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Tahoe Galbi (vs. SBJ) report

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Tahoe Galbi (vs. SBJ) report

Mr. Taster | Sep 7, 2004 03:32 AM

Per recommendations on this board, a friend and I decided to try a new charcoal house (we always go to Soot Bull Jeep) and we settled on Tahoe Galbi.

Decor was just a smidge below Chosun Galbi in elegance, though prices were more on par with Soot Bull Jeep's... as you walk through the entry corridor, you feel as if you're walking to a reception desk at a small Korean Hilton. Very upscale look and the dining area to the left had extremely high ceilings and large, wide open windows for ventilation (no mechanical vents) with some beautifully lit waterfall fountains just outside (and, inexplicably, a big screen TV in the back wall belching sports clips and statistics.) We were struck instantly by the lack of smoke... remember, Soot Bull Jeep is our BLS (black lung standard) for charcoal houses. But we attributed the lack of smoke to the huge ceilings and giant windows. One thing we noticed was that the charcoals were set very deeply into the table grill (several inches below), and a large gas style grating was placed over the well (the style of grating that is mostly solid, with two rows of thin, elongated oval-shaped holes... again contrasted with SBJ whose coals and flames are directly next to the meat on wide open wire grills. The reason I'm going into so much detail on this is because the combination of all of these items is because I feel the setup make the charcoal almost incidental. Without the flames licking our fingers and setting the meat on fire.... without sparks popping from the coals and burning tiny holes into our shirts, the flavor of the charcoal did not largely transfer.

One standout item (again per CH recs) was the kalbi (boneless short ribs). They delivered a plate of the most beautifully marbled meat I have ever seen... small pinkish red rectangles with beautiful erratic honeycombed patterns throughout. We seared the meat and popped it in our mouths and there was almost an explosion of juiciness.... a bit hard to explain, and I'm sure to some people it sounds repulsive-- but it wasn't. It was pure deliciousness, in a marbled piece of beef. Keep in mind however that the results were more gas-like than charcoal-like in flavor.

Mr. Taster

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