- Notorious EMDB Jul 8, 2006 11:42 AM
Looks like the last posts on this dish were in '05, so I'm starting a new thread...
OK, so it took me a little while to venture away from the japanese parts of the menu at JP Seafood Cafe, but last night the egg on top of the bibimbop sounded much too tempting. I had the beef, not in the stone pot, since it was a little stuffy in the restaurant. It was great! The waitress instructed me about dumping the rice in on top and stirring everything around when I told her I'd never had it before. It was soooo tasty and may become one of my new comfort foods. I probably wimped on the amout of hot sauce (I used maybe a tablespoon, tops) but the combo of the rice, the rice noodles, the beef, egg, lettuce, carrot, spinach, shitake, some long fibrous mushroomy thing that looked like brown bean sprouts and zucchini was delicious.
Korean food is a total unknown to me, so while I've heard of Koreana and Buk Kyung (I & II?), I've no idea where to start "collecting" versions of the dish. Where else do you like to order this dish? Chinatown and other orange line destinations would be preferred, but I do have a car so that's an option too. I work in Quincy, so favorite luchtime spots down there would also work.
Buk Kyung on Brighton Ave. is my personal favorite as well as one popular with a few Korean friends of mine. They actually do Bibimbap it the correct way, which is with a raw egg cracked on top. If you're not into that, make sure you tell them to fry it.
You can easily get there by T if you take the green line out to Comm. Ave. & Harvard St. It is a short walk from there. I haven't been to Koreana in years, but from what I remember that place specializes more in Korean BBQ.
I favor Hometown (aka Buk Kyung I) in Union Square, Somerville. Also, if you are ready to branch out from bibimbap, their noodle dishes, jampong (a spicy seafood noodle soup..best left for winter) and jajangmyun (a scary-looking but delicious noodle with dark sauce) are the best I've found in Boston. Very modest interior.
bibimbap is almost always a safe choice in any korean restaurant. you just can't do it wrong. if you ever see "dol soht bibimbap" you must try it.. it's the same thing, just cooked in a stone bowl. it sizzles & simmers and creates a crust with the rice.
as for other korean restaurants- i think one of the best is chung ki wa in medford.
My favorite BBB is definitely at Buk Kyung II as well, but there are two other Korean places nearby that also do a fine job: Color, at 166 Harvard Ave, and another restaurant two doors down (heading towards Comm Ave from Brighton Ave) that has recently changed names to something I can't remember. I don't recommend the Korean stall in the food court at Super 88 at Packard's Corner, however: the prices are appallingly high for the mediocre-at-best food.
Buk Kyung II is excellent as well, but my favorite Korean restaurants are Wu Chon House in Union Square Somerville, and Koreana in Cambridge. Seoul Food, in Cambridge not far from Porter Square, also makes a particularly excellent bibimbap. You really must try it in the stone bowl --- the pleasure of bibimbap is the crusty rice! If you are new to Korean food I recommend that you try pa jon (a type of scallion pancake) and duk bok ki (rice sticks in a spicy sauce) as appetizers. Korean entrees tend to be either straight forwardly barbequed meats, such as bul go gi (beef) and gal bi (beef short ribs), bibimbap (meat, vegetables and rice mixed in a stone pot), or soups (with various combinations of meat, vegetables, dumplings, rice cakes and noodles). Of course there are many variations and other kinds of dishes too. Wu Chon House serves a dish called gul bo sam, which is oysters and pork belly served with cabbage. Another important highlight of a Korean meal is the panchan --- the collection of small dishes served with entrees, especailly kimchi, a spicy, pickled cabbage that is Korea's national food.