There are some aspects of Korean dining that we with American restaurants would adopt, such as the good service and complementary herbal tea.
A Korea restaurant called "Touch of Seoul" used to be where Spicy Corea is now, and in fact the awning still bears the former name.
we'd parcicularly like it if more restaurants served an arry of small bowls filled with vegitables and other foods (call them side dishes, appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, whatever) as part of the meal the way Spicy Corea in Provo does.
Where : 43 N, University Ave, Provo, UT 84601
Hours : 11:30 a.m. ~ 9:30 p.m. Monday ~ Saturday
Information : (801) 377 - 7330
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Hallyu!! What could be more fun? Swooning with Jan Di over Jun Pyo and Ji Hoo in "Boys Over Flowers." Wishing you could dance as great as Eunhyuk from "Super Junior." Amazed how G-Dragon pulls off that crazy Airport Fashion and still looks stellar? Have I lost you? I am sure there are some readers still with me. And that my friends, is the power of what is known as the growing Hallyu or riding the Korean wave.
Korean pop culture is becoming more and more prominent in American society. You can even watch some of my beloved K-dramas on Netflix now! If you don’t know what I am referring to just search for my all-time favorite, "Boys Over Flowers," and push play; you can thank me later. Or maybe "Rooftop Prince," "Spring Waltz," "My Girlfriend’s a Nine-Tailed Fox", or "City Hunter" will be more your style; all fabulous!
So, yes, as you can tell I am kind of a fanatic. I have definitely caught the K-drama fever! And it doesn’t stop there. I am also an avid fan of K-pop, and no, not just of Psy and "Gangnam Style." Korean pop groups such as 2pm, Super Junior, Big Bang, 2NE1, and many others can be found on my playlist at all times.
And now that I sound like the obsessed president of the Korean pop culture fan club, let me explain. I have always been fascinated with world cultures. I studied geography at BYU, taking a special enthusiasm for the study of various cultures all over the globe. I am intoxicated by the societies, trends, histories, religions, films, music and peoples of many nations. South Korea just happens to be one of the tops on my list!
And I haven’t even mentioned the food yet! Kimbap, jap chae, kimchi, bulgogi, bibimbap, kalbi, samgyeopsal, ddeokbokki! I could go on and on; they are all delicious dishes! So it’s no wonder that a while back I wanted to introduce my fellow Lunch Ladies, none of whom had ever experienced Korean food, to one of my favorite genres of cuisine.
The first time I took them to Spicy Corea, my favorite local eatery for authentic Korean cuisine, they were admittedly a little hesitant, especially to try kimchi. It was uncharted territory and I pretty much had to order for each of them; now we go frequently and they even can be found happily experimenting and branching out.
Here is what we enjoyed on our most recent visit:
Jennette: Jap Chae $8.99
Oh man; if you want a delicious lunch, you should try Spicy Corea. I tried Jap Chae and I wasn't disappointed at all. This dish is Korean noodles heaped with onions, carrots, deliciously marinated beef, bell peppers and topped with sesame seeds. This came with a side of the best sticky rice that even an amateur like me could eat with chopsticks. It was also quite tasty. Yes, Diet Coke is served here.
Sylvia: Stone Bowl $9.99
Not only is the food really good at Spicy Corea, but when we couldn’t find parking on University Avenue and had to park by the parking structure on 100 West (where the Rooftop Concert Series is held) and walk in from the back, I discovered a part of downtown Provo I didn’t know existed. There is a small park, and the entrance to the restaurant leads you along old wood floors -- past some cool small businesses to our destination where I had the Stone Bowl. A sizzling combination of bulgogi beef, fresh carrots, cucumbers, radish kimchi, bean sprouts, and lettuce, topped with a fried egg; all on a bed of sizzling black rice. Delish!
Lyndsi: Bulgogi Lunch Special $6.49
Sometimes simple things are the best things, and I have found this to be true at Spicy Corea. Whenever we go there I always get the Bulgogi Beef Lunch Special. The first time I had it I thought it looked like it might be dry or bland because there is not actually sauce, but I was so wrong. The beef is thinly sliced and marinated in a Korean concoction of soy sauce, onion and kiwi juice, garlic, sesame oil and sugar sautéed to perfection with onions and carrots. The beef is so tender and delicious and when eaten with the sticky mix of white and black rice, a perfect balance of flavor ensues. The special also includes sides of cucumbers, salad and the most amazing potatoes ever. I have no idea what they are coated in but it is a sweet sauce that coats every side of the small potato piece, and everyone knows I love them and tend to let me eat a few of theirs, too. If you want a new experience and simple but delicious food for lunch, you should stop by, and be sure to get some potatoes!
Gabby: Chicken Bulgogi $9.99
Of the many times I have been to Spicy Corea, I realized I had never ordered the Chicken Bulgogi! I was excited to give this tempting dish a try. The slightly sweet, slightly smoky flavored, marinated chicken was piled high along with cabbage, carrots, onions, green peppers and zucchini on a sizzling hot plate. Covered in the perfect amount of sauce and broth, and served with a bowl of perfectly sticky black rice, this meal was so scrumptious that I found myself devouring every delectable bite! So many vegetables made the meaty dish very well rounded. And all of this excellence was accented by the assortment of kimchi that was served as sides with the entrees; cabbage kimchi, with delicious red pepper paste, cucumber kimchi, smoky bean sprouts, lettuce with a seasoning and vinegar, and of course the crowd-favorite sweetened potatoes. In the words of Big Bang, this meal was “Wow. Fantastic Baby.”
Our piping hot, freshly made, authentic Korean meals provided us with a taste of Seoul that we can luckily experience with the convenience of just going to downtown Provo. After enjoying such wonderful sides, atmosphere and delightful main dishes, I want to cheer on the small, locally owned Spicy Corea the most fitting way according to everything I’ve seen of the Korean wave, with one simple word: "Fighting!"
--Spicy Corea: 43 N. University Ave, Provo. Open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m.to 9:20 p.m. Closed Sundays.
Spicy Corea offers best of Korean cuisine