DIY Bibimbap, Artist's Alley

Kim Gwang-seok Restaurant
(김광석 식당)
Next to Su-seong bridge, Daegu

[UPDATE: Sorry folks, there is no longer DIY Bibimbap here.  The restaurant has been transformed into general drinking place.]

The Good+ Have a Bibimbap your way!
+ Tribute to Kim Gwang-Seok, guitarist
+ Stroll down Art alley
+ Friendly owners
The Bad   - Not fancy
- Sometimes closed
Best for: Lunchtimes, vegetarians, music/art lovers

The star of this show is the Do It Yourself  보리밥, also known as 비빔밥(Bibimbap) with barley rice.  A healthy array of ingredients stretches across the kitchen table, including lettuces, seaweeds, tofu, radish, bean sprouts and sauces.  Just arm yourself with a metal bowl, load up with some rice, and add as much or as little of whatever you wish.  Just remember that the 고추장 (red pepper paste) is key.  And be sure to add a squirt of sesame oil and even some soup to the 비빔(bibim), or "mix," for that extra shine.

For those familiar with bean-paste soup, 된장찌게 (Dwen-jang-jji-gae), it's very potent and delicious here.  For a beverage, fill up a bowl of their rice water.  Be warned that the 무말랭이(Mu-mal-laeng-i), or dried radish in a red pepper sauce, (pictured at the far end of the table) is crunchy and better off in a side-dish separate from your bibimbap.

  The bibimbap is \4,000, a bit more pricey than your orange kimbap joint.  However, the high-quality veggies fresh from the market are well worth it.  The lengthy menu (see below) also contains all the usual market foods, although I've only ever come here for the bibimbap.  

Hand-modelling work courtesy of Mark, Ltd.

It's a cozy little place, about the length of several market booths.  It has 김광석 written all over it, literally.  His lyrics describe the menu items, the walls are covered with his portrait, and his quiet, relaxing jams flow from the radio.  There seems to be a random assortment of owners/workers that constantly come, work and go, including a very nice lady who insisted on bringing us anything we forgot from the buffet line.

After eating, if you haven't got enough of 김광석 yet, check out the art alley.  Since his suicide, dozens of artists and sculptors descended on this kilometer-long stretch of wall, which passes where 김광석 grew up.  Many of their murals and sculptures are creative and interesting; others are dark and depressing; and make what you will from the masterpiece behind the pink window shutters.

[The nearby 'Kim Kwang-Seok Alley' can be seen via Safpics...master of the Korean pic blogs.]

The restaurant is located between Beomeo and Downtown, in 방천시장 (Bang-Cheon Market).  It's also on the SW corner of 수성교 (Suseong Bridge).  A cab driver should know either place.     

See map

But the best landmark is the statue of 김광석 playing his guitar, which marks the entrance to his tribute alley.  Walk down that alley and the restaurant is on your immediate right, on a narrow market street.

By subway, take the Green-line (line 2) to 경대병원역 (Kyungbuk University Hospital Station).  Go out exit 3, and it's about a 5-minute walk, or 4 side-streets down on your right, just after the over-priced VIPS steak house.

The blue columns on the left are 김광석's lyrics. 

[If you dig the market-food scene, I recommend a few other ROKin' Daegu locations.  Try the Bulgogi Tents near downtown, pig feet in Seomun Market, and live octopus at Chilseong Market.]

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