Thursday, August 2, 2012

KoMo KoMo Serves Up Stellar Cuisine

A stylish new Korean-French restaurant in Cary’s Maynard Crossing offers innovative cuisine in a tranquil setting. KoMo KoMo, which derives its name from the words “Korean mosaic,” opened in November 2011 and has steadily built a loyal following ever since. 

Chef-owner Jae Lee is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and honed his skills at several fine-dining establishments in New York and the Triangle area (the Washington Duke Inn and Fins, to name a few). While Lee directs the kitchen, his wife, El Ryoo, capably oversees the front-of-house operations.

Charmingly appointed with framed quilts, vintage pottery and understated florae, KoMo KoMo’s cozy dining room beckons patrons to relax and enjoy a serene dining experience. The soothing music wafting overhead only enhances an already delightful ambiance.

KoMo KoMo represents the antithesis of the typical strip-mall-situated Asian eatery. No doubt Lee and Ryoo bring a keen sense of attention to detail. Impressively, Ryoo handled all interior decorating herself, including an eye-catching stenciled tree on one of the dining room walls.

Décor notwithstanding, nowhere is fine-tuned precision more evident than with the food. Need proof? Look no further than artfully presented appetizers like pan-seared scallops with wild mushroom and chive potato puree or chicken dumplings with soy sesame sauce.
Indeed the menu offerings are interesting — if not ambitious. 

Dinner entrees, which start at $12, represent French- and Korean-infused selections alike. Aficionados of bouillabaisse (a traditional Provençal seafood stew) will find much to like about KoMo KoMo’s rendition. The same goes for Korean specialty bulgogi ssam, which essentially comprises lettuce leaf wraps with marinated beef.

Another signature main course is bibimbap, a bowl-style meal featuring multigrain rice mixed with various vegetables and, if desired, pork, beef or tofu. Other solid dishes at dinnertime include skewered grilled chicken and mushrooms with mint-enhanced couscous and yogurt sauce, and Atlantic salmon with fava beans, radish and lemon fennel citronette.

 At lunchtime, tempting specials such as the Meyer lemon organic chicken roll with artisan salad or combo meal including half a sandwich, soup and a salad come in under $10. The rich lobster ravioli with ginger and fennel also merits consideration.

A reservation-only tea service is available on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m., featuring a platter of mini-sandwiches, tarts and desserts with coffee or tea. Free Wi-Fi Internet access is an added bonus.

When it comes to desserts, you can’t go wrong with the house-favorite ginger lemongrass creme brulee, coconut rum raisin bread pudding or the KoMo red velvet cake.

Open six days a week for lunch and dinner, KoMo KoMo is closed on Sunday. Reservations are strongly recommended for groups larger than four people.

KoMo KoMo on Urbanspoon 


  1. I remember the italian cookbooks making a an Italian fusion about them scallops that are soaked in Japanese soy sauce and oyster. I would like to try both someday if I ever get the recipes.

  2. I love Korean food. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I just love the taste of "Chap-chae" as well as the famous Kimchi. Anyway, just by looking at the photo of KoMo KoMo, I can say that this restaurant serves one of the best Korean foods in the area. Also, the interior design looks cozy which would surely make every guest to return. I also commend the owner for choosing simple sets of furniture.