After having a great time with Cathy and Ed from Yuma at Prime Grill (click on the links to read or reread their posts), I decided to check out some of their non-Korean Barbecue dishes. Plus, it was pretty darn hot during this time, making for the perfect set-up for my meals.
The parking lot here can be a real horror show, but at 11 am on a Monday or Tuesday, things are pretty quiet.
I ordered the Dolsot Bi Bim Bap and soon enough the panchan arrived. The baechu kimchi; the napa cabbage kimchi was a surprise as it had a bit of a fermented flavor; not just the sour quick pickled versions I've had recently at most places. It was pretty good. The other item I hadn't seen in a while was the gaji namul; the steamed eggplant panchan. In spite of the rather grey look, it had some decent garlicky tones.
When my bi bim bap arrived.....which looked pretty textbook, I was disappointed that it didn't have an egg yolk on it.....which was hiding under the shredded nori.
This was pretty much by the book; though the mushroom, fernbrake, and blanched spinach with sesame oil was very nice. The bulgogi was on the bland side. What really made this good was the rice; which was prepared perfectly as was the stone bowl. A beautiful, nutty crust quickly developed and after mixing kept on going for a good part of the meal. The Cho Gochujang here was very thick, mostly gochujang, with very mild sweet and sour tones. Not a bad lunch...plus, if I recall, this is a buck cheaper during lunch.
About a week later, temps hit the mid-nineties in the Convoy area. I decided to drop by for lunch and try the Bi Bim Naengmyun; the spicy cold noodle dish that I crave when temps rise.
Only four panchan this time around. I'm guessing it's based on what is ordered. The regular kimchi wasn't as good on this visit; though still better than most. The baek (white) kimchi would have made the Missus happy as it had distinct fermented tones.
On the menu it says Ham Heung Bi Bim Naengmyun, naming the city in North Korea that made this dish famous.
Man, this was a lot of buckwheat noodles. The Server was very friendly and quite funny. She asked me if I wanted my noodles cut and when I said "I wouldn't even be able to eat the noodles if they weren't", she relayed a pretty funny story about her father, who was from Pyongyang, who refused to let her eat her noodles cut. Until one day when she tried to eat entire noodles and started choking. Her dad grabbed the noodles and actually pulled it all the way from her stomach! I don't know if it's true, but it was a heck of a story.
A bit too little sauce for the amount of noodles and that chojang wasn't especially spicy. But a slushy bowl of mul-naengmyun broth was also provided.
4620 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111