Celebrating the Greatest Ingredient to Meet Bar Food: Kimchi
You're dead to me, chili cheese fries.
Remember when I almost died at Snuffers? I tried to tackle a massive dish of chili cheese fries and was quickly defeated. After a few bites the repetition of cheese, potatoes, bacon and jalapeño quickly became redundant and halfway through the plate I had to tap out. I laid my Budweiser bottle down and walked out discouraged.
I'm glad Ssham doesn't offer kimchi fries in Snuffer's-sized portions. I'm quite certain that if presented with pounds of freshly cut and fried potatoes topped with everything at the Ssham truck's disposal I would have no control. I'd eat until they were gone, and then I'd be tempted to scrape the red-checked paper liner clean.
With sweet barbecued meat, two kinds of cheese, spicy mayo, onions, cilantro and, of course, kimchi, eating these french fries is like consuming fireworks. Normally I don't love dishes with so many components, but here the flavors work together well. And they're a hell of a lot more interesting than the chili-covered bar snack that likely inspired the dish.
Not feeling french fries? You can get a similar dips based on tortilla chips at Goghee, up at the intersection of LBJ and the tollway. That plate oozes with yellow nacho cheese in ways that are significantly more interesting than standard nachos.
Or how about a juicy hot dog with a wicked sear topped with more of the same? LA Burger has made a name for itself by heaping Korean ingredients on burgers and dogs, and now has two locations.
You can read more about all these restaurants in this week's review. If Korean flavors are new to you, this is one good way to dip your toes in the pool.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.