Good Taste: Bibimbapping east of Broad

Posted: September 27, 2012

Yong Chi has done much to introduce the pleasures of bibimbap to the Center City mainstream at Giwa, his lunchtime nook on the 1600 block of Sansom Street.

Now he has taken his hot stone bowls to the east side of Broad Street with larger Rice & Mix, showcasing Korean flavors in a sleek build-your-own-bowl concept inspired by chains like Chipotle Grill.

Choose your protein (tender spicy chicken, pork, bulgogi beef, vegetarian) and format, which range from traditional sundubu (soft tofu casseroles) to jap chae (vermicelli stir-fries). But Chi's best remains the bountiful bibimbap rice bowls topped with veggies, meat, and spicy sauce (though sweeter sauces are available here).

The traditional cold style is a perfect warm-weather meal, especially with purple-hued multigrain rice. When chilly weather sets in, though, there's nothing as comforting as a hot stone "dolsot" bowl toasting the rice to a golden crisp.

Try the Koreana-style for an authentic touch. Heat levels are decidedly tuned to American palates, but Korean-level spice and even a raw egg (to stir into the hot stone bowl) can be added upon request.

- Craig LaBan

Koreana-style chicken bibimbap in a hot stone bowl, $11.50, Rice & Mix, 1207 Walnut St., 215-574-3500.

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