Tag Archives: korean

Gooyi Gooyi Korean BBQ – Santa Clara, CA

Gooyi Gooyi
2331 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051
http://gooyi.orengeo.com

This is not an all you can eat Korean bbq place, nor it is cheap.  But what it does have is quality meat, that is not found in any AYCE bbq restaurant.  I was craving brisket so much that I had to get some.  This place has a $39.99 deal that comes with a plate of beef brisket and pork belly, steamed egg, and soybean soup.  It also comes with the standard sides, salad, rice paper, and rice.  The special thing about this place is that instead of a gas grill, it uses coal, so the meat is supposed to taste a little different, but I couldn’t really tell since I was so hungry.

The sides that is came with were pretty good, the kimchi wasn’t fermented enough and the mashed potatoes tasted old, but the other side dishes were delicious, especially the seaweed salad and pickled radishes.  Salad had a good amount of dressing and was freshly made, so it was very refreshing to eat with the meat, especially the fatty pork belly.  Steamed egg and soybean soup were standard, nothing too special about them.

The brisket had amazing marbling, and melted in your mouth when it was cooked.  It was just so much fresher than what they serve at ayce bbq.  Pork belly was very fatty, but that’s how I like it!  It took a while to cook it to be crispy like I wanted it, but it was worth it.

The service here is great, they are very friendly and never rude to us, making sure we were taken care of.  One thing I did not like though, was the fact that they insisted on cooking the meat for us.  I like cooking my own meat and deciding when it’s done, but they didn’t really let me do that here, because they assumed I had no idea what I was doing.  Little do they know what kind of a kbbq master I am!  Just kidding.  But really, they turned off the grill before the pork belly was crispy enough for my taste, so I was a little irritated about that.

I wouldn’t come here on a regular basis just because there is just no where near the amount of food I could get for the same price in lovely Ktown, but once in a while when you’re craving ayce so much that it hurts, this would be a good place to splurge at.

~Nicole

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Happy Moon Festival!

Wishing everyone a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! From our homes to yours, all of us at Oh My Food Coma would like to wish everyone a Happy Moon Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chuseok, Tết Trung Thu and whatever other names you may know it by!

For the curious, I baked lesser known Teochew/Hokkien durian-flavored mooncakes, paired with a fresh brew of Ten Ren’s oolong tea (東方美人茶, labeled ‘Oriental Beauty tea’ in English). Unfortunately the cakes were a bit underbaked because the oven refused to cooperate with me…

In any case, enjoy the beautiful moon in its full glory before it begins waning again~

Peace,

Justin

Kimchi Beef Jjigae

Hello all!

I recently purchased a clay pot from “Hawaii Supermarket” in San Gabriel and wanted to put it to work. It’s been a while since I’ve made homemade jjigae, and wanted to give it another go. I’ve tried so many different recipes and ways of making this tofu soup, but it never turns out exactly like the kind you would get at a tofu house. I’m not sure what it’s missing, but I’ve followed all of the other recipes to a T, and it still doesn’t turn out the same. I don’t know why my broth is a little lighter than the ones you would find in tofu houses. Either way, the result is still good, but I have to warn you that the flavor may not be authentic.

I’m using a similar recipe to an old recipe I posted a long time ago, back in 2010. However, I’ve made a few changes from then. I hope you enjoy this anyway!

Vegetable ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pack of Enoki Mushroom
  • 1 pack of soft tofu
  • 1/2 zucchini (cut into one inch, quartered size)
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 small brown onion
  • 1/4 chopped Kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper powder
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame oil (to finish)

Beef marinade:

  • 1/4 lb of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chili oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
Red pepper paste and soft tofu ingredients

Directions:

Combine the ground beef and marinade ingredients. Set aside for 10 minutes. During this time, prepare your vegetable ingredients.

Marinaded beef with onions

Heat a pot over medium heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef and stir fry until beef is cooked through and onions are translucent. Stir fry the kimchi into the beef, onion mixture.  Add 1 cup of water and the sliced zucchinis. Bring the soup to a boil.

Adding in the zucchini

Once the soup is boiling, reduce it to low and add the mushroom, soft tofu, red pepper paste, and soy sauce. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the egg to the soup, and spoon the soup mixture over it–making sure that the egg will get cooked through. Add the chopped green onion over the top and allow the soup to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and drizzle some sesame oil over the top to finish.

Kimchi Beef Jjigae

This was one of my favorite soups to make on cold nights in my old apartment. Something that I didn’t do in this recipe that I normally would do is add one chopped chili over the top. The flavor of this soup is lighter than traditional jjigae. Please feel free to add salt or soy sauce to taste.

If you have any recommendations for jjigae recipes I should try, please comment below! I’m still searching for the best jjigae recipe out there that will get me results closest to tofu houses! haha..

Enjoy!

❤ josie

ToBang Korean Cuisine – Santa Clara, CA

ToBang Korean Cuisine
1052 Kiely Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95051 

Restaurant.com coupon: link

$25 off $50 coupon for $10, why not! This place has the best customer service out of all the Korean restaurants I have ever been to.  Usually you need to go with a Korean-speaking friend in order to get good service, but this is not the case at this place.  They treated us so well, brought us refills on banchan and rice paper without asking (to the point where we actually had to tell them to stop), asked us constantly if everything was okay for us.  My friend and I were so shocked with the service, we were just expecting to be ignored and given our food!

Anywho, the restaurant is small, and there isn’t much seating, it’s very spaced out, and there is a huge draft so it’s cold inside, but the good thing is that you won’t smell too much afterwards.  We were seated and we gave them our coupon, so they explained to us the restrictions very kindly and asked us what we wanted to drink.  The yogurt soju is not part of the deal, but we ordered it extra since this was a celebratory dinner.  I believe it was $12.99 for a big pitcher, and they only have yogurt flavor, but it was so good and definitely a creeper.

Originally, we wanted to order the seafood pajeon as our appetizer, bulgogi and kalbi as our meats, and combination tofu soup.  When we ordered though, the waitress told us the pajeon was on the house!  So we ordered panfried dumplings for an appetizer instead.  We knew it was way too much food for just 2 people, but we decided to get it and take leftovers home.

The banchan were just like any other place, except they had string potato strips that I’ve never had, and also they had sliced pickled Korean daikon that were huge and instead of using regular vinegar I think they used red vinegar since it had a pink hue to it.  That was really good with the meat.  When the pajeon came out, I died a little inside. It was so good!! Crispy, warm, with a perfect amount of octopus in it…it had been so long since I had it.  I still can’t believe it was free.

The bulgogi and galbi were spectacular, and much more than what BCD gives per portion.  They had asked us before ordering the galbi if it was okay, since usually they marinate it for 2 days before, but since they ran out, they had marinated this batch that day only.  We were fine with that, and when we got the meat, the chef came out to make sure it was okay with us.  It tasted like it had been marinated for days!  So juicy, tender, and well seasoned.  They were good pieces of meat too, with little fat on them.  Yum!

The combination tofu soup was a little bland for me, since we had ordered medium and it was not spicy at all, but there was a lot of tofu and huge chunks of meat and seafood, so that made up for it.  Panfried dumplings were so crispy!  Fried to perfection and even though I have no idea what the filling was, it was good.

The waitress brought us fishcake and rice paper refills, and gave us a whole pitcher of water when we asked for it.  She was kind and funny, something seriously lacking in the waiters and waitresses at other Korean places.  Our bill came out to be $54 after the $25 discount, plus the soju, tax, and tip (tip is calculated based on the whole order, which was roughly $80), and we were so happy with their service that we gave them another $5 tip on top of everything and wrote them a note on the back of the receipt.  We also got 2 complimentary yakult drinks to finish off the night!

I am definitely coming back to this place, the customer service alone is good enough to pull me in, but the free pajeon, yakult, and the tasty high quality food is the real main catch!

~Nicole

Heyri Coffee House – Koreatown

A cup of joe from Heyri

Heyri is one of those fancy Korean coffee houses, with tall Korean waiters serving you at your beck and call, like in the dramas. Not exactly, but the coffee is indeed expensive ($5+ for a cup), even though it’s your average run-of-the-mill brew (I prefer McCafe’s). The coffee house comprises a building that resembles a single family home, with an extended patio area for outdoor seating. It’s a cozy affair, really. Tea lights and a water fountain in the back, and picnic tables laid out.

Since we had just eaten at Mr. Pizza (review here), we weren’t too keen on filling ourselves some more.

Mochi ice cream

The mochi ice cream ($5.50), with green tea flavored mochi bits looked enticing. But the portion size was so measly. It was good, but nothing to write home about.

Coffee ice cream

I thought the coffee ice cream ($6.25) was watered down and totally overpriced. A scoop of ice cream should not cost as much as a lunch special…

In spite of my criticisms, I suppose what you pay for is the ambiance, not the food. Heyri is a good place to come with friends and chat on a Friday night, but be prepared for pretty high prices.

Heyri Coffee House
755 S Hobart Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Peace,

Justin

Korean Cheese Corn

This is a popular side dish that I have had in Korean restaurants and bars in both NorCal and SoCal, so I just tried to make it at home, it’s really easy!

Ingredients:
-1 cup of corn (I used the frozen white corn from Trader Joe’s)
-Mayonnaise (I used lite mayo)
-Sugar
-Shredded cheese (I had Mexican 4 blend in my fridge)
-Salt
-Pepper

The corn was still frozen but I just put it into a bowl, put enough mayo to coat the kernels lightly, added half a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and some pepper.  I microwaved for 30 seconds, mixed and microwaved for another 30 seconds.  I added 1/4 cup of cheese and microwaved for another 30 seconds, mixed, and added another 1/4 cup of cheese, and microwaved again for 30 seconds.

It came out really yummy, just like the ones they serve in the bars…so easy to make too! You can adjust all the ingredients to your taste or to how sweet your corn is.  Next time I might try baking it and putting some bread crumbs on top for texture.

Yum!

~Nicole

Western Doma Noodles – Koreatown

Western Doma Noodles is one of those hole-in-the-wall restos, located in a pretty shady strip mall, but serves hearty meals. Apparently the ahjummas who service the tables liked our group, so we got a complimentary appetizer of ddukbokki, spicy rice cakes with gochujang sauce, along with an array of other banchan, or side dishes.

As the restaurant’s name implies, their name to fame are their handcut noodles, kalguksu, served with a broth of your choosing. We shared the seafood and kimchi kalguksu, which came in pretty large portions. I’d say that these are among the best noodles I’ve had.

We also ordered a side of mandu, steamed dumplings with pork (or beef?). I remember being confused by the mystery meat inside, which smelled like beef to me, but looked like pork. Ah well..

Definitely recommended, for a cold winter day!

Address: 429 N Western Ave Ste 10, Los Angeles, CA 90004

Peace, Justin

Lawrence Plaza Korean Food Court – Santa Clara

On our last night in Norcal, we walked to a Korean plaza (Lawrence Plaza) next door to the Econolodge we were staying at. I thought it’d be interesting to get overhead shots of the food, cafeteria-style, in trays and all.


^ Pajeon – seafood pancake


^ Haemul kalguksu – seafood handcut noodles


^Bibimbap

There is also a sweet potato stall in front of the plaza. Unfortunately, by the time we spotted it, it was closed.

3561 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051

Peace, Justin

Chego – Palms

Okay, I’m way behind on posting up food and boba reviews 😦 and I don’t know if it’s even worth writing these up now. Today, a certain someone pointed out that I hadn’t reviewed Chego, a recently opened Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant a la Kogi (food truck) yet, so here it is. My expectations weren’t too high, since I found Kogi tasty but nothing close to mind-blowing.

Service is pretty straightforward. Order at the counter, be assigned a number and wait for your order to arrive on their cafeteria-like tables. It’s pretty much no-nonsense, and the plates are 100% biodegradable.

I ordered Buttered Kimchi Chow, a heapful of chicharrones, kimchi flavored rice, edamame beans, tofu, and a fried egg. For $7, I expected larger portions, considering how scaled down the service was. The bowl was soggy and way too confusing for my taste buds. The medley of flavors: sweet, spicy, salty and herby (if that’s a word) was too much. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was supposed to be enjoying.

One of us ordered the Sour Cream Hen House, basically grilled chicken and kimchi flavored rice with Chinese broccoli, basil, red peppers and a generous portion of sour cream. That too, was confusing. The sour cream was a overwhelming and really didn’t belong. Moreover, like the Kimchi Chow, the bowl was soggy and wet, having the consistency and texture of gruel.

Someone else ordered the Chubby Pork Belly: fatty pork belly with radishes, water spinach, peanuts and yes, a fried egg. The water spinach wasn’t fresh, but I thought the pork belly was okay. It was flavorful and sort of sweet, but nothing special. All in all, all of the dishes we ordered were similar tasting to me.

I wouldn’t go out of my way for Chego. Korean-Mexican fusion might be stretching it a bit, when the food tastes neither Korean nor Mexican.

Rating: 3/5 (I’ll be a tad more generous. Josie gave it a 2!)

Peace,
Justin

Sanya – Koreatown

AYCE Korean barbeque has got to be one of the greatest American/Korean fusions out there. The American “all you can eat” tradition combined with the Korean love of barbequed meats, all for the miraculous price of $9.99 (unlimited side dishes included). I’m not even kidding.

I went with my roommates on Tuesday, since we’d been craving Korean bbq for a while, and because it was the perfect weather (a cold and rainy night). The last time I had eaten this stuff was at O Dae San (review here) next door, during graduation. So I was more than ready to chow down. I love AYCE meals because I ALWAYS eat more than what I pay for. Mind over matter.

The service was prompt and efficient. We were quickly seated, given an minimal assortment of banchan (ranging from kimchi to Korean potato salad and the ubiquitous rice paper). We mostly reordered the potato salad, because the kimchi was way too salty. On a side note, Korea is experiencing a national kimchi crisis right now because of rains in Asia that destroyed napa cabbage crops this year. Anyway. the waitresses also dropped off gyeran jjim (steamed egg) midway through the meal.

Anyway, the selections are limited (8 choices, half beef and half non-beef) but still plentiful. I can’t comment on the beef selections, but I became very acquainted with the pork and chicken served. The marinated chicken was very lightly marinated, and not very flavorful. So I invented my own marinade, consisting of vinegar soy sauce (for rice paper) mixed in which Korean chili sauce, which made the cooked chicken much more appetizing.

The pork, however, was heavenly. The marinated pork was succulent, sweet, and spicy. Just the way Korean bbq should be. It was sort of fatty, but still fresh. The pork with beansprouts had a much subtler flavor, but still tasty.

All in all, we probably ordered 9 to 10 plates of meat. A truly satisfying meal for $13, tip included. Life doesn’t get any better than this. It’s just the aftermath—the smell of meat in your hair, clothes and skin, is pretty darn hard to remove. My suggestion: leave your sweater in the car.

Score: 4.25/5

– Justin

Leftovers

Leftovers from BBQ Chicken & BCD

This is the Teri-Q chicken from BBQ chicken, it’s a little sweet and spicy, and really good.  It was still good a day after, I just toasted it in the microwave oven and it was crispy again.

I took my cousin to BCD and took the medium spicy tofu soup to go because it was so much food.  It really wasn’t that spicy though, but it was still good.  They stopped serving you eggs with your soup because of the recent salmonella thing so I thought it was a little lacking but yummy still.

~Nicole

Hyori’s potato pancakes

For Family Outing fans, you probably know all about Lee Hyori’s culinary skills in the kitchen. She seriously makes everything look so easy, but it ain’t. I found a recipe for her famous potato pancakes, and it seemed easy enough, so I took a stab at it and utterly failed.

Got my Idaho potatoes ready to be sliced and diced for the food processor.

Chopped them into little bits after skinning them.

Started blending them. That’s when it got nasty. As I blended them, the raw potato puree went from a pristine off-white color to a sickening pink color that slowly turned purplish-brown as time went on. And it took forever to blend. I ought to bring my Magic Bullet to my apartment.

The puree that was to be separated with a small mesh, to collect the potato starch. It looked worse than this picture would lead you to believe. I spent probably 45 minutes trying to rid of the discoloring by refiltering the puree, but it didn’t help.

Then I started mixing them with a pinch of salt and frying them. The pancakes were so freaking oily, they reminded me of that Chinese New Year cake, tikay/niangao (example). At the end, I was reduced to trying to grill these on the pan, hoping that they would turn out more pancake-like. Nope, didn’t help out.

The end result: discolored, deformed Korean potato pancakes! They were totally inedible, so I just threw them out, because I didn’t wanna give anyone a heart attack that night.

I immediately told my sister to try out the recipe too and hers turned out gross as well. If you have potatoes and a mesh, try this out and see if it works (Josie and Nicole?!)

I’m staying away from the kitchen for awhile.

Props to Hyori.

– Justin

Myung Dong Kyoja – Koreatown

Last night, after a failed attempt to catch the premiere of 71: Into the Fire in K-Town, my friend and I walked 2 blocks to Myung Dong Kyoja so that the bus ride there wouldn’t have been a total waste. The restaurant is open 24/7, really clean and spacious. It’s located on the corner of Harvard and Wilshire. At midnight, there was a small but steady stream of customers coming in and out.

The menu is relatively simple, offering a handful of noodle choices along with mandu or Korean dumplings. The items are also relatively reasonably-priced, ranging from $8 to $12.

After we ordered, the waiter dropped off 3 banchan dishes, cabbage kimchi and daikon. There’s not much to say about the daikon. By contrast, the kimchi was really powerful. It is reasonably spicy and didn’t taste as fermented and sour as kimchi usually does. It also has a strong garlicky kick. As testimony, I woke up this morning and my breath still reeked of garlic.

I ordered the bibim guk su ($7.95), which are cold cut wheat noodles in a chili sauce, garnished with really thin cucumbers, cucumber kimchi and topped with half a boiled egg. It was served with a small bowl of broth, which was pretty bland. So I just dumped a few spoonfuls of kimchi to temper the kimchi’s taste. The bibim guk su tended toward to the sweeter side and tasted more like a dessert dish to me. Upon closer inspection, I could still see a few sugar crystals lining my bowl. But as a whole, the noodles were flavorful, although they were drowning in chili sauce. The cucumbers did give the noodles a nice crunchy texture.

My friend ordered the signature kal gook su ($7.95), which are hand cut wheat noodles in a soup of mandu and ground meat of unknown origin (it tasted like pork but I guess ignorance is bliss.) The broth was really meaty-tasting but perfectly salted. I often find that Korean soups tend to be saltier, but this one was perfectly balanced. The pork-filled mandu were likewise tasty.

Rating: 3.75/5

– Justin

P.S. I have several resto reviews to do, but I think I’ve learned my lesson of not delaying them because by that point, I’ve forgotten much of the dining experience. 😐

BBQ Chicken – Westwood

Nicole came down from NorCal last week, so to celebrate both our birthdays, we tried BBQ Chicken, which has been on my Yelp “to try” list for quite a while now. Plus, the Wonder Girls cf’s make the olive oil fried chicken all the more appetizing (link).

The restaurant’s not much to speak of. It’s a pretty small space, homely and devoid of anything that screams “franchise.” If I had not known, I would have guessed this was a family-run business. Business looked a little slow, probably because of the prices.

Nicole and I both ordered combo meals (4 pieces of chicken, a side and a drink), which were 9 dollars each (or around there).

Nicole got the original recipe “olive crispy chicken” with a side of corn salad. The chicken was really good, a lot less salty than KFC and fried for the Asian palate (delicately breaded). It wasn’t dripping with oil, or maybe the fact that everything at this place is fried with olive oil made me less obsessive about patting down the chicken pieces with napkins to soak up the excess oil. (I’m not OCD; My family has a history of high cholesterol. Just felt the need to explain) On the downside, for $9, I was honestly expecting larger pieces than what was served.

On the other hand, I got the “crispy chicken with sweet and spicy sauce,” with a side of French fries. My pieces were regrettably smaller, but the sauce compensated. It was like a party on my taste buds. It was sweeter than it was spicy and complemented the chicken well.

My side of fries was exponentially larger than Nicole’s side of corn salad. They looked exactly like the fries at Covel Commons (for non-UCLA folks, it’s a dining hall) but less salty. Still yummy but way too filling—this is why I try to avoid carbs at AYCE places.

The chicken’s good, but I’m not too sure if I’d be willing to pay so much just to get it cooked in olive oil and healthier-tasting than at American bbq chicken venues. Moving on to Super Junior’s Kyochon Chicken (link)!

Score: 4/5

– Justin

O Dae San – Koreatown


Haha am I behind on Food Coma or what? Even Nicole has updated! Thought I’d never see the day. J/K. 🙂

We were planning to celebrate the graduation of Ting Yee (that’s your name now, Rosalie) by eating all you can eat Korean bbq at Sanya (only $10) in K-town. But lo and behold, there was a long line when we arrived. I tried going inside to ask an employee how long the wait was, only to be rudely shooed away and told “I don’t know! Wait in line” in a thick Korean accent.

Since we didn’t have a Plan B, we just ended up indecisively wandering around Olympic Blvd, pingponging from one side of the street (a Japanese resto called Wako) to the next before finally deciding to eat at the Korean bbq restaurant next door, O Dae San.

We finally got a table at 9:45 pm upstairs and decided to get the $17 all you can eat deal, 3 meat plates at a time.


See the full gallery on posterous

The banchan (side dishes) was very sparse, bland (steamed brocolli, kimchi, flat rice noodles, ice cucumbers and boiled bean sprouts) and not refilled. And where was the potato salad? =( After our first round, a waiter dropped off fried kimchi pancakes, but all of us saw right through that ploy, because carbs fill you up faster, limiting your intake of meat. Also, we got mixed and steamed egg in a clay pot.


See the full gallery on posterous

I forgot the order of meat plates we got, but it was basically chicken bulgogi, pork belly, beef brisket, beef belly, and baby octopus. I don’t know what the beef dishes tasted like (maybe Michelle and Laurie can contribute), but the chicken bulgogi wasn’t flavorful enough. I think the pieces were too big. The pork belly was delicious though, easy to cook and well-soaked in the sauce. The baby octopus (4 of them, in a sea of leeks, sauce and what have you) came in a tin foil, which was cooked on the grill. Unfortunately, we overcooked it and it ended up being really tough to chew. The sauce, however, was really tasty and used to cook the other meats. The grilling took such a long time, because half of the grill didn’t function properly and cutting the meat was painstaking.

The service was just unacceptable. It seems like none of the staff were responsive at all. At one point, we asked to have our water refilled, but the waiter instead delivered it to another table. I feel like places like this should provide customers with a whistle or something. And it seems like most of the staff do not speak English competently. I had great trouble understanding the Korean and Hispanic waiters there. We even asked for our third round of meat dishes several times and ended up waiting a lot longer than necessary. It wasn’t until the last half hour that one particular staff member, an amicable Korean guy, partially redeemed the dining experience. Maybe he noticed how annoyed I was, but he said that we didn’t need to leave a tip because bringing more people next time would mean better business. He also brought out leftover soft drinks, since we were the last customers in there.

I don’t know if I’d come back here again, since I’ve had better kbbq (although my palate may be biased since all I ate were the non-beef meats) and better (and unlimited) side dishes. Plus, the service is subpar.

Score: 3/5

– Justin

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