Oh, Restaurant Silla, how I love you. For your delightfully quirky ambiance (the place doubles as a karaoke bar), for your neat little neon sign, for your unconventional entrance (a side door accessible via a long, narrow hallway). And, of course, for your authentic, tasty Korean eats.
Bethia Woolf wrote an exhaustive guide to the city's Korean dining scene for Crave's March issue, and the day I was editing it, I couldn't stop craving Korean food. So I headed up to the shopping center at the corner of Henderson and Reed for a feast.
Silla's one of the longest-operating Korean restaurants in town, the place where many people got their first taste of Korean specialties like bulgogi. The menu's bigger now, incorporating sushi rolls and other frequently ordered Asian dishes, but it's still a reliable destination for real-deal Korean favorites.
My go-to Korean comfort food dish is Dolsot Bibimbap, a rice dish brought to the table in a scalding-hot stone pot. It's basically a bed of sticky rice topped with a careful arrangement of thin-cut veggies, a bit of beef and a raw egg. You douse it in provided chili sauce and stir with chopsticks so the egg breaks and combines with the chili to make a rich, thick sauce.
My design nerd side loves the visually appealing presentation, while my food nerd side loves the crunchy rice bits that form as the stone pot continues to cook the sticky rice while you're eating.