Korean food, unlike many other forms of Asian cuisine, is sexy. Seriously sexy. How can you get hot and bothered over something called xiao long bao or bun mang vit? Not to leave Filipino and Japanese cuisine out of the equation, but do we really even need to even mention natto or balut?
Korean food is flashy, spicy and flavorful. They use a lot of sesame oil, chili pepper, soy sauce and garlic. According to Wikipedia, the Koreans use more garlic than anyone else in Asia and the Northern Mediterranean. Yes, this includes Italy.
I know this because I am somewhat of a fanatic when it comes to Korean food. There’s a lot of great places that serve good Korean food on the island (I’ve also sampled most of what Oahu has to offer) and believe that the best place to eat meat jun, my favorite Korean dish, is JB’s Kitchen in Wailuku.
JB’s Kitchen is small. There are four or five tables and often the same person takes your order, answers the phone, cooks the food and washes the dishes. But don’t worry, because the person behind the counter on any given afternoon has magical powers. For real. There’s no other explanation behind the quick service, delicious food and reasonable prices.
I’ll never forget the first time that I walked into JB’s. My husband picked me up from work so we could have some lunch together. Not to sound like the spoiled brat that I kind of am, but when we pulled up along side the tiny building my eyebrows shot up.
Huh? I thought. You have got to be kidding.
When I was thinking “lunch” I was thinking Koho’s or Ruby’s–at least someplace with air conditioning.
“Do you trust me?” my husband asked.
Not really, but I decided to be a good sport.
It turns out that JB’s not only has air conditioning, but awesome food as well. We ordered the meat jun and spicy chicken. And we got our food in less than 10 minutes.
The banchan (side dishes) were very delicious. I’m very picky about kimchee and JB’s is the best. The cabbage is spicy and tart, but doesn’t have any weird fishy aftertaste like so many others do.
The meat jun, (thinly sliced beef dipped in egg then pan fried, for you unfortunate souls that have not yet tried it) was absolutely succulent. I’ve never tasted meat jun that was so tender and flavorful.
The spicy chicken was perfect. There was very little fat on the meat, and it was juicy and extremely tasty. I love spicy food, but my husband doesn’t, and even he enjoyed it. He needed copious amounts of water, sure, but he enjoyed it.
Thankfully, JB’s Kitchen is located close to my office, though if it were 50 miles away, I’d still go there at least once a week. MTW