Friday

Have you ever had real Korean BBQ? We have a wonderful place down the road from us that we discovered a year or two ago. It's always quiet, the food is subtle and very fresh, and the ritual pleasing to the senses.
There is a round grill built into the center of the granite table, and it is lit for you when you sit down. twenty or thirty condiments and side dishes are then placed in a circle around the grill.
You choose the meats, and they are brought to the table in what appears to be overwhelming quantities - huge heapings of shaved and marinated beef, ribs or hocks or whatever you have chosen. With large tongs, you place them on the grill bit by bit, and when they are ready you set them aside on lettuce leaves, fold in the condiments as you choose, and eat. This is, at least, more or less the proper method, as we have gleaned it from the waitresses, who speak a little English but are not usually fluent.
There is also a wonderful raspberry wine, if you're in the mood - light and clear and just barely sweet. Though we were just having hot tea on this occasion.
The condiments are maybe the best part - each a sensual experience unto itself. There are many different varieties of pickled items, some sweet, some spicy or sour in varying degrees. There are hot sauces. There are cold egg dishes. There is a mild apple salad that Q adored. This place makes some of the best kimchi, if you like that sort of thing, and one can walk in and order it by the tub to go.
Q, who is not usually a fan of extreme spices (though she is open-minded), really liked some of the more unusual pickles, much to my surprise.
Here, she is trying to hang a spoon from her nose (one of the "cool tricks" from her favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba).

17 comments:

Gigi said...

Yum! I adore Korean BBQ! For years I worked as a tutor and editor for Asian grad students, most of whom were Korean, and I got to have a lot of Korean BBQ at that time. I haven't had it in ages, though. Your photos brought sensory memories rushing back for me. I've never had that raspberry wine, though. It sounds wonderful!

How cool that Q likes some of the unusual pickles. It's great that she's so open to trying foods! My nephews have, at 10, finally started to expand their horizons beyond chicken fingers and mac and cheese. They even request sushi nights now, which thrills me to no end!

Casa Bella said...

There's a hole-in-the-wall place around here, most people don't know about. The owners are from Korea and you can't barely understand what they are saying, but the food, my gawd! the food! My fav is a rice with steam veggies and an egg in the bottom they serve in a piping hot bowl made out of stone. It's the coolest thing! I love the pickled stuff they bring with it. Glad that Q liked the flavors!

anna said...

i really have to look out for a place like this, sounds perfect.
fresh and spicy, my kind of style!

liza said...

Yum! No, we haven't. Eddie is so finicky - not much experimenting going on here!
ps... yes past Leadville (very good eye you have!) down to Albuquerque to see gma and gpa. we're still here, then we head to S. CA (by the G. Canyon) for Legoland (aak) and Seaworld (2bl aak!), then back through Zion and Moab. Why??? Doug was laid off after 11 yrs w/ EWPartners. So why not hit the road?!

Mlle Paradis said...

yum yum yum. i love this kind of eating and the little bowls full of things and especially the pickles. it's all so light and clean but satisfying.

liza said...

This is our first big one with Eddie! I'll try to do it some justice with the camera... and I so hope you can experience one with Q. this Summer!!

Evelyne said...

Depuis nos deux mois passés en Corée du Sud avec Frédéric et les filles, nous retournons souvent au restaurant Coréen de Paris. Le préféré d'Aliénor se trouve près du Trocadéro...samedi on est allé dans un petit restaurant Nanna, dans le Xvè.
Le kimchi est très bon pour la santé et les mets sont toujours frais.
belle semaine.

FDChief said...

Interestingly, most of the sushi/sashimi places around here are owned by Koreans. If you look hard you can usually find bulgogi or galbi and various gui.

Mmmm. And I'm impressed at Madame Q for essaying the spicy Korean treats. Not for our littles; go, go, Q!

Angie Muresan said...

That looks delicious! I don't remember having Korean barbeque before, but I certainly would love to. Your daughter is so adorable. I love that she liked the unusual tasting pickles. It's something my daughter wouldn't taste even if I would bribe her.

Juniper said...

Yes, I have had it twice, once in Seattle and once in Dublin, both times it was fantastic, with that cool grill in the middle. Lucky you to have one so close!

sinnlighet said...

I love your post and your girl is wonderful as usual!

Agneta

Ancarol said...

yum yum ! i also love it BBQ because there are lot choose of meats and there of surrounding feeling ; ) so nice .

Anne said...

I love it too! It is fun to do but we haven't try with M yet. You're giving me an idea. The kimchi is a killer though ;)
You have to try the Korean karaoke now ;)

Celine Kang said...

Hi :) I'm living in Korea, and I'm a big fan of your picture and your adorable daughter.

I am very surprised to see that many people know and even tried galbi, kimchi, bulgogi and gui..

I would like to introduce you other delicious korean food if i can.. T T bibimbap(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Korean.food-Bibimbap-02.jpg) and gujulpan(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Korean_cuisine-Gujeolpan-01.jpg) is my favorite korean food. There is a rumor that Michael Jackson really enjoyed bibimbap when he visited Korea. I hope you can get a chance to try those thing one day.

A Bientot! ;)

MODsquad said...

Ooh! Looks amazing! You find the greatest spots! We still want to go to Thai Basil.

Johnny said...

We always have kimchee in our fridge. I could probably survive on kichee and white rice for at least 1 week.

But huey is not a fan of the spices so we always ask the korean ladies to make him some rice porridge with soup stock.yum!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Celine, that bibimbap looks gorgeous and delicious...must find someplace to try it! Thanks so much for the recommendation.

Johnny (and others) Q is not a fan of hot spices either. In fact I think she has an unusual condition called "geographic tongue" which is not harmful except that it makes her more physically sensitive to spices. BUT, for some odd reason she loves vinegar, so pickled things please her. Curiouser and curiouser ;)