We tried Koreana, the new Korean place in Pacific East Mall in Richmond. (You know where the mall is, right? It’s on Pierce not far from Central. Central is the street Costco is on. The intersection of Central and Pierce is the one with all those gas stations. It serves as the gateway to many, many freeway on-ramps. If you think you’ll be killed instead of reaching Costco when driving west on Central– particularly if you dare to stay in the lane on the right when all those people behind you want to go right on red and onto route 80 — then you know the intersection.) I have to admit that I never much liked Korean food, but I think the availability up until the last few years has not been representative of the cuisine, so I don’t have much to go on. At Koreana, they have lots of photos of the dishes outside on the glass wall to give you an idea of what some of the dishes look like, so I settled on a special that came with bibimbap, which is a rice bowl topped with strips of meat and veggies arranged nicely in a circle with a fried egg atop the whole thing, and assorted tofu soup. The bibimbap, which is eaten with chili sauce, was pretty good, I have to admit. The tofu soup, served in a hot iron casserole, contained soft tofu in a broth along with a few tiny crustaceans. I think there was soybean paste in the broth but I can’t swear to it. The soup contained only a tiny bit of seafood, which proved to be more of an annoyance than anything else, so next time I’ll get it plain. I don’t need one tiny shell-on shrimp, to be honest with you, since the thing was more eye than meat. If you like silken tofu you’ll like this soup as it was chock full of it. I was a little pissed off that they did not include the raw egg. When I asked about it at the end of the meal I was told I had to request it. It would have been nice if they mentioned this when they took my order. My special also came with a number of condiments, like kimchee and cellophane noodles, which were a Godsend to Steve, whose beef rib soup was an anemic affair. Next time he’ll look at the photos before he orders a soup We’ll go back, and I’ll be sure to request a raw egg.
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