Lunch Out @ T.J.'s Korean Restaurant

I walked by this place on Court Street the first time a week ago and then did a double take before stopping to go in, look at the menu, and ask the lone patron how it was.  He said great - with a look and a tone like he'd stumbled upon something that only he knew about and he was very happy about.  I was on my way to a different lunch spot, otherwise I would have tried it on the spot no question.

Today my friend/colleague and I stopped in for lunch and I am so happy this place exists!  I've lamented for a while not having a good, affordable Korean place in town - and it seems like this is going to fill the void.  Sung and Riverside are both great, but they're also both pretty expensive for an "everyday" meal.  I haven't been to Bento Korean (I've heard mixed reviews unfortunately), so that's on my list to try as well.

T.J. took our orders and was very kind and energetic.  There was a woman doing the cooking who brought us our food - she was also very nice.  We ordered "Vegetable Bi Bim Bap" (in parentheses because it also has beef in it, although that's not listed on the menu sheets) and Pork Bul Go Gi.  At $8 and $6 respectively, both had plenty of food, and T.J.'s thus propelled itself into my cheap-Asian-take-out-go-to list - Thai Express and Cilantro being my two main choices (I'm still seeking a consistent Chinese spot).

The bi bim bap comes in a large bowl with a fried egg and runny yolk - sprinkled with sesame seeds and nori pieces - on top of beautiful, separated helpings of bean sprouts, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, and beef.  All of this is on top of a mound of rice (which is not crispy as it is in the frequent variation - dolsot bibimbap, although it did definitely have sesame oil in it).  They give you a sauce on the side that is sweet and spicy and thick and brings everything together once you mix it all up.  Great flavors!  I asked if they had any tsiracha or anything for the side to spice it up even more (my friend thought it was hot enough), but I'm not sure if they understood and said no.

The pork (we split both dishes) is wonderfully juicy with this Korean barbecue-esque sauce and cooked with onions.  With rice and a small portion of snap peas and cabbage too - along with a small salad (ranch or Italian dressing options :), one pot sticker, and two bites of "T.J.s Chicken" (a sesame chicken-esque boneless bite with a thick sweetish sauce), this is an absolute steal for $6.  I thought the bi bim bap was solid, but this meat was bursting with flavor!

As if all that isn't enough, both dishes also come with a small bowl of soup - seemed like an egg drop variation.

I will definitely be back here, and probably sooner rather than later.  I want to try everything on the menu (I am posting a picture of the menu here too), but I'll certainly be getting that bulgogi again.  Get over here and help make sure this place sticks around - please!

T.J.'s Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon


TJ Jackson said...

Hey - if you're lunching on Court Street, please give Raya's (right across from TJ's) a try. I recommend the falafel and the schwarma highly. I've tried about half the menu so far, and everything has been at least good, and often excellent

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

TJ - I have been to Raya's a couple of times, but haven't gotten around to writing about it yet. I liked the schwarma a lot, and the falafel was in the good but not excellent category. I'll have to make a point of going again and writing on it soon. Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

Urban Spoon says TJ's is closed!

Gavin DeVore Leonard said...

If TJ's closed, that's definitely a bummer!