Irvine, CA 92604
OC Weekly's Description
There are more Korean restaurants serving sundubu jjigae in Irvine than you
can count on one hand, maybe two. Three alone are clustered in a single
shopping center at Culver and the 5 freeway, all plying the all-purpose
winter-weather balm that can tame a cold better than mom's chicken soup:
Korean soft tofu is always served in roiling, single-serving
cauldrons, flanked by an army of side dishes called banchan. Bubbling up
over the rest, the meal Kaya puts out is the cream of the Korean crop. The
soup is thick, rich, with a broth that can be made as spicy as you like and teeming
with silken bean curd, seafood and bits of meat. And then there's the rest
of the menagerie: little refillable saucers of kimchi, creamy potato salad,
cucumbers in chili paste, stir-fried glass noodles called jap chae and more.
How well these side dishes are made demonstrates the care and
quality Kaya takes with the rest of the menu. The mixed-rice dish, bibimbap,
comes in a myriad of styles. The kalbi, barbecue short ribs, is luscious and not
overly sweet. And the panjeon, Korean scallion pancakes, is clearly a
source of familial pride. It's served hot off the frying pan and at no extra
charge, like the bread at most restaurants.
Tips from foursquare
Voted Best Korean Restaurant in OC Weekly's Best Of 2011 Issue! No one has better variety or quality Korean cuisine. Click the link to download the Best Of app and view more winners!
OK meat, good tofu soups.
I love the lunch at Kaya. I like the Dolsot Bibimbap, soft tofu soup, grilled salmon lunch special, and all the lovely banchan.
Good soon dubu (tofu pot), Galbi, and seafood pancake. Not AYCE Korean BBQ place, though they do have meats. Good!
Get the Lunch Special #3.
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