Bar Dojo is a gem. Over the course of our year in quarantine we’ve made a point of patronizing the restaurants/chefs that we want to make sure survive this difficult time. Bar Dojo (and the rest of their restaurant family) are an absolute favorite. They’re doing some creative and inspiring work with a Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flair. There’s a latin influence that pops its head frequently as well (Birria Ramen comes to mind).
Spicy Beef Bulgogi Fries were one of the recent specials. I caught a glimpse of it on Instagram and knew I had to try it. The description they provided was “served with shoestring fries, marinated flank steak, smoked gouda, spicy miso sauce, scallions, and sesame seeds.” I trust Chef Brambila implicitly at this point, but I just hoped that this would survive the journey back to my house in their takeout container.
I had nothing to worry about. I ordered online, requested that the order be delivered to my car, and they were ready right on time. The 10 minute drive back to my house was perfumed with garlic and scallions…I was starving. Thinking ahead, I had my wife put a dinner plate in the oven so that the fries could maintain their temperature for a bit longer once we pulled the dish from the container.
At $15 you’d expect this to eat like a meal, and it did. The first thing I noticed was how generous the portion of beef was. Definitely a dinner serving. My wife and I ended up sharing it which left room for a bit of additional snacking, but we were happy with the amount of food. The beef was beautifully cooked. The marinade had a familiar Korean umami flavor, and the tender cuts were charred perfectly. I don’t remember a single weird gristly bit in the whole dish.
The fries themselves pretty good. I’m generally not going to choose shoestring fries when there’s another option, and I thought there was a decent risk of getting totally soggy. I was wrong. They’re 4mm (just over 1/8th of an inch) and seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. Even after getting buried under the smoked gouda, miso sauce, and steak, they stayed crispy and provided some texture to the dish. They obviously soaked up a lot of the sauce and grease, but I’m convinced that these were better than they would have been with a thicker cut.
Bottom line, these were awesome. There are dishes that I’ve had at Bar Dojo that I enjoyed more (spicy pork noodles, pork dumplings, ahi tuna nachos, ramen) but I’d be tempted to get them again. I’m sure they’d be even better if they were eaten at the restaurant rather than through takeout. Let’s all hope that we’re close to having that opportunity again soon.