Saturday, October 3, 2009


I believe Pal-Do might be a national chain but I'm not too sure. I do know that there are a couple of these Korean supermarket/restaurants around Seattle. I was able to try one out just recently.

The restaurant is sort of "makeshift" and attacked to a supermarket. It seems they just put up sheetrock to section off this area for a mini-restaurant that only has about 9-10 tables crammed in this area. But, I find that a lot of these small hole-in-the-wall places serve up the best eats (I will be reviewing some of them shortly).

You're supposed to order at the counter, which is actually a cut-out window. They have all the usual Korean restaurant goodies, so I was at least familiar with what I was ordering. Luckily I was able to sample a bunch of dishes like beef soup, japchae (Korean noodles), potstickers, kalbi (marinated short-ribs), bulgogi (marinated thinly-sliced beef), and of course all of those little Korean side dishes that are served to compliment the dishes.

One of my all-time favorite Korean dishes is kalbi, the marinated short-ribs. I love it when they grill it up so there's somewhat of a charred taste to them. The meats are almost always served up on a sizzling hot cast-iron platter (be careful not to touch the metal part). I had the purple rice, which is similar to brown rice with respect to the better nutritional value than white rice.

The service is friendly and they will bring out your order when it is piping hot and ready. They do a great job of making sure you have everything you need but might not check up on you periodically like in other restaurants. It is more of a self-serve place where you even get your own water/tea and stuff like that.

The meats were marinated and charred nicely. My favorite part of eating traditional Korean food is the presence of all of the mini side dishes. I love the mashed potato, sweet soy beans, pickled radish, etc. This place had one I've never tried before.....sliced hot dog in tomato sauce. It was an interesting side with this type of food, but I still ate it and liked it.

And here we go with my 5-doughnut rating system:
  • Service, N/A= I don't think I should really rate them on service because a large part is self-serve. They do bring out your order when it's ready, but that's about it. They are very friendly, however.
  • Atmosphere/Location, 1.5 doughnuts= The atmosphere is kind of unattractive. It's rather enclosed, small, and not in a very comfortable setting. The location is also a little weird. It's easily accessible since it's inside a supermarket, but that's also part of the reason why it's in a weird spot.
  • Food Presentation, 2.5 doughnuts= I love how the meats come out all charred and still sizzling on those cast-iron hot plates. Some of the side dishes, however, didn't look as fresh and appealing.
  • Taste, 2.5 doughnuts= The dishes tasted pretty good, although I have tried better. I think the best part of the meal was the kalbi and the sweet soy beans. The bulgogi was good, but I think it could have used a little more flavor. With the different marriage of flavors from all the dishes, everything did seem to work well together.
  • Cost/Value, 3.5 doughnuts= It's not the best Korean food, but for the price, it's great. I think the big meat dishes were only about $7 each, which isn't bad at all. The kalbi did taste like it would be served in any other really good Korean restaurant.
  • Overall, 2.5 doughnuts= I think the food here is good and filling. If you have a craving for kalbi and some other fast Korean dishes without spending too much, then this is the place to go. And, if you feel like buying any type of Asian groceries, it's right outside the restaurant.



  1. I love Korean food! The best part is the BBQ where you can cook everything yourself. So much fun and a great way to experience another culture's food.

  2. I always rate the Korean restaurant by the quality of their kimchee. Sadly, since visiting Korea a couple years ago and eating my weight (and some) there, I haven't quite yet found a restaurant that lived up to my expectations.

    Probably why I stay away from Korean restaurants here.

  3. Joanna, yeah, me too. I've already been to a couple of those real Korean BBQ places where you cook your own food. I'll be visiting another one soon, so look out for the review. It is a different and fun experience cooking your own food, unless you're crazy starving.

    E, I know what you mean. I'm sure in Korea the kimchee was out of this world. I'll let you know if I eat any that's worth trying for you.

  4. I am new to the Seattle area and I am excited to have some good ideas of where to eat. Thanks!!

  5. Tiffanee, welcome. This restaurant was alright, but I do know of some better ones. I'll be reviewing them soon. Keep posted. Thanks.

  6. LOVE Korean food, especially the little dishes they bring you witht the meal.