“It’s like Chipotle,” our cheerful server says as we belly up to the counter and study the alluring array of ingredient possibilities in this small but stylish restaurant and carry-out, self-described as “Korean American Fusion.” Chipotle isn’t what we want to hear, but we realize she’s just trying to get us involved in the process of selecting what we’d like to add to our hot stone bowl of bibimbap ($11.95-$13.95, depending on choice of meat), the largest, priciest thing on the menu. We tell her to just go ahead and put “everything” in the bowl, with a double tap of beef for our protein choice, finished with a medium-hot pepper paste and bulgogi sauce. We added more pepper paste to help us break a sweat.
Our hot bowl was every bit as good as anything we’ve had around town at other Korean joints, with succulently marinated bulgogi, fresh shredded vegetables, and sticky, glutinous rice, all topped with a freshly cracked egg that was ready to be stirred into savory submission in the searing-hot bowl. And fuck Chipotle: The rest of the menu here guarantees you will never experience dining fatigue here the way you may have on swollen franchise burritos and bowls. We’re talking kimchi fried rice ($6.50), delicately browned fried meat dumplings with a perfect chili/sesame/soy sauce ($5.50), super-fresh Vietnamese-style spring rolls ($2.75, although next time we’d skip the mock-crab part because it ain’t our thing—though they're no longer available since we visited), and airy scallion pancakes ($9). Nothing is bad here. It’s all fresh and prepared in a bright, welcoming atmosphere, and you can ask for smaller portions of practically anything on the menu. You’ll never burn out on this place.