While I am still working on my “2019 Year In Review” post, and there is a brief lull before 2020 starts hitting us full force, I thought that it is the perfect time to catch up on writing restaurant reviews. I do have a delicious back log of 2019 eats.
I would like to start by posting our most recent dining experience. By most recent, it was as recent as yesterday evening! An item on my 2020 New Year’s List is to put in more efforts as to where we would eat for date night. It will still be casual and no-stress as I intend it to be but more thought out.
For our first Saturdate of 2020, I chose (because I am the date night planner in the relationship) to go to Bow’d Korean BBQ. Korean food is our favorite comfort meal and we find ourselves at Korean restaurants quite a bit although I have not written about them on my blog. I counted 17 Korean restaurants just few blocks alone from where we live. There are hundreds more Korean restaurants in the Bay area! Bowl’d is a favorite although not what I would consider the best among those restaurants. I like Bowl’d because it is spacious and airy compared to mostly cramped and smoky Korean BBQ restaurants.
I caught a cold on Friday at work and maybe this was what prompted me to go for something hot and spicy which best describes Korean cuisine. When we walked into Bowl’d, it was surprisingly not full and there was not the usual wait of sometimes over half an hour.
I already looked at the menu before we left the house. I suggested to Mr Sweetie that we get the Two Person Combo which comes with a choice of two meats, soft tofu stew, egg souffle and rice.
We could choose two meats from the list above. I let him choose the meats because I would not be eating them (apart from a nibble to taste). I was really interested in the banchan (small dishes), egg souffle and soft tofu stew.
We got 9 banchan (some restaurants provide a dozen but 9 is typical) which consisted of kimchi, marinated veggies, boiled potatoes, cabbage and pumpkins, seaweed, bean sprouts, etc. These side dishes alone get me already full even before the main dishes arrive!
We also ordered a kimchi pancake as an extra appetizer. We both love Korean savory pancakes and we could not resist!
Mr Sweetie ordered pork belly and BBQ beef short ribs as the two BBQ meats. We could cook them at our table but we never do. He says that he does not want to cook when dining out while I could not stand the smell of smoke that clings to my hair and clothes. It is worst when cooking your own food in Asian restaurants! While he really enjoyed the short ribs because they were tender and well-marinated, he thought that the pork belly was bland. He did not eat it.
I devoured the steaming egg souffle that was so simple yet so comforting. I had no more room for the soft tofu stew.
Between the kimchi pancakes, banchan, egg souffle and 2 bowls of multi-grain rice for me; entire serving of BBQ short ribs, banchan, pancake and a bowl and half of rice for Mr Sweetie, we were close to bursting by the time we finished our meal!
We ended up taking 1/3 of the pancake, the full BBQ pork belly and soft tofu stew home. I had them for lunch and dinner the next day, Sunday, when I stayed home and could not go to church because of staying all night congested with a cold. I enjoyed the leftover pancakes and soft tofu all over again. The pork belly was indeed bland and did not have the expected marbling of fat as expected in pork belly. This is the reason why I ate it although I hardly ever eat pork, let alone pork belly. (I am used to bland food at home since I do not add salt in my food.)
It was a food coma and we practically rolled ourselves to the car that was parked three blocks away.
Stay tuned for more delicious eating adventures in 2020!
There are three Bowl’d locations in the Bay Area. We went to the one in North Oakland.