With inspiring big success of Koggi Taco truck, non-Korean brick-and-mortar restaurants in California began to offer Korean B.B.Q items for lunch, mostly in the form of taco. Busy lunch time at Whole Foods Market in Cupertino, I happened to face with Korean B.B.Q ribs and steak on top of the menu at food court. This branch is quite bigger than other Whole Foods Markets in CA equipping great salads, diverse wines and fresh lunch menu.
Among many people waiting for their to-go sandwich, pizza and salad, several people including me stood in the line to order today’s special menu, Korean Ribs. Unlike displayed sushi boxes for people to grab and go, Korean B.B.Q requires your order and time to cook because it is hot dish with grilling, not cold dish.
While waiting for my ribs, I began to observe cooks and their kitchen taking pictures. The cook of my order seems to be Asian but I couldn’t sure whether he is native Asian or citizen here. Whether or not, I have to admit that his Asian appearance definitely helped me to credit more to my Korean lunch. He started to grill ribs along with fish from other orders. After taking few more pictures, I got my lunch box. It was all in one box lunch with steamed spinach and bean sprout on the bottom ,brown rice and four slices of Galbi ribs(Korean call this LA galbi, I don’t know why LA, though) on the top. I like one plate dish only because it doesn’t produce unnecessary waste of dishes and washing labor as byproducts.
Anyway, by the time I returned home, I was so hungry, had to open my box right away without storing shopping stuff, which are a lot, in my refrigerator. Once I opened,I found myself happily surprising becasue I saw the perfect right color of Galbi. It was just done to a turn. Great grill mark and right balance of colors with brown and dark, telling enough marinade time in sauce brought me happy smile. Then, flavor of the galbi gave me another joy. It was neither overly salty nor sweet which was interesting because Americanized Korean food tends to too sweet for me.
However, one thing they seem to miss is the texture. See, how tender Galbi is as significant as the flavor. That is why many Galbi recipes recommend putting juice of pear or kiwi. Acid of fruit makes meat tender. I don’t know what they used for tenderness, but I know that they need more.
Overall, I was very satisfied with my lunch. My fingers were messy because I tackled the whole piece of meat without forks and knife but with fingers as my custom calls for, I believe. Things left behind were the cross-cut bones on the box and my stronger desire for more.