Oo Kook’s Lunch Menu Yields a Super Special Bibimbap
When Eater dropped their 14 best restaurants in K-Town list back in February, Oo Kook was the only all you can eat BBQ joint to make the cut. It’s a place a number of my Korean friends have been telling me about for a while being that I am white and fat, the two important pre-requisites for loving ayce Korean BBQ. Sadly it’s $20 for lunch, making it a bit out of my price range for a typical K-Town weekday lunch. But all is not lost! Oo Kook offers a bunch of incredibly worthy lunch specials, one of which is something I’ve been looking for on a K-Town lunch menu for a long long time.
The lunch menu features $8 versions of bibimbap, kimchi jigae and daenjang jigae (soybean paste soup), as well as naengmyeon (cold noodles) which you can add a sizzling plate of galbi to for $7 extra.
But if the giant bones poking out of bowls at every single table in the restaurant are any indication, most people are there for the galbi tang. For $8 you get a sizeable bowl of beef rib soup, filled with glass noodles, a ton of scallions, and of course the Flinstones looking short rib that threatens to tip the whole thing over. Admittedly I’m no Galbi Tang expert but the soup is pretty great, and I’ve been assured this is one of the best versions in K-Town for the price. I, however, was far more excited for their Yuk Hwe bibimbap!
Yuk hwe is essentially Korean beef tartare, and tends to be offered more as an appetizer than a lunch special. It’s also not cheap, so finding it on a lunch specials menu is kind of unheard of. Then again, since you’re dealing with raw beef it’s not something you want to skimp on. Oo Kook solves that problem by offering it as a topping on bibimbap during lunch, and most likely uses scraps from the quality meats they offer on their BBQ menu.
The bibimbap comes completely deconstructed, so it’s up to you to take the slightly frozen meat (not an accident, by the way) and mix in all the veggies, rice, and gochujang (sweet and spicy red bean paste). The result? A super delicious lunch. If you love bibimbap and love beef tartare, this will change your life. $12 is technically a splurge for me, but for a quality version of yuk hwe? Spending the extra 2 bucks is a no brainer.
Plus you get soup and banchan.
And the biggest testimonial? This fat white guy could see himself going back, and forgoing the all you can eat BBQ again. (And again.)
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Finding cheap lunch special is K-Town. Finding *quality* cheap lunch specials? That’s a different story.
- I love me some galbi tang… and this version is great.
- I love bibimbap and I love steak tartare. Sign me up!
- I don’t mind spending a few bucks extra when the food is good.
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I like my short ribs off the bone. This soup is a bit too caveman for me.
- Raw beef is a bit scary. Frozen raw beef sounds downright terrifying.
- I like my Yuk Hwe pure and simple. And where’s the asian pear!?
- $20 for all you can eat KBBQ during lunch?! Forget that. And being forced to watch other people stuff their face, while I’m eating bibimbap? No way.
Oo Kook, 3385 W 8th St. 213-385-5665