1465 S. State Street.
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday 11-2, 5-9:30
Saturday Noon-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
2107 S. State Street
Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday Noon-9 P.M.
Closed second and fourth Mondays.
In the nineties, I “enjoyed” Korean food on a number of occasions with a Korean graduate student whom I was tutoring in English. She said she would order food “only Koreans would know enough to savor” and special holiday meals just for Koreans: Think marinated intestine or rehydrated silver fish with raisin-like eyes gazing comatose at you. I don’t recall ever coming away from these meals without feeling faintly ill or openly disturbed. I have grown up a bit since then, but I clearly still needed help when it came to reviewing the food. [Note: The spelling of these dishes change from source to source. The spellings your find here agree with the restaurant, so confusion will not follow you when you try these for yourself.]
I asked several of my foodie friends to take me to Korean restaurants, and, independently, each ordered exactly the same thing for our meal: Beef Bul Go Gi and Dol Sot Bop along with the customary bowl of rice and various kimchee and vegetable side dishes. The meals were delicious and easy. Bul Go Gi is a Korean style beef barbecue; it is salty-sweet and not too spicy. It is served with lettuce leaves and a bowl of rice on the side. It is sold everywhere in Korea, even at the 7-Eleven. It is, one might say, Korean for hamburger. Dol Sot Be Bim Bop is rice, vegetables, beef and an egg cooked in a volcanically hot stone bowl, which is then covered with a red spicy sauce. It is a common home dish and often served on airplanes.
Korean food always includes a number of side dishes, usually kimchee, which is a fermented vegetable dish with red peppers, fish sauce, ginger and garlic. Most often, there is a kimchee cabbage with daikon, cucumbers and sometimes sweet potatoes, with some other differently spiced vegetables. Six or more dishes are usually in the center of the table, along with a bowl of rice. My first pupil ate her kimchee with metal chopsticks in her right hand and a bowl of rice in her left. Taking one nab of vegetable, she set it on the rice and then scooped the rice around it into her mouth. She told me the basis of most Korean meals is simply pickled vegetables and rice.