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Shilla Korean BBQ opens in Norman

Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report
Shilla Korean BBQ, located at 2164 24th Ave NW, in Norman.
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NORMAN, Okla.-- It just got real. I love Korean cuisine and I used to think the more authentic, the better. I went to the newly- opened Shilla Korean BBQ, 2164 24th Ave NW in Norman. The sign for the restaurant went up months ago, and every day I passed, I would try to peer into the brown paper covered windows, anticipating the opening. 

I finally got my chance to give it a try this weekend. Shilla is the only all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ in the metro. Now, it is my understanding the idea behind eating Korean food is to construct your perfect bite by combining the main entrée with the various side dishes that accompany every meal.

Shilla served a fairly standard array with a broadleaf lettuce salad with miso dressing along with separate dishes of potato puree, bean sprout dish, traditional Kimchee, cucumber Kimchee and pickled radish.   

There was a grill in the middle of the table. Now, I have been to restaurants before with this set-up, but I confess I had never used It. The menu for dinner ($17) consists of a list of proteins and sushi of which you can order three at a time. I started with Miso soup, steamed egg, and pork belly.

Meats on the grill at Shilla Korean BBQ. (Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report) 

The server slapped what looked like thick-cut bacon on my table grill. The miso soup was not as strong as I expected and was more like miso broth. The steamed egg I am familiar with is like a hard scramble egg cake with green onion. This steamed egg came in a clay pot and had the consistency of grits. But just like in America, we don’t all fry chicken the same way. The pork belly tasted exactly as expected, extremely mild bacon.

Steamed egg at Shilla Korean BBQ. (Penny Ridenour / Red Dirt Report)

I moved on and ordered beef bulgogi, my favorite, and barbeque chicken. Both the meats were slapped on the grill. I confess I let my chicken burn a little. I am just not used to cooking at a restaurant. I combined it with some of the spicy sides for a pretty good bite. The beef bulgogi was the highlight, marinated in some sort of sweet ginger and soy sauce before cooking and caramelizing on my grill. 

Shilla taught me that although I love Korean food, I might not like it as authentic as I thought and I might need to invite a tasting tour guide to eat with me as I am still a novice at building bites.

Shilla Korean BBQ
2164 24th Ave NW
Norman, OK 73069
Phone: 405-310-3113

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