Friday, March 18, 2011

#1 Korean BBQ

Kimchi...oh just the mention of it can make some people's nose hairs curl in disdain. As one of Korea's most well known foods, this funky fermented cabbage is an "acquired taste".   My husband, having immersed himself for 2 years in Korea and the Korean culture, hails himself to be some what of an expert on Korean cuisine.  When he first attempted to get me to eat kimchi, I literally turned my nose up at it.  I had to do some thing to get it away from its pungent fragrance.  But I did soften up and I was hooked on kimchi when I was pregnant with kiddo #1.  Yep, kimchi and cream filled doughnuts kept me content for a whole 9 months.  Don't let my hubby tell you otherwise!! 

In Lacey and Olympia, there are a few Korean restaurants.  One that my family and I have grown to really enjoy is the #1 Korean BBQ.  Family owned and operated, we are always greeted with a warm smile and seated quickly.  You have the option of eating at a regular table or, if you chose to, you can BBQ your own meat at one of their special  tables that has a grill in the middle of it.  You cook, they'll be happy with your food.

Their menu offers many authentic Korean dishes such as, Doenjang Jigae (a soybean paste soup), Bulgolgi (thinly sliced meat that has been marinated in a delicious sauce.  Literally means "fire meat" because you grill it up.), and Dolsot Bibimbap (a Korean "stir fry", if you will.  Usually served in a piping hot stone bowl.)

After ordering your entree  you will be brought 6-8 Korean side dishes called, Banchan.  Some of the most commonly served are kimchi, seasoned bean sprouts, roasted anchovies (don't be intimidated.  They are REALLY good!), spicy cucumbers, and pickled radishes.  I always feel like I am getting a meal before my meal with these.  Bonus!  They are very flavorful and a perfect way to start your meal. 

Dolsot bibimbap with egg on top.

On our most recent visit, my husband and I ordered the Dolsot Bibimbap and the Bulgolgi.  Both came out piping hot, one still cooking in a stone bowl (make sure you request that your bibimbap be "dolsot" if you want it in the stone bowl!) and the other sizzling on a cast iron skillet.  My husband always orders his bibimbap with an egg on top.  It may cost you an extra buck, but it makes the dish very tasty.  If you do order any of the different types of bibimbap, let the rice continue to cook on the sides of the bowl.  It becomes a lil' crispy layer of goodness that provides wonderful texture to the dish. A top the rice was various veggies and thinly sliced beef.  It was a little overcooked, but I think that is nature of Korean cuisine.  My hubby mixed everything together and added some gochujang (a chili pepper paste) to kick up the heat a notch.  The different flavors and textures make this dish a winner in my book!  My Bulgolgi was also a very rewarding dish.  The beef is marinated in a soy based sauce to provide an excellent flavor and enhance the tenderness of the meat.  They provide, lettuce leaves, whole cloves of garlic, and an excellent dipping sauce called samjang.  Wrap everything up in a lettuce leaf for little package full of flavor being delivered straightaway to your face!! 
Dolsot bibimbap all mixed up!

Even though I wouldn't consider this the best Korean food I have ever had, it is a great place to experience good Korean food.  Always fast, ALWAYS friendly, I feel confident in recommending others to go enjoy some delightful Korean eats there.  They also sell their homemade kimchi if you decide that it's something you just can't live without it. One last  thing that I love about this place is that they do offer a military discount of 10%.  You may leave this place smelling of something fierce, but your bellies will be full and satisfied.  Eat well my friends!
#1 Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon


  1. I love Bulgolgi! When my dad was in the military, we were stations in Germany with a Korean neighbor who made it for us all the time. Then when we moved here, one of our new neighbors would make it for us, too. I'll have to go try it out, as none of my current neighbors will make me dinner :( Thanks for the info. We're trying to get our kids to eat new things. Yesterday we fed them Tai Chicken Pizza, which I love, and we got some pretty good reviews!

  2. Nice! I'll have to get that recipe from ya :) Oh and your banana bread recipe! Sooo yummy!

  3. I doubt I could ever get Dave to try it out, but I'm totally game. Especially if I've got an expert like Chad at the table! (where is it located?)

  4. April it's right off of Martin. Click on the Urban Spoon link and it will bring up the details for ya. They have more "Americanized" foods too. Dave could do terriyaki right? :)

  5. I am in love with bibimbap. There's a place in the mall nearby that does restaurant level bibimbap as fast food and holy kimchi is it good. Next time we all get together, let's drag everyone to Korean food!!

  6. Marie, I can't wait to eat with you ;)

  7. We eat at #1 Korean Barbecue often. The spicy pork is incredible. Love the variety of appetisers that come with every meal, too. Best of all, on a Saturday afternoon in the fall they had an Oregon Duck game on the big screen TV. Gotta love that in this land of Huskies.

  8. We appreciate your business. Please make sure to visit us again.


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