Monday, July 31, 2006

Still loving the bibimbap

After trying the refreshing tofu-veggie bibambap at Farmer's Market's La Korea, readers tipped me off the the dol sot bibimbap at Sake House Miro on La Brea. It never would have occurred to me to look for a Korean dish at this cute Japanese pub, but since it's one of the few Asian restaurants of any type near my office, I rushed over to try it the first chance I got. Of course, L.A. was still in the grips of Bangkok-level humidity, and the dol sot part indicates that the mixed vegetable and rice dish is served in a steaming hot granite bowl. The server mixes a raw egg into the mixture which includes marinated beef strips, shitake mushrooms, spinach and rice, then anoints the mixture with hot sauce to the specified level of spiciness. Since the granite bowl holds the heat forever, it takes a good long time to cool off. When it finally does, it's worth it, because the egg is cooked through, and the rice that comes into contact with the hot bowl has formed a tasty crispy crust that's like a prize at the bottom of the dish. This is my new favorite Korean dish, but I have to say this version was much more decadent and filling than the room-temp veggies and tofu adorning the first one I tried. So remember: when it's over 80 degrees, go for the regular bibimbap. On a cool winter day when you want a dish to stick to your ribs, try the flavorful, crunchy dol sot bibimbap.