstickers much like those that can be had at Japanese and Chinese restaurants, though larger than average and could easily serve as a meal on their own if ordered for that purpose. Having them pan fried may not be the healthiest option, but the flavor more than makes up for breaking one’s diet. The spicy dalk bulgogi is easily my favorite dish, a Korean BBQ chicken dish that is hot enough to wake up the taste buds without being a chore to eat. Kimchi bokum bap, a fried rice and beef dish is served topped with an egg; the nature of the dish is modified quite a bit once the yolk is broken and stirred in with the rest. The soups are quite hearty, if the Yuk Gae Jang I have had is any indication, with portions that rival any of their dishes.
Any meal that one orders comes with a number of taster sized dishes, different flavors that serve to keep the palette engaged in the meal throughout. This is perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the dining experience at Hodori, that regardless of what you may order you are given access to a whole host of different flavors that tantalize. Kimchi, one of the side dishes that comes with meals is a kind of fermented cabbage, spiced and with a unique and enjoyable flavor. Another, much different side dish are potatoes marinated in a slightly sweet sauce that provides a savory change of pace when one so desires. There is certainly something available that everyone can enjoy, and much else besides for the more adventurous among us to try. Some of the dishes I look forward to ordering on future visits include e-myunsoo gui, a fried Atka mackerel dish and nakji bokum, a spicy octopus dish accompanied by vegetables.
This barely scratches the surface of the menu, but having enjoyed seafood dishes at other Korean restaurants I expect I will appreciate the skill the cooks at Hodori apply to what I have tried so far, applied throughout. It is no exaggeration when I say that I have not tasted anything yet there, that I have not liked. Open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Hodori is the perfect spot near campus for consistently great Korean food.