The Park Slope Gastronome

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Team Ubuntu bids Rabbi Paul adieu and eats a lot of Korean BBQ

After six years of dedicated service to the children of South Africa, Rabbi Paul is saying farewell to Ubuntu. If I have any say in the matter, he will pursue a career in televangelism, make obscene amounts of money and dedicate the rest of his life to Ubuntu – but for free! No, actually, he’ll PAY.

To properly send him off, Jake and Lara (with a healthy dose of subterfuge, courtesy of Sus) planned a surprise goodbye party for Rabbi Paul at Woo Chon in Koreatown. While we waited for Sus to deliver the “package”, we got started with a couple of Hite beers. After a whole night of them, this is where I felt like I was. Doesn’t it look grand?!

Upon the honoree’s arrival and the yelling of “surprise!”, we all sat down so the amazing feast could begin. First, they brought out little dishes of kimchi and all of the other little deliciousnesses they serve you at Korean restaurants, which I just learned are called banchan. My favorites were the octopus and drunken crab type thingies. I was making some amazing combo-bites with the octopus and something else, but I don’t remember what it was. Whatever it was, it had a great texture. It was probably some sort of sliced up radish dish.

Next, our waitress brought out some yummy Sae Woo Bojm, which are steamed shrimp dumplings wrapped in lettuce. They looked just like adorable brussels sprouts! After that, it was time to get really serious, so we started the table-grilling portion of the evening. We began with a huge plate of what I believe was Wang Galbi (prime rib filleted off the bone – king sized!). We grilled it up, flipping it with our chopsticks (just like YL does when making bacon) until it was ready to be eaten. Most of us like our beef on the rare side, so it was ready pretty quickly. I took my first piece and wrapped it in a leaf of romaine with a bit of tasty red bean paste. It was mouthwateringly delicious! Soon, to aid in my consumption of savory galbi, I abandoned the whole lettuce leaf idea entirely. Jake remarked that he was on the wrong half of the table with me, Rabbi Paul and Sus, because of our take no prisoners attitude toward eating. We were ruthless and probably ate twice as much as the other half of the table. The prime rib was followed by Dak Gui (sliced chicken breast) and a vegetarian friendly bibimbop. Jake was feeling orderer’s remorse over the former. While I thought the chicken was really tasty, I probably would not order it again. Instead, I would opt for the triple layer pork, provided all of my dining companions were ok with that program.

Then came the piece de resistance – Teak Galbi, which is parenthetically noted on the menu as being PREMIUM. This delectable galbi is thick cuts of Black Angus rib. Feast your eyes on this picture of it sizzling on our table:

Here’s a picture of Newell gnawing (phrase coined by Dr. Lief):

And here is one of me gnawing on the same bone (Gross? Sure. Amazingly delicious? Absolutely.):

After speeches, toasts and an inordinate amount of beer and sake, Newell was presented with this wonderful gift (it’s a picture of the cutest little girl ever):

Here’s a great picture of Lara and the rabbi:

Then we had fruit and some more beer and sake. At the end of the night, everything pretty much looked like this:

Well Paulie, mazel tov! Your next group of co-workers will be some of the luckiest people in the entire workforce! But then again, I have never actually worked with you, so what do I know?

I do know this. Once I was eating breakfast at Everest Diner with Newell and he gave me his last piece of bacon. For no apparent reason, other than he knew that I probably wanted it, as I love bacon more than just about anything. To me, that is really the spirit of ubuntu, and Paul’s got so much of it. Thank you and catch you later on down the trail, albeit a short one (Remember P? I called you three times today to ask you silly questions! Oh, and we don’t even work together now.).

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Anonymous Chooky said...

I didn't love Woo Chon when I went there a few months ago. The kalbi was good but not great. But then again I didn't try these 'premium' versions. Maybe I should go back.

The bigger problem is I am a ssamjang addict and it wasn't the greatest at Woo Chon. The best I've had in K-Town is Won Jo. Their ssamjang for make glorious kalbi benefit.

Looks like you had fun though.

June 29, 2007 11:26 AM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

I've never ordered kalbi dishes at Woo Chon. I generally stick with the jigaes or dolsot bibimbops there. In theory I would only like to go to places with hot coals opposed to gas grills, but that's not always possible.

I've had chicken, shrimp and mushroom gui only when eating with humans of the non-Korean variety. It's just never as good as the beef. Chicken can be decent, but shrimp is always a rip - you'll get like 6 pieces for $20. Not worth it. Also the few mushroom caps and onion rings that come with the beef are all the veggies I need! I suppose it'd be different with a vegetarian in your party but it would never occur to me to order anything but kalbi when eating Korean bbq. I should branch out and get pork belly one day.

CLC, how come you've never asked me about banchan? The spicy raw crab is my brother's favorite and not a dish you see regularly. You got lucky! The best banchan spread of recent memory was in Suwon, South Korea last summer.

I love Hite. Granted, it's not really a very good beer, but it goes down nice and smooth. It's like a High Life which again is not really a good bear, but I love drinking it.

And no soju????

June 29, 2007 12:11 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

I love Hite and the Champagne of Beers too. Like you said, not very good, but very enjoyable all the same.

And yes, Chooky, we did have a lot of fun. I had so much fun I had to call out the next day...

June 29, 2007 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Chooky said...

That's the best type of fun. I'm curious, given your name, if you've been to Chino Latino in Minneapolis. Nothing great but pretty good for Minneapolis food.

June 29, 2007 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Chooky said...

Won Jo has hot coals btw.

June 29, 2007 2:24 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

Oh boy. I just looked at the Chino Latino website. I've never been to Minneapolis, but if I ever visit, I will certainly make a point of eating at this establishment. When I clicked on the "sexy pictures" link, I had no idea just how sexy they would be. Also, I'm not really CL, though I have always felt that if I said I was half Chinese and half Guatemalan no one would have any reason to disbelieve me.

June 29, 2007 2:50 PM  

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