Friday, February 15, 2008


I have a new favorite place for Bi Bim Bop: Maru. The restaurant is located where Seoul Korner used to be, at William and Thompson streets. I liked Seoul Korner--it was what I think of as decent "campus" Korean. But I really like Maru. The menu is much more varied and broad--you can get all kinds of bi bim bop, including Haecho Bibimbap (Seaweed Bibimbap) and Hoedeopbap (Raw Fish Bibimbap).

So far I have had the Dolsot Bi Bim Bop twice, once with beef and once with tofu. I don't usually order the same thing twice, but it has been wicked cold here and the weather has made me crave toasty rice.
The second time (pictured above with tofu) the stone bowl was hotter than the first and the rice on the bottom developed the perfect crunchy-chewy toastyness:
Mmm...rice therapy for winter

Brian ordered the spicy squid which was really good--it looked like it would burn a hole in his stomach, but really was more flavorful than just hot.

And I loved the banchan--those little free tasty bits that they bring to the table. Both times there was some standarad napa cabbage kimchi, a peppery bean sprout dish, and a sweet seaweed and daikon salad. The first time I went there was also a lovely turnip kimchi and a dish of chewy gluten strips. The second time I went there was one weird banchan that I left alone (pictured in the upper right corner of the first photo), bits of pickled cabbage mixed with...sliced hot dogs. It's probably some sort of family comfort food because this is a place that also has Spam in a few of the dishes on its menu.

Next time I go I plan to branch out a bit. If it is cold out, I want to try their Kimchi jjigae, which is a big bowl of kimchi, tofu and pork soup. If it is warmish (and by that I mean that my face doesn't feel like it'll fall off from the cold--I've lowered my standards for what counts as warm by this time in February) I want to order the Raw Fish Bi Bim Bop.


Maria said...

First reaction: Seoul Korner gone?? Oh no! How could I have missed that? I liked their food!

Second reaction: Wow! This looks good. I'm going out for lunch this week.

Edward Vielmetti said...

Sounds like a good time Kate.

I had the galbi tang and really liked it, and as you note the banchan are a step up from Seoul Korner or really most of the other campus Korean places.

The other place in town that serves hwe dup bap is Sushi Town on Packard near me - I am usually in there only for a little snack, but some time it would be worthwhile to splurge.

Anonymous said...

What would be good eats for a beginner to try? I don't like tofu and am allergic to all fish and seafood. Anything for me?


I wait for the bus in front of Maru everyday.

Kate said...

For a beginner, I'd go for Bi Bim Bop or Dolsot Bi Bim Bop (that's the one in the hot stone bowl) with beef. They also have bulgoki beef on the menu, but I'm not sure how it is served. At Arirang (over by Target) they serve it with lettuce leaves so you pick up a piece of the bbq beef and wrap it up in the lettuce; though come to think of it, that sounds more appealing in the summer than right now!