Bruce's Blog

a handful of dimes and a jukebox

Si Gol Ssam Bob1

My son Jeff is in town visiting, and we were trying to decide whether to go for Thai or Korean for our Thursday lunch. He decided that Korean would be much more of a new experience, so we went to one of my favorite Korean BBQ places, Si Gol Ssam Bob in K-town.

Most Korean BBQ places give you some lettuce in which to wrap the meat. One of the things I love about this place is the range of lettuces they give you. There is your basic romaine, parboiled cabbage, mizuna, even some seaweed!

I tend to always go for the spicy pork bulgogi at Si Gol Ssam Bob, so I wanted to try something different. I decided to go for the spicy squid bulgogi and Jeff got the beef bulgogi.

Si Gol Ssam Bob2

The panchan was lovely. Jeff had never tried kimchi before, and I think he liked it. There were bean sprouts, seaweed, potato salad. Jeff really loved the potato salad. He said, “I’m trying to figure out what is making this so tasty.” I tried it and said, “I think it’s the sugar”, and he said, “That’s it!”. Never underestimate the power of sugar.

Panchan, I’m told, is very much something you would expect if you were having dinner in any Korean home. It seems to me like a lot of work to prepare a whole bunch of these little appetizers. I really like one-pot meals — easy cooking, easy cleanup. 🙂 But then again, I have a full-time job, and as soon as I get home, I’m in the kitchen trying to prepare a “nutritious yet savory meal” (as Annette Benning said in American Beauty) in less than an hour. OK, the Iron Chef can prepare 4 or 5 gourmet dishes in one hour, but they do have those assistants and amazing larder.

Si Gol Ssam Bob3

They brought out the rice and soup, which as always, was just this side of nuclear, still boiling like crazy. I love the soup, though Jeff was unimpressed. The rice was lovely. It is very typical for Koreans to have rice and soup with every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The squid bulgogi was interesting, and quite tasty, though I do greatly prefer the pork. Jeff loved the beef, which had a sesame taste. One of the panchan is a ground sesame thing, which tastes great mixed in to the lettuce/meat package. Even Jeff, who has a pretty reasonable appetite, was unable to finish his beef entirely, so we packed it up to take home, and sat back contentedly as we discussed our feelings about the meal and the joys of Korean cuisine.

Si Gol Ssam Bob
480 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 467-0100

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