Cajun & Korean / $$ / 20789 Great Falls Plaza, Sterling
Mokomandy bills itself as a Cajun and Korean restaurant. It is not fusion. It is one or the other with, sometimes, only glances in either direction. In a minimal black and white space in a strip mall in Sterling, nothing feels gimmicky or like it’s trying too hard. It’s quietly modern. Black cod, cooked to a bare minimum, glides over noodle-soft summer squash in a garlicky kimchi sauce balancing savory and spicy in ways that will haunt your tastebuds. Braised duck pairs with naughty foie gras in a humble dumpling for a rags-meets-riches mouthful. Gumbo, made with local pheasant, is particularly brothy and mild and shifts the paradigm on this usually chunky, spicy stew. Desserts often lean toward Louisiana, like the gateau de sirop, which is basically a dense, syrup-soaked cake lightened with a frozen vanilla mousse that ends the meal on an appropriate sugar high.