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Jan 9, 2008 06:47 PM

pipin' hot dolsot bibimbap in Honolulu?

With this cold weather that we've been having in town, I'm actually starting to crave some hot, comforting food to fill my belly. When I lived in the bay area, the little mom n' pop Korean restaurant that had the most delicious dolsot bibimbap (hot stonebowl filled with rice, veggies, meat, topped with a freshly cracked egg) was the best option for a cold day.

I haven't ventured out too much in the Korean food scene here, other than the local-style take outs (like Gina's). I was wondering if there was a place that had really good dolsot bibimbap here? (I'm hoping it's not going to be at those all-you-can-eat buffets like Camellias.... but maybe that's where I'll find my cold weather comfort food?)


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  1. sorabol is one of the most popular and best known. choi's garden has gotten good comments. actually Ginas has good bibimbap. One of my korean-american friends really likes Shillawon on Amana street. Personally I am not a fan of the Kim-Chee chain.

    check out this link:

    3 Replies
    1. re: KaimukiMan

      Sorry Kaimukiman,

      Visited Sorobol on our last trip back in August after reading your review and found it quite disappointing after all of the buildup. In fact, a couple of people in our party had the runs after stopping for a late lunch on our first day. The kalbi was kind of tough and flavorless but the typical veggie condiments were OK. Good kim chee though. I still think the kalbi at Kim Chee II was prepared and tasted better. But I have to agree with you on the food quality at Kim Chee II. It has gone down in recent times and they seem to give less with the combo dishes. I might even say that Yummy's may have tasted better...

      1. re: Clinton

        Hi Clinton

        I liked Kim Chee when I first ate it back in my college days. Then after living in Seoul for 3 years I went back and found I couldn't stand the food there. Way too much MSG, and there was something "off" about the kochujang as well. I am sorry to have misguided you on Sorabol, I think their quality has fallen off as well, which is why I mentioned Choi's Garden and Shillawon. I used to know of a couple of really good "mom and pop" places, but both of them closed within the last couple of years, and i really haven't found any place to take their place. Hopefully someone will comment in here. I have been to the Camilla Buffet a couple of times, can't say I was impressed. Other friends like Cafe Million down at the bottom of Sheridan Street, but I have never been there sober (hic) and never had anything except kal-bi, so I can't really comment. I sadly have to agree that there is nothing here that even comes close to the finer Korean Restaurants in LA. It is so disappointing.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I have to agree with the LA Korean restaurants being superior to Hawaii's. My wife and I was really anxious to try out Sorobol's especially since she's a K-drama addict and wanted to slobber upon the Korean actors who frequent the restaurant occasionally. Sorry to say, it was a lean day for celebrities. Since we stayed at the Pagoda next door, we had to try it out. Bad choice that day. Tried Kim Chee II the next day and was also disappointed with the quality. In fact most of the places to eat were disappointing including Rainbow Drive In and Big City Diner in Kakaako. I did like Happy Days in Kaimuki which I've never been before and of course the usual hangouts like Sekiya's, Kua Aina's, and Like Like Drive In.