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Don's Bogam

Pia Mileaf-Patel

$40 a person

First of all, let me just preface this with the fact that my little brother, Emlyn (it’s a Welsh name), doesn’t eat anything. He eats pasta, and rice, dumplings, chicken soup, some French fries, and foods along that line of thought, but anything exotic, or with sauce is completely out of the question. Lately he’s been expanding his palate, but not very widely. Why, then, when my family was trying to find a place to go out after my violin concert, did he suggest a Korean Barbecue restaurant?

            One of my favorite types of food is Korean food, and Korea Town is a pretty quick walk from my apartment, so we’ve sort of picked out our favorite places to go to. The problem is, we all have different favorites. My grandpa has his crazy takeout system of getting dumplings for my brother from one place, going across the street and getting barbecued meat for my grandma at another place, going down the block and picking up the best tofu soup at a third place for my mom, and so on. Is it possible that Don’s Bogam is a one-stop destination, with food that we all love?

            Located one block east of the busy, bright main street of Korea Town, Don’s Bogam is a modern, trendy restaurant, with big glass panel windows in the front, and elevated tables with burners in the middle, to grill your meat at the table. They have lots of dishes, like bimbimbap, a mixed up rice dish, and particularly fantastic dumplings, fried to golden perfection {later to be found out, one of the driving forces of my brother picking this for dinner}. However, the main attraction of Don’s Bogam is their marinated barbecue meat.

            Our waiter took our order, and promptly brought a display of small dishes like bean sprouts, spinach with sesame, kimchi, and an almost candied lotus root dish. Then, after our dumplings and japchae {glass noodles, sautéed with vegetables and mushrooms}, which we devoured in moments, came meat to go on the grill on the middle of the table. We’d ordered the marinated steak, under advisement of my eleven-year-old brother, who’d been there with a friend, and the waiter grilled it to perfection in front of our watering mouths.

            I have to say, I don’t know if it’s because of the fact that the meat wasn’t served in typical American portioning, or the fact that my brother, who doesn’t eat protein, ate almost all of the meat, but there were only four of us eating dinner, and after two orders of beef, we were still a little bit hungry. I, of course, took this as an opportunity to order more food ;).

            To finish up, we had hot bimbimbap, a sort of fried rice with meat and egg and vegetables, which is just really, really, really yummy. Even Emlyn had some, and admitted to liking it {!}. This was probably the best kind I’ve ever tried, and I was very happy to be eating at Don’s Bogam.