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Nov 8, 2011 09:26 PM

First time trying Korean food

My friend and I have decided to give Korean food a try. With the huge selection of places here, we figure we should be able to find some really great stuff. We'll have a small child with us, but he eats anything (the only thing he won't eat is Denny's and IHOP). Does anyone have any dish or restaurant recommendations? Thanks!

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  1. best place to start is Korean BBQ. Grilled meat w/ panchan and rice is generally "accessable" for most people. Buga is good, as is Dae Jung Kim (?) on Engineer Rd.

    Bibimbap is basically a rice bowl w/ grilled meat, bean sprouts, carrots, daikon, spinach, lettuce that you can squirt as much, little or no gochuchang paste on (the sweet, mildly hot chili paste). Also pretty accessible for the novice. The Korean BBQ have them on the menu but if you want to skip the BBQ and just get bibimbap, Tofu House on Convoy, next to O'Brien's, is cheap and good.

    Tofu House
    4646 Convoy St Ste 116, San Diego, CA 92111

    1. If you’re going to go to one of the Tofu Houses, I recommend Convoy Tofu House, which is the one just south of Balboa – I think in particular their soondubu broth is amazing.

      Having said that though, word on the street is that Chon Ju Jip is where all the real Koreans actually go to (it’s in the same plaza as Convoy Tofu House). In particular, their Galbijim is a bit hit – it’s galbi (short ribs) braised for many many hours until the stew condenses into a luscious salt-ridden stew. Do try it.

      Convoy Tofu House
      4229 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

      Tofu House
      4646 Convoy St Ste 116, San Diego, CA 92111

      1. Chon Ju Jip is possibly the best Korean in town, or at least the best I've had and I worked in Koreatown LA for five years. But being the best may not be what you need out the gate, I am thinking Buga Korean BBQ might be a good starting place.

        If you stick to the basics, it is really just grilled marinated beef, pork and chicken with varying degrees of spiciness and then the sides go from familiar, spinach, sprouts etc, to the more exotic that could have squid, octopus etc in them.

        You might find the Wikipedia article helpful.