Saturday, March 17, 2007

Soot Bull Jeep

For some reason I've had a strong desire for Korean BBQ. When Will and I decided to go see 300 last weekend we thought we'd wrap up the evening with some Korean BBQ. I googled Korean BBQ and decided that we would go to Soot Bull Jeep. It's very well known and the only remaining Korean BBQ that uses charcoal. All the others have converted to gas grills. Unfortunately we had a rather filling and late lunch so we rain-checked the Korean BBQ after the movie, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

Now, my office building is right in the center of Korea Town on Wilshire Boulevard. And this past week as I get out and take a walk at lunch all of a sudden I'm noticing nothing but Korean BBQ restaurants. Of course, they're everywhere. And Soot Bull Jeep is only about 3 long blocks away.

So this weekend we ate very light and went for an early dinner at Soot Bull Jeep. We scored a parking spot in the tiny adjacent lot and are seated quickly at a table by the window. The old diner style formica tables have been outfitted with a center grill flush mounted with the metal housing underneath.
All of the tables are topped by some pretty heavy duty vents dropping from the ceiling to control the smoke. Our server/waitress takes our order and returns to toss in some charcoal briquettes and set the grill on top.

She then promptly returns with our beers and
a plate of whole leafy lettuce leaves and plates of raw beef (we ordered the marinated short ribs and the marinated rib eye). With that she very unceremoniously unstacks a variety of small dishes (what I believe are called banchan). The dishes contain several types of pickles, kimchee, and spinach as well as a clear broth soup with slices of turnip and scallion, a small green lettuce salad with a flavorful sesame dressing, and a pot of steamed rice. These were all fresh and crsip and perfectly seasoned. All of these things are good to either dip or top or roll up in a lettuce leaf with your beef and eat.

The waitress lays the first batch of sliced and marinated meat on the grill and with very utilitarian tongs we then turn them as they sizzle and spit on the grill.
Ooooh, and there was a dish of garlic cloves that we tossed on the grill as well and the bean paste was excellent. It was all extremely delish-a-lishus. I'm glad I was wearing an inexpensive skirt because I sustained a couple of tiny singed holes from bits of flying hot coal.

I'd definitely like to return and maybe try some shrimp or squid on the grill...

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