Last night I went to Chicago Kalbi with my current boyfriend who I am currently dating and my token Asian friend, Chin Beard. We initially prowled the streets of Chi-zilla with a taste for sushi on the mind and found ourselves carelessly wandering the streets of Koreatown, subsequently stumbling upon the scrumptiousness that is Chicago Kalbi. We were pleasantly surprised to find this restaurant proudly showcasing its obsession for male Asian baseball players with decorum consisting of collector’s baseballs and framed posters. I mistakenly thought there was a yellow fever issue at this place but was fortunate enough to be taught by my companions that “slope diving” is only applicable towards Asian women. Anyhow, I digress…the real issue I’d like to tackle is the food.
We began our culinary adventure with an order of pajun
and something in the form of beef tartar known as yuk-hwe.
The pajun is easily the best I’ve had in all my years of consuming Korean products–it was thick with a crunchy outside and a soft inside. And the order was huge. Had my boyfriend allowed, I would have slapped him across the face with it and then proceeded to eat the entire dish with my bare hands. I’m almost certain that this pajun is so good, I could perform the Wonder Bread test which employs the task of smashing everything together into one dense ball which can then be popped into my mouth like a Now n’ Later. Seriously delicious! The beef tartar was something new for me. The owner came by and told us that we had to mix the provided egg yolk and slices of Asian pear into the tartar. This dish had just the right amount of sesame flavor with a texture of the most succulent sushi-style tuna.
Our entree was a combination platter of thinly sliced free-range chicken breasts and cuts of two different types of marinated beef bulgoi and kalbi.
The sizzling of the meats on the grill was calling out to me and admittedly, I had the slowest reflexes last night because the meats that were done were immediately gobbled up by my compadres. Needless to say, I shot them dirty looks while they slowly chewed and smacked their lips in hip hop-like rhythm. While waiting for the next round of meats I nibbled on the side dishes of kim chee, potato salad, daikon, and bean paste. As my current boyfriend always says, I showed them how they do it National Geographic when the next round of meats was finished cooking—RAWR.
Our meal was completed with a round of green tea ice cream, stabbed by a wafer cookie that tasted like Crunch Berries. Mmmmmmm.
The moral of this story is, go to Chicago Kalbi. It’s appropriate for veteran kalbi lovers AND a good starter place for whities who want to try ethnic food.