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The other week, the Benchling interns (and our mentors!) tried to escape a room (we were so close) and then grabbed some Korean BBQ in Japantown! It’s all-you-can-eat, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with Korean BBQ, it’s basically plates and plates of raw meat that you grill yourself at the center of the table.
We ordered a ton of meat, including Galbi Shortless Bone Rib, Beef Brisket, Spicy Pork Belly, Spicy Chicken, Pork Skin, Bulgolgi Marinated Beef, Sweet Pepper Chicken Gizzard, among others. We didn’t order any rice to go along with our meat, but we did order a few lettuce and radish wraps, which we used to roll up bits of meat. “Meat make man strong,” Josh insisted.
I was a big fan of the Bulgolgi Marinated Beef and Spicy Pork Belly, which were each marinated with a strong, savory flavor. Tony’s table tried the Beef Honeycomb Tripe, which is the muscle wall of a cow’s stomach. “The only way to eat the tripe was swallowing it whole; chewing it in a reasonable amount of time was impossible,” Tony explained.
For Neena, our vegetarian, we ordered a side of Vegetable Bibimbap (a rice bowl with lots of veggies), and some lettuce. “Their vegetarian offerings were unsurprisingly sparse but high-caliber,” she explained. “The lettuce was crisp, fresh, and clean, and it paired nicely with their iced tea.”
We also ordered some sides, like Beef Sashimi Plate (right), which was literally a bowl of raw beef, herbs, raw egg. In addition, we ordered a bowl of Tofu Soup (left). “The sashimi bowl was good, albeit a bit too heavy on sauces,” Sherwin said.
“I like eating the meat raw because it makes me feel closer to my evolutionary ancestors,” Vineet excitedly exclaimed at some point during this meal.
We decided to be a bit adventurous later on in the meal, and ordered the Sweet Pepper Chicken Gizzard (bottom left), and Pork Skin (center). “You could say the gizzards rocked,” Mike said, after explaining that birds purposely eat rocks so that they get stuck in their gizzards to help grind up food. Emily disagreed, saying, “I couldn’t eat the gizzard, the texture was weird.”
The pork skin wasn’t particularly memorable either. “Pork skin not woke,” as Rob put it.
Overall, YakiniQ BBQ had a wide selection of meats— not all KBBQ places have tripe, gizzard, or pork skin. It was a satisfying meal to end a long day, though you should prepare yourself for being completely stuffed by the end of it all.
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