Every culture has a comfort food, whether it’s shepherd’s pie or pho or hearty stew. My Jewish background means comfort has always equated to chicken noodle soup. Unfortunately, I haven’t found many well-executed, regularly served versions around town—until a few weeks ago when I located a surprising facsimile in an unexpected place: Dae Gee, a Korean barbecue restaurant that opened a Colorado Boulevard location seven months ago (the original is in Westminster).
Man doo gook is a soup-and-dumpling dish typically eaten for Korean New Year, but at Dae Gee you can order the appetizer year-round. Beef short ribs are boiled to make the silky broth that serves as the base of the dish. Thin noodles, chicken dumplings, green onions, carrots, egg, sesame oil, and a garnish of dried seaweed complete the satisfying soup. One bite and I felt like I was tasting a Korean take on my mom’s recipe. It was belly warming, simple without being bland, and had all the textures (chewy dumplings, slick noodles, crunchy carrots) of the Jewish staple. Though it was startling to find such a likeness at an Asian restaurant, it’s no surprise that the homey dish is a fixture on Dae Gee’s menu: When owner and chef Joe Kim first opened the eatery, his mother-in law—who taught him to cook—manned the burners.
I know I’ll be back at Dae Gee when I’m craving a little taste of home.
Coming Soon: Dae Gee’s newest location opened without do-it-yourself barbecue tables (though you can still order almost all of the barbecue dishes to be made in the kitchen). Kim is still working through the permitting process, but he hopes to have the tables in by summer. Regardless, the restaurant—or, about half of it—will remain open during construction.
827 Colorado Blvd., 720-639-9986; 7570 Sheridan Blvd., 720-540-0700