Restaurants & Bars

ko ba woo

Thi N. | May 12, 2004 07:48 PM

My girlfriend and her friend Yuri, Korean emigree to K-town (you might protest, "But Yuri isn't a Korean girl's name, it's a Japanese girl's name!" This is true. But Yuri is the name she gave herself when she emigrated to the US, drawn from her favorite book, Dr. Zhivago. Ah, America. Ah, Koreans.)...

Anyway, Yuri took Amy to Kabawoo for dol soat bibimbop. She said the dol soat and the mung bean pancakes at Kobawoo were famed throughout the K-town Korean community. Amy told me it was quite good, though the dol soat bowl was not sufficiently hot to generate one, let alone many, layers of crispiness.

Anyway, I was told it was good. On the way over, I got another call from Amy, who told me that Yuri had passed along another message: the other specialty was the pork belly wrapped in cabbage.

I was all excited, because I thought I had a Brand New Fresh Discovery to give to Chowhounds, but, as it turns out, there was an aging J.Gold review posted up on the wall, praising the mung bean pancakes. Out of bitterness, I did not order the mung bean pancakes.

Anyway: panchan - excellent. Crisp, clear flavors, very gentle. Kimchee is the best I've had outside of Yongsusan - maybe even as good. Gets a full mouthfull of that flavor that used to freak me out, but which I now savor - a kind of illusory bubbliness, a sort of vinegar-y champagney-ness, that only comes rarely, at a very small number of K-town joints. I love it.

Pork belly - very fine. The pork belly itself is not to, say, the quality of sa rit gol's pork belly - but the toppings are super. There's some weird funky salty stuff (great), and this incredible odd chile-covered pickle stringy substance that my dining partner, Sarah, declared had to be pickled spaghetti squash. I have no idea about these sorts of things. BUt the pickled spaghetti squash has to be one of my favorite things in town - more than that, it's pretty incredible with the pork. Marries into this single great flavor, can't describe.

Worth paying $2 to get an extra order of kimchee. Most places don't charge you for extra kimchee - but most places don't have kimchee like this. Come to think of it, the only other place with superbly champagne-y kimchee - Yongsusan - also charges for it.

Dolsoat bibimbap - excellent flavor, disappointingly unhot bowl. Less vivid ingredients, better overall marriage with sauce tham Gamja Bawi's dol soat. A finer flavor, perhaps, but lacking in some of the essential burning multi-flavor attack carnality of Gamja Bawi's dol soat. Still - one of the better bibimbap's I've had in town.


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