Bibimbap "mixed rice," in Korean, and spelled a zillion different transliterated ways has to be one of the world's best comfort foods. At the hands of Yong Sup Sim and his wife So La Sim, owners of the nineteen-year-old U-City Grill, the dish does take you back to the blithe old days. Back to that time when food on the table constituted a fact, not a responsibility that required some amount of sweat and the ability to balance a checkbook. The Sims' bibimbap
, you see, is so simple: sticky rice blanketed with matchsticks of the freshest carrots, cucumbers, bean sprouts and lettuce, topped with thin strips of tangy marinated beef and caressed by an egg fried so lightly that the white hasn't a single fray around its edges. So La Sim makes her own hot sauce, which finishes the dish. (Alas, the sauce's recipe is a secret.) The couple, their surroundings and the price ($5.45) couldn't come off more humbly, but the bibimbap
leaves one full with the feeling that the whole world is within a fork's reach.