Palace Korean Restaurant

By weeklyvolcano on May 1, 2009


Slow-Burn-Palace Ra Bok Ki
Palace Korean Restaurant
Price: $7.95
Burn Factor: one out of four Molotov cocktail

Lunchtime decisions in Lakewood's Korean Town are like a playing a game of Boggle with a dyslexic. You kind of have to guess what you're going to get. As I pass signs for businesses advertising "Day Care and Pianos," housed all in one store, I rely on my luck to hit something warm and tasty. Within the same parking lot as one of my favorite sushi places, Kyoto Japanese Restaurant lies Palace Korean Restaurant – one of the best places in Lakewood to find true Korean BBQ. The real kind, where you have your own personal grill in the center of the table and all.

For lunch, I kept it simple. Not recognizing any of the dishes on their lunchtime menu, I asked the barely English-speaking server what spicy dish she recommended. "Ra Bok Ki. It has pan fried rice cake in spicy sauce with Ramen noodle," she informed me. It sounded harmless, so Ra Bok Ki it was.

Within this humungous plate of Korean spicy sauce swam thin, floppy pan-fried rice cakes and large tubes of what I can only assume was something of the pasta variety. Beneath the large "pasta" tubes hid a nest of Ramen noodles cradling one lonesome hard-boiled egg. The "spicy" sauce was far from anything that would burn my mouth. No peppery fire, no blazing chilies. To me it was a red sauce with cultural flavors, and that was that. I tried to ask the server what the red sauce was made of, but a language barrier prevented me from gathering any information.

As random as this dish was, it was everything I expected out of lunchtime in Korean Town: Traditional, un-Americanized Korean food. Next time, 'I'm playing with the grills.

[Palace Korean Restaurant, 8718 S Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.581.0880