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Stone Bowl Korean, Asheville

Jeff C. Jan 26, 2012 02:52 PM

Just read about this place in The Mountain Xpress. Sounds promising. Anybody been?

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    Leepa RE: Jeff C. Jan 26, 2012 06:19 PM

    It's been mentioned in some of the Asheville threads in the last few weeks. I hear good things though I haven't been there.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Leepa
      Jeff C. RE: Leepa Jan 27, 2012 12:14 PM

      Haven't heard anything negative, except about slow service and lack of tables. I may give it a try this weekend. Stay tuned...

      1. re: Jeff C.
        Jeff C. RE: Jeff C. Jan 29, 2012 01:27 PM

        So we tried this place for dinner Friday. We arrived at 5:30, and I'm glad, because thirty mins. later every table in the place was taken. Seriously, if you go on a weekend, go before six or after eight, or you'll be left standing in narrow doorway watching people stuff exotic yummies in their faces not three feet away. As for the food: Lord knows I'm no Korean food expert, but Stone Bowl seems authentic enough to me. It's certainly not "fusion," thank god, and though some may balk at prices that are comparable to those for similar fare in Charlotte, Atlanta, or New York, where else are you going to get authentic Korean in WNC? We were greeted promptly and warmly. The server was also prompt, warm and helpful, if a bit shy. We ordered the excellent fried dumpling app., which would've been more excellent had it arrived BEFORE the entrees instead of with. We both had the Stone Bowl special with spicy pork, which flexitarian wife especially enjoyed. If you are an unrepentant carnivore, however, you'll probably want to go with one of the more meat-centric entrees as this one has a higher percentage of rice and vegetables, a sort of Korean fried rice topped with a fried egg. All entrees also come 6-7 small side dishes, called "banchan." These were uniformly delicious, though the kimchee could've packed more punch. No full bar. Limited selection of beer and wine. Dessert was the two mints that came with the check. (None offered nor listed on the menu.) Total, pre-tip, for two beers, an appetizer, and two entrees with the aforementioned banchan sides: $47. Verdict: Good already, possibly great once they work out the new restaurant kinks.

        1. re: Jeff C.
          Scirocco RE: Jeff C. Jan 29, 2012 01:52 PM

          that is great to hear! been on our to-do list, but we had been out of town so hadn't had a chance to get there yet. I suspect we will get there shortly....

          1. re: Jeff C.
            mark RE: Jeff C. Jan 30, 2012 10:14 AM

            how were the portions? $47 to go home full is one thing; $47 to make a sandwich an hour later is another.

            1. re: mark
              Jeff C. RE: mark Jan 30, 2012 10:55 AM

              Factoring in the starch and veggies and numerous if small side dishes, I found it more than adequate.

              1. re: Jeff C.
                janderson1 RE: Jeff C. Jan 31, 2012 04:52 PM

                We have been twice. The kimchi soup is fantastic, steamed dumplings bland, and stone bowl a huge portion of rice. Salted mackerel also very interesting, service is shaky with lots of food going to wrong tables and incomplete courses sent ...a ie half of table waiting for their dishes.
                We like it and will return.

            2. re: Jeff C.
              Nudibranch RE: Jeff C. Jan 31, 2012 05:08 PM

              The little side dishes are my favorite thing in Korean restaurants. Did they have the fresh radish kimchi (it's kind of sweet, slightly pickled)?

              1. re: Nudibranch
                janderson1 RE: Nudibranch Jan 31, 2012 05:11 PM

                Yesterday they had a nappa cabbage one and a bean sprout one

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          mark RE: Jeff C. Jan 31, 2012 06:44 PM

          just returned and it was pretty good. note: i am not particularly familiar with korean food, so authenticity, etc is out my ken. we started with the poached dumplings; very fresh tasting, i can understand the bland complaint above, but the accompanying sauce helps - we liked them. i had the eel stonebowl, which was good. the waitress stirred it together at the table, and, at my request added all the spicy condiment. it barely had any heat, although good flavor; i'll have to see if they can kick it up a bit. banchan were good, although a bit sweet across the board (may be typical, see note above) and, as jeff notes, the kimchee was mild compared to the others in my limited experience. my wife had a seafood and noodle soup in a red, peppery broth, and it was very good. (fyi for the squeamish, at least some seafood dishes will feature head-on shrimp, tentacles, other like squigglies - we had a good laugh over the reaction some of our family members would likely have.) portions were pretty good; i cleaned mine out, and am full, my wife brought home about a pint of soup. prices were ok; pre-tip with bar tab was $51. service was quick, knowledgeable, and attentive enough with 2 staff tag-teaming us. we'll be back.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mark
            Jeff C. RE: mark Feb 2, 2012 02:54 PM

            Glad you liked it, Mark. I just read in The Mountain Xpress that Stone Bowl was having trouble keeping up with the demand for certain things like kimchee, so maybe that accounts for the lack of kick. (In Korea they bury it in sealed urns for weeks at a time.)

            1. re: Jeff C.
              chezdy RE: Jeff C. Mar 14, 2012 04:00 PM

              Wow. I just had a spectacular stone bowl bi bim bap. It was excellent and I will be back very soon!

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