I first read about Adam Express on Prince of Petworth (a/k/a PoP). It’s one of the reasons I love PoP! It always brings me news about places that I’d usually just walk right past without even giving them a first, much less second, glance. It’s taken me a while to try Adam Express, but I finally did today. Damn, it’s good.
Located at 3211 Mt. Pleasant St. NW, this place is tiny, unassuming, and offers Korean, Japanese, and Chinese fare. Don’t be fooled by the shady looking storefront! There’s not much seating and the place is largely decorated by some handwritten letters from customers, a large menu posted on the wall with pictures to allow for ordering-by-pointing, and some old books left in the small seating area (book swap?).
I ordered the bibimbap, to-go, so I could eat it in the privacy and comfort of my own home . . . and so no one could witness the carnage that ensued.
Bibimbap is a Korean dish. The dish, as you can see below, contains sautéed strips of beef along with a variety of sautéed or uncooked, seasoned veggies, such as eggplant, zucchini, spinach, mushroom, daikon, bean sprouts, carrots, and lettuce. All of that is topped with a fried egg and served with steamed rice, a chili pepper paste/sauce, and kimchi.
You’re supposed to mix everything together before eating. I mixed everything together save for the kimchi and rice, sampling these as I ate the rest. The chili pepper paste/sauce really brings it all together. It has a complex taste — some heat, sweetness, saltiness, and a smokey, unidentifiable flavor. That unidentifiable element may be fermentation.
I’m guessing that’s the case only because I’ve read that the traditional sauce that accompanies bibimbap is in fact fermented. I didn’t ask the Adam Express folks, a lovely older Asian couple, what kind of sauce they used. Last but not least, if you like kimchi like I do, Adam Express serves some good stuff.
Sorry, Adam Express, that it’s taken me so long to visit. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!