I have a lot to say about this meal. First, don't eat this for lunch right before a noon meeting.
1. Let's talk about Korean food. I rarely eat it alone. It's almost always an affair. We would order a bevy of meats, ringed by platelets of banchan-- those random pickled and other assorted side dishes. My favorites are fish cake and dried anchovies.
On the rare occasion, I would order a dumpling soup.
Today, I ordered kimchi fried rice. For protein, it came with little chunks of beef and SPAM. It was damn tasty, especially with some smokey hot sauce on top. I was not expecting banchan. Unfortunately, they were not as good as the fried rice.
2. Now let's talk about this eatery's location. In America, there is a chain of Chinese supermarkets called Ranch 99. Basically, if there are a lot of Chinese residents in a town, it gets a Ranch 99 market. There's a Ranch 99 in Richmond, and it anchors a strip mall that contains a number of businesses that caters to Chinese people-- restaurants, real estate offices, Chinese medicine stores, fortune tellers, etc. This Korean eatery is in the same strip mall. Even though this Korean place has been around for a few years, I never ate there because I didn't know how good a Korean place would be in a Chinese-dominated strip mall. Now you know what goes on in my bulbous head when I make food decisions.
3. You'll notice that I categorized this as a South Korean eatery. I could have just counted this as "Korean". However, I want to check North Korea off the list only after I have eaten at a restaurant owned and/or operated by the North Korean government.
Here is a video of a North Korean restaurant in Amsterdam. Creepy as hell. Check out the manager whispering to the poor waitresses as they are being interviewed.
Countries tried so far:
Asia: China, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea
North America: Mexico, USA