DurhamFoods & Drinks

Build Your Perfect Korean BBQ Bowl at Itaewon Grill

(The Triangle Trend) — Chances are you like the freedom to customize your meal entirely to your preferences. Who doesn’t, after all? Itaewon Grill offers that experience for an international cuisine underrepresented in the Triangle area. In only 4 tasty steps, you can have your very own custom Korean bowl—starting at just 5 bucks.

Itaewon Grill offers three bowl sizes at three totally reasonable prices.

  • Large for $9
  • Medium for $7.75
  • Small for $5

To build your homemade Korean BBQ bowl, you’ll be guided through four steps listed on their menu.

Step one: Choose your dish

This step is the equivalent of selecting the base for your dish. Seoul white rice, Busan brown rice, Hongdae noodle, fried rice, and jongro salad are the dishes available for your choosing. All are gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan except the fried rice bowl (which is also an extra $1.)

Step two: Choose your toppings

This step is where things really start getting fun. The toppings available for your choosing are romaine lettuce, spinach, Kimchi, edamame, carrots, corn, pickled red cabbage, and Monterey Jack & Cheddar Mix Cheese. Yum!

Step three: Choose your protein

Arguably the best part of your bowl will be one Itaewon’s deliciously seasoned protein options. Inclusive of many diets, of course. Their protein offerings are beef Jjim, Beef Bulgogi, Garlic Chicken, Cupdak, Gochujang Teriyaki Chicken, and Garlic Tofu. The garlic chicken and garlic tofu are both gluten free by the way, if gluten is a concern of yours.

Step four: Choose your sauces

Your bowl wouldn’t be complete without a nice drizzle of sauce to accentuate all the flavors. You could go with their beloved Itaewon Sauce, a “mild spicy Gochujang Ranch” for a uniquely Itaewon Grill experience. Or you could opt for their garlic sauce, sesame dressing, Korean Spicy Sauce, or sesame oil.

They also offer plenty of sides, including Kimchi, more meat, rice, Hongdae noodle, Fried Mandu, a Yuja Smoothie, and a Maesil Smoothie.

If “build-your-own-bowl” really isn’t your style, definitely consider trying their Shoyu Ramen or Bulgogi Ramen. They put instant ramen noodles to shame.

If you’re looking for good food and a great value, this is your place. The bowls here are full of rice, meat and vegetables at very reasonable prices. If you’re hungry and trying to be fiscally responsible, you can’t go wrong here. The friendly, warm and welcoming staff make for a great addition to the Durham eating scene! We’ve heard that the owner, Jay, is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He plays an active role in running the place, so you may even see him during your visit.

This spot is located in a nice strip and parking is always easy to find. Due to COVID, they currently only offer takeout and nearby delivery. However, there are some tables outside if you choose to dine outdoors. They are part of the back to the bull initiative, an effort by the city of Durham to open restaurants safely, so you need a mask to enter the restaurant.

It’s a fusion restaurant, so the food isn’t “traditional” Korean food, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less delicious. Make sure to keep an eye out for specials—they run pretty frequently and you get even more bang for your buck.

Itaewon Grill

2608 Erwin Rd, Suite 132, Durham, NC 27705

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Cierra Smith | Editor

Raleigh-born writer passionate about cultural awareness and social change. You’ll typically find me somewhere studying a language, writing, or doing pilates. Consider me a health-conscious foodie with an interest in all diets and lifestyles.

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