Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Rate-A-Restaurant #272: Bibigo
Location: 225 S. Beverly (Beverly Hills)
Type of restaurant: Korean
We stipulated: We were invited by CJ Foods, the corporate office behind Bibigo, to sample their new fast casual restaurant in Beverly Hills.
They stipulated: "Our brand name 'Bibigo' is a Korean-English portmanteau from the Korean 'bi-bi-da,' or 'to mix,' and the English 'to-go,' blending quick service and convenience with a bold new interpretation of Korean culinary tradition."
What we ordered: We shared veggie wrap tapas; shrimp salad; Steak bibimpbap; hot stone bibimbap with tofu; and black sesame tofu pudding.
High point: The shrimp salad came with a delicious Korean mustard dressing and was amazingly flavorful. The bibimbap dishes were perfect portions.
Low point: Strangely enough, the "veggie wrap" contained meat. That was fine for us, but vegetarians beware. (I guess they are literally referring to the fact that the wrap is lettuce, so technically it is "veggie").
Overall impression: Korean food meets fast casual -- it's a good concept, and an obvious one here in L.A. Good selection, decent food. Bibigo is actually a part of Korean food company CJ's major push here in the U.S.; the company has also introduced a line of sauces and frozen foods in supermarkets. We brought home some spicy Korean BBQ sauce and have incorporated it into our cooking.
Chance we'll go back: If I worked closer to the location, I would probably include Bibigo in my regular lunch rotation. It's not necessarily a destination, but if you're nearby, it's worth checking out.