Dinner with J @ Color Restaurant in Allston. When I arrived, beads of sweat were scurrying down my face and diving into the ever-expanding lake of cloying wetness in the middle of my shirt. I thought biking there would be fun, and it was, except that I missed a turn and found myself in suburbia before realizing that I should turn back. On the plus side, I earned my dinner. Color is a cute place, casual, fun–I can easily imagine k-girls doing fobby signs in front of their plastic plates of food while their k-girl friends giggle and snap photos of them with miniscule Japanese phones. We sat next to a calendar of muscle men in wigs. I did mistake the barley tea for water, though even the waitress referred to it as such.
App– kimchi pancake. The outside was too soft, not soggy but still. That crisp texture is essential to a standout Korean pancakes. Otherwise, it was as it should have been–salty, spicy, and a little chewy.
Eel bi bim bap! First time I have seen this dish at a Korean restaurant. Sadly, there was hardly any burnt rice to be found at the bottom, which makes me think the stone pot was not hot enough to begin with. Then again, I am one who can never get enough of that crunchy stuff. Aside from that, I really enjoyed this dish. The sweetness of the eel sauce mingled well with the spicy red bean paste, and there was plenty of vegs for crunch. And the egg was cooked perfectly. I should have gotten a broken yolk shot.
Beef kalbi– At $12, it is definitely a steal. No, you don’t get to grill it yourself, but the meat is tender and tasty. I love gnawing off the cartilage and ligaments and whatever other fibrous bits cling to the bones.
Color probably will hit the spot if you’re craving the Korean and are dining on a student budget. There are times I will be in the mood to pay an extra $5 for a crispy kimchi pancake, but expectations must be kept in line with prices, and I think Color succeeds in meeting the modest standards to which one can reasonably hold it.
166 Harvard Ave
Allston, MA 02134