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Restaurants & Bars 1

koreatown galleria -- two bibimbaps

Stan | Jan 3, 200411:53 AM

In the Koreatown Galleria (SE corner of Olympic and Western, third floor, highly recommended), there are two places that serve the Korean dish known as bibimbap, which generally consists of vegetables with rice and optional meat, hot sauce, and often a fried egg, mixed in a bowl. You get a spoon with it and you mix the ingredients together yourself. They are both in the far right corner. One is called something like Yang Ji Express, and the other has no name in Latin script but can be recognized by its square four-colored logo, and by the Korean lettering on top of Chinese characters.

The two versions of bibimbap are interestingly different. At Yang Ji Express, they call it something like bulgogi bibimbap, it is served cold in a metal bowl, and they advertise that they use over twenty vegetables. (I gather that this freaks some Korean people out. I doubt if it is Westernized, though, for the simple reason that 99% of the customers are Korean.)

At the other place, they call it something like #15 kim chee with mixed vegetables in stone bowl. The stone bowl is hot, and the food can be heard crackling against the bowl as you're carrying your tray to your table and eating your appetizers. They don't emphasize the vegetables so much. What they do that's really interesting, though, is cover the vegetables with a layer of rice that seems like it has already been partially cooked against a hot surface such as the stone bowl.

Other places make bibimbap in yet other ways. Some of them provide all of the ingredients in separate bowls. Others serve the rice at the bottom of the stone bowl so that you get layers of semi-crispy rice, depending on your particular technique for mixing the ingredients as you eat.

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