Korea House: Boulder’s Best-Kept Secret (and Possibly Longest Memory)

Korea House is probably not a restaurant you know about. It’s tucked away in a small shopping plaza at the southwest corner of Glenwood and 28th. You can’t see it from the street. You’d see a gas station instead. You’d see The Bookworm and the Sew-Vac center. And if you went west on Glenwood you’d probably see Good Use’s new location. But you wouldn’t see Korea House unless you turned into that parking lot and continued two doors past Good Use.

It’s teeny-tiny, family-owned, open six days a week (not Sunday), and oh so good.

Actually, what’s oh so good is the Kim Chee Chi Gae. I can’t rightly comment on anything else because that’s all I ever order. I go in there with a laptop, I sit at the two-top next to the electrical outlet along the right-hand wall, and I take about an hour and a half to eat. I’d probably take that long even if I wasn’t working on my laptop, because the food comes to the table burn-yer-mouth hot and even the mild version can take the coating off your soft palette. However, I have become adept at relying on the sesame-kale salad and the pickled bean sprouts, rather than endless refills of Coke, to cool myself off between bites of tofu, pork, scallion, or daikon, or spoonfuls of molten lava broth.

I went in there yesterday for something like the first time since 2007 arrived in diapers and a bow. That’s going on seven months now since I was last there, probably more. And I had a different laptop, the ancient dinosaur-like Compaq Contura from 1994 which I use to write on when my Dell Inspiron is in the shop for repairs, which it is. I sat at the same table as usual, though. Maybe that was the clue. Maybe I have a memorable face. Or maybe the proprietors are just that good.

Because the hostess/waitress/restaurant owner went to give me the menu, then paused, and said, “Kim chee chi gae? Mild?”

Out loud, I said, “Yes, thank you. And a Coke.”

Silently, in my head, I was saying, “Damn you’re good.”

Obviously I need to go more often than twice a year.

4 Comments so far

  1. Beav (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 3:52 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Nicole. I’m gonna send a link to my family in Denver letting them know…and letting them know they should take me there when I come to visit.

  2. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on June 15th, 2007 @ 4:14 pm

    Yay! Good things come of blogging!

    For ease of finding the place when next you’re in our neck of the woods, I present some Google-mappage. The hours on that page are wrong, though–it’s not just weekdays but Saturday too that they’re open from 11 to 9. So saith the print-out taped to the window of the restaurant. No personal checks; credit card OK.

  3. mikyong (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

    Do you really eat Kimchi CHi gae? Unbelivable!
    It is a hard work for even a foreigner living in Korea for a while to eat it, for it is so hot and spicy. Kimchi chigae is one of my favorites.

    Ah! I am a Korean women in Denver. It is been a long time to visit your blog again. This time, your blog makes me imagine that you are running with sweat when eating hot Kimchi Chigae. :)
    Have a nice day!

  4. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on June 25th, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

    Hi, Mikyong! Glad you stopped by. I have to admit, even the “mild” version takes me about an hour to finish eating. But last time I didn’t even need to have my Coke refilled once, so I must be getting better at this!

    It may help that I grew up eating spicy things in New Orleans. :-)

    Are there any good authentic Korean restaurants in Denver you’d recommend?

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