Once during an elementary Korean class, the instructor-cum-pastor said bibimbap is one of the most traditional (read: every impoverished farmer loved it) and healthy national dishes of Korea.

Obviously he never had the yuk hwe bi bim bap at Oo-kook (Cow Country) in Korea Town.

OO-Kook Cow Country

Next to a small mound of white rice lays over a quarter pound of raw shredded beef, tartared up with sesame oil and some soy sauce. The server, if gazing at pale skin instead of tanned skin, will ask: do you know how to eat the egg? To which the answer is: “yes, I love yuk hwe!”. After completion the awkward exchange, you shall crack open the accompanying factory farmed egg of unknown origin onto the pile of source-undetermined raw meat, and toss. Now is a good time to worry about the DHS ratings hung out front.

This ain’t Jar, and definitely not Rustic Canyon, so eat your yuk hwe with a heavy dose of caveat emptor. If you’re unemployed with no health insurance, stick to the “premium” AYCE KBBQ with “Kobe” at $25 per person. Lest you thought I’m some kind of deep-end diner, the yuk hwe bi bim bap was ordered because it was the only affordable item on the menu that had a healthy (raw) protein to carb ratio, ie, the choices are far and few in between if you don’t want beef that isn’t served on a grill. Then again, this is a gui (grill) house so…

Oo-Kook Yuk Hwe Bi Bim BapOo-Kook Yuk Hwe Bi Bim BapOo-Kook BanchanOo-Kook Yuk Hwe Bibimbap

A few of the high end KBBQ joints in Ktown are still serving Korean beef tartare, but after Food Inc, after mad cow disease, it takes a certain bit of gall to prominently feature a raw beef dish on restaurant wall posters and table placards. To balance the unhealthy prospects of yuk hwe, this bowl of non-dolsot (stone pot) bibimbap is served with 10 “royal” types of veggies/panchan dished in a separate plate. It’s all quite kitschy, but the end result is a bibimbap that’s finally worth the $10 price tag. It was possibly the best bowl of bibimbap ever, due to the heavy dose of moo, no doubt.

To best eat this frantic bowl of tossed rice, the vegetables/mix-in’s should be tossed with the rice on one side of the bowl, with the beef tartare remained marooned on the other. Some like their yuk hwe with only a tint of soy and sesame, others go heavy-handed and drench everything with gochujang. If there are other acceptable versions of this elsewhere, please let us know below in the comments.

OO-KOOK KOREAN B.B.Q.
oo-kookbbq.com
3385 W. 8TH STREET
LOS ANGELES, CA 90005
ph: (213)385-5665

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  • http://dianatakesabite.blogspot.com/ Diana

    I don’t think I have to say a word for you to know that I won’t be eating that. Ever.

  • TonyC

    Hey Di, did you know “tartares” are rare?

  • stan

    zack and i agree that you need to edit.

    Fail. B/B-.

  • http://www.weezermonkey.com weezermonkey

    I’m not sure I’m ready for this. I don’t even eat fancy steak tartares. Raw fish suits me, but raw beef still scares me.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Marvelous Media Meal at Minx =-.

  • http://www.infinitefress.blogspot.com Steve

    Looks compelling to me. But I’d eat at virtually anywhere on Eighth Street, aside from insect-infested Guelaguetza with its saccharine sauces.
    .-= Steve´s last blog ..Lou =-.

  • http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com sku

    Who knew you has such a squeamish readiership. Sounds great to me though. You should do a list of the top 10 raw beef dishes of LA.
    .-= sku´s last blog ..The Great Pastrami Debate: Katz’s vs. Langer’s =-.

  • http://cookiechomper.blogspot.com Cynthia

    You hit the spot! I absolutely LOVE raw beef and raw eggs! Although I don’t see the combination enough in LA. Maybe at Shinsengumi. And then there’s tartare where you get everywhere but not the Asian version which I find tastier. Thanks for this amazing find!

  • http://www.protocolsnow.com Protocol Snow

    I’ve only dared to eat raw beef once in my life, and that was at a AAA steakhouse in Beverly Hills. I’m a wimp!
    .-= Protocol Snow´s last blog ..The aftermath of my iPad ban story =-.

  • http://eattraveleat.blogspot.com Eat. Travel. Eat!

    I’ve had beef sashimi in Dubai six years ago but after that I’ve never had any sort of raw meat other than raw fish! This looks ahem…interesting. :)

    Food Inc is a nice film. Finally we don’t have to watch SuperSize Me for a lesson on food in health classes at school anymore.

  • http://theroamingbelly.blogspot.com bagnatic

    um…..why did man invent fire if you can just rip the flesh off a cow and immediately consume? our species can be so inefficient.

  • TonyC

    Well that’s easy enough Bags. Cuz neanderthal women wanted beef cooked? Happy wife, happy life yo.

  • http://nelehlovesfood.blogspot.com nelehelen

    i love yuk hwe!have you had it at gaam? it’s surprisingly good there… but it might also be cuz i was hammered and anything would’ve been good.

    i must go back to investigate.

  • http://www.foodierama.com Dave Werner

    I hope it’s OK to contact you here, We came across your blog and We’d like to invite you to appear on our Foodie site – Foodierama. Have a look at http://www.foodierama.com and send us a note on our contact form or through the email in this comment if interested. Thanks and sorry to intrude , Dave

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