Open for lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 3-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Bankamericard. Master Charge.American Express. Diners Club Cards accepted. Reservations accepted. Phone 920-6555.
Recently we returned with our children to a restaurant that we had tried a few years ago alone. It's called the Sorabol, and its specialty is Korean cooking, which we weren't too sure a five-year old and a two-year-old would appreciate. Fortunately, our doubts were groundless.
Korean cooking is to Chinese cooking as Alsatian is to French cuisine. Many of the flavors are similar, but the Korean is heavier fare. You won't find anyone complaining of hunger an hour after a Korean meal.
We began our meal with a Popo plate for two, $4.25, which included spare ribs, shrimp tempura, tiny egg rolls, and Man Du Gui, which are fried, vegetable-filled dumplings. To the children's delight our waiter roasted little strips of marinated beef in a small brazier that fit in the center of the Popo plate. Very tasty.
I also ordered a soup, Yook Gae Jang, at $1.75, which was described as "very hot and spicy . . . with beef scallions." It's also loaded with seaweed, a staple of the Korean diet, and finished off with a whipped egg in egg-drop soup fashion. It's very hearty and quite good, although both children turned up their noses because of its spiciness.
Other items offered as appetizers include steak tartar, at $4.50, fried squid, $4.95, and shrimp cocktail, $2.75.
We skipped cocktails in favor of a $9.95 bottle of wine to go with our meal. According to our waiter, it is bottled in France but made of Japanese grapes. It's name - Wan Fu. How could we resist? It's a very good wine - with enough body to hold up spicy Korean food.
For entrees, the Saboral offers both American and Asian dishes, and we stuck with the later, concentrating on the Korean specialities.
The Sobarol does not offer children's portions, so our waiter suggested we order one dish of shrimp tempura, at $5.95, for the two. To accompany that our five-year-old made a 95-cent trip to the salad bar, which could best be described as undistinguished. It's free with the American dishes, but costs extra with the Asian.
My husband and I ordered Gal Bi Gui and Chap Che. The Gal Bai Gui consists of short ribs that have been marinated in a spicy sauce, then the meat cut away from the bone and broiled. What you get are the bones with tender, sweet, little rosettes of beef. The portion, costing $6.95, was very generous. The Chap Che, a mixture of fried, transparent noodles, strips of beef, fish cake and vegetables, for $5.75, was also very good.
With the entrees came steamed rice, cold spinach, bean sprouts and Kim Chee, a highly spiced, pickled cabbage. We loved it and only wished our portion had been larger.
The Sarabol menu also includes Bul Go Gi, at $5.95, a Korean dish of thinly sliced beef; Jae Yuk Gui, $5.95, a comparable dish done with pork, and Sin Sui Lo, or Angel Pot dish, at $5.95, which we have vowed to have next time we dine at the Sorabol. It consists of marinated beef, shrimp, fish cake and vegetables boiled in beef broth and it comes to the table in its own boiling vessel, which looks something like a Mongolian hot pot.
All the entrees run between $5.95 and $7.95. With each comes barley, tea, which has a pleasant nutty taste.
The bill for the four of us, including the bottle of wine, and cokes for the children, came to $32.25, excluding tip. I might add that the restaurant seems to attract a number of families, most of them Asian, with young children. Our waiter understood the importance of keeping some form of food coming at a rapid clip for the little ones.