Best Bibimbap - 2012
Oo-Kook Korean BBQ
At Oo-Kook Korean BBQ, the rather ritzy Korean BBQ specializing in high-quality cuts of cow (it's in the logo and name, after all), the best-known cut might be the rib-eye, but it's the yukhwe — Korean beef tartare, essentially — that should pique your interest. Your reaction to this deconstructed bibimbap made with raw steak probably hinges on your feelings about uncooked meat. Rest assured, though, Oo-Kook takes pride in its cold beef, improving it with a drizzle of sesame oil and crushed black sesame seeds. After you order, a thin metal bowl of beef and rice arrives, along with a rainbow-colored plate stacked with little piles of chilled marinated vegetables and a raw egg. Will you miss the rice-crisping factor of a sizzling stone bowl, like at rice bowl specialist Jeon Ju? Maybe, but just like skydiving, yukhwe bibimbap is something to try at least once in life. 3385 W. Eighth St., Koreatown. (213) 385-5665 (no website).