My parents were kind enough to indulge me and my sister’s craving for Korean BBQ tonight. Another meal that we traditionally have when we both come back from university, its one (of several) “welcome back home!” meals. Up in Canada where Asians are a rare site away from Toronto and Vancouver, finding good Korean food is nigh impossible. Even for me, living in Montreal which is probably
one of the more diverse Canadian cities, I can count on one hand the number of Korean restaurants in the city, and can name NONE that come even close to the Korean food in Southern California. Oddly, despite common stereotype that Canada is abundant in good meat, I’ve never had meat as tender as I do in California, and Korean staples such as Galbi and Bulgogi in Canada definitely lack that special goodness that make them so addicting in Korean cuisine.
After arriving at our usual Korean BBQ haunt, Mo Rang Ga in Garden Grove, we are seated in a cozy back corner of the restaurant, where my mom orders the three person combo meal, which includes a rib eye steak, two other cuts of meat, steamed egg, soy bean soup and a bottle of Hite beer. Many Korean restaurants serve a hot soup drink before the meal, basically beef soup, and this place makes the best I have ever had, along with the small appetizer dishes.
The small appetizer dishes tonight included pa jun, fish cake, chap che, kimchi, broccoli, and spiced pickled peppers.
Usually a waitress comes periodically to flip the meat, but we like doing it ourselves. The meat is wrapped in the rice paper with whatever else you like, lettuce, your choice of sauce etc.
I personally like eating the steamed egg and the soybean soup with rice, a half spoon for each and popped in at the same time to let the textures mix.
The meat was the tenderest it has ever been, the steamed egg was nicely salted (not too over done!), kimchi was drenched in chunks of spicy goodness, and everything was way above expectation, even though I’ve been there so many times, it never fails to impress.