It’s been awhile since I’ve been truly excited about a new restaurant here. To my knowledge, Yami is the first and only fully Korean restaurant in town (www.yamikorean.com). Ripshaw and I hit it up for an early lunch and were extremely surprised by the quality of the food.
First, the restaurant is run by the Parks, a husband and wife team who recently relocated here from Southern California so they could more easily visit their children who live on opposite coasts. Ron runs the floor and his wife runs the kitchen.
We arrived right at the open so we were able to have a very pleasant conversation with Ron ranging from the proper way to drink soju to the various stages of kimchi. We started with the Korean popcorn chicken, which was great with the hot sauce, the sweet and sour sauce, and soy sauce. I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t like this dish, even picky kids. I had never had soju before, and I can safely say it’s a good match for Korean cuisine. And if Psy approves, well, what’s not to like? Our soju was chilled, and was very reminiscent of sake.
Ripshaw complains on his returns to Nebraska about how little we incorporate vegetables in our diets, so he was thoroughly pleased when Ron brought out the assorted daily vegetables (all entrees come with them, as well as rice), which included kimchi, potatoes, bean sprouts, mushrooms, carrots, and a tasty green-leaf vegetable that we couldn’t find a good English word for. A lot of times when so many little plates arrive I’m bound to hate at least one of them, but Ripshaw and I really liked all of them, which is pretty boffo, natch.
I opted for the beef bulgogi and Ripshaw had the galbi short ribs. Ron brought out kitchen shears for Ripshaw to cut apart the ribs, which was an added touch of class, and both entrees were served on sizzling hot platters, another touch of class, which keeps the food hot longer. Both dishes had wonderfully marinated and tender beef, with the bulgogi having onions and sesame seeds. Even though there looked like a lot of food, we killed it all except for the rice, and dispatched the bottle of soju with ease. For us, the rice was an unnecessary go-with, but it was cooked well.
We were also treated to a second kimchi, one which had only been sitting for a day, so we got to taste the difference between one day and one month of fermentation. We both enjoyed the month-old kimchi more because the spices and fermentation were in full force, but the fresh kimchi was pretty tasty, too.
Ron said that some customers had complained that the dishes were over-salted, but both Ripshaw and I thought they were perfectly seasoned. Then again, I am a super-taster.