So Freiheit, Melanie Wong, LikeFrogButOoh, Cindy, her ChowPartner(not on chowhound) and I gathered tonight at Bear Korean Restaurant in Cotati for some tasty chow and interesting conversation. Unfortunately, several north bay chowhounds couldn't make it, but I'm sure there will be other chowdown opportunities soon!
We decided to dine family-style, maximizing the number of dishes we could try. Appetizers to start were Hae Mul Pa June, Dak Goon Nam Du, and Tuk Bok Gi. I'm not sure which is which, but they were fried dumplings (pot sticker-like), fish pancake (it was served more like a frittata than the crepe-like pancake I had expected) and a spicy dish with tubular-shaped rice cake bits and some sort of fish. I'm very new to Korean cuisine so pardon the awkward descriptions and lack of knowledge as to what exactly we ate. (Hopefully Cindy and Melanie can fill in those parts better than i) We had at least four other dishes for our entrees, including a pork bbq dish, a beef bbq dish, a "hot pot" rice dish with bits of pork and an egg that was cooked by the heat of the dish it was served in, and a cold salad dish with beef, an egg and a sesame dressing. (I didn't write down the names of what we ordered, only the number, thinking I would grab a togo menu on the way out, but I forgot. Doh!) Oh, and the table was served two sets of banchan (side dishes), which included some potato salad, a sesame-flavoured noodle dish (my fav), and a pickled vegetable of some sort. (I think we had at least five little side dishes. It was all delicious! I especially enjoyed the bbq pork dish. The pork was a bit crispy on the outside and tender and flavourful on the inside. The cold salad was also delish, the sesame dressing a perfect compliment to the tasty bits of beef. I'm definitely returning to Bear Korean in the future to get more aquainted with Korean food.
I took pictures of the food, and will post a link to 'em when I get them off of my camera tomorrow.
After dinner, Melanie suggested going for dessert at a nearby Thai food place. Freiheit, myself, Melanie and LikeFrog managed to make it to the restaurant right before they closed for some yummy sticky rice with mango and coconut milk, and fried bananas with ice cream.
I had a great time meeting everyone and hope to do it again sometime soon! I'd write more, but I'm pooped and having a hard time writing this much. Heh. Hopefully everyone else will chime in soon with their reports.
Bear Korean Barbeque
8577 Gravenstein Hwy, Cotati, CA 94931