If memory serves me, in a reply to a recent post, TuxGirl told me to check out a restuarant called Sam Hawk, in Provo, UT. As it turns out, Sam Hawk serves Korean food. Why she decided to compare the authenticity of Chinese and Korean food, I may never know. But as it turns out, I owed The Pete lunch, so we decided to check it out today.
Now, I have no idea why a Korean Restaurant would have a presumably American-sounding name. I'm guessing it's a pun of some sort. But they do have good food, which I'm told is very authentic. Our waitress even told us it was authentic, and she looked Korean, so I'm going to trust her on this one. This was my first time (in memory) eating Korean food, so I have little to go by. We ordered an appetizer called dukpoki, which was advertised as "rice cakes, vegetables mixed in spicy red pepper sauce." The rice cakes were like really short, really fat noodles. One might go so far as to say dumplings. They looked like penne pasta, except they weren't hollow. They were slightly rubbery, and I suspect would be largely flavorless without the sauce. But boy, that sauce was good. And yes, it was spicy. My level of spicy. Sissies need not apply.
The Pete ordered beef bulgogi and I ordered chicken bolgogi. This was described to me by James, a coworker that's too good to have a blog or homepage to link to, as being kind of like Korean fajitas. We each got a sizzling plate of meat, and then between us were "side dishes" that we could add. We also had a plate full of romaine leaves to wrap everything in. The sides were all cold, and included some kind of potato, some kind of really tasty beef, some kind of crunchy beans, some kind of omelet, what I'm guessing was kimchee, and some kind of bean sprouts.
The chicken was good. It was really good. I would have eaten it by itself. The potatoes were also a favorite. The beef was awesome. I don't know why it was only a side, because it warrented entree status, in my opinion. The omelets were nothing special. The crunchy beans were tasty, but I didn't like the way they crunched. The kimchee was... well, you must understand, I've never had kimchee before. This is largely because I hate cabbage. Obviously, I expected to hate it, based on this reasoning. But there have been a number of occassions where I've tossed my biases aside in favor of trying something new, with the hopes that I would be wrong, that I would suddenly discover a new taste sensation that would quickly become a favorite. This has been the case on a number of occassions, where I have added a new item to my list of foods that I enjoy. Kimchee did not make the cut. Fortunately, it wasn't totally awful, so there's hope. However, I don't think I can say the same for the bean sprouts. The Pete described them as tasting like his grandmother's house. And he wasn't talking about the food that his grandmother made. He was talking about the house.
We ended up liking about half the sides, and absolutely loving the entrees. We were also each served some kind of purple rice which I certainly had never seen. Sadly, it only tasted like regular white rice, but fortunately this was not a bad thing. The service might have been a tad slow, but it was extremely friendly. The food was worth coming back for. As I was paying, I saw a printed copy of the menu and asked the woman if they did carry-out. She informed me that they did not, but you could come pick up your order. Keep that in mind. All in all, I had a great time there. I am likely to go again, and possibly go often.