Napa Valley Korean Fusion!
We have been visiting Napa and Sonoma for many years now but I never imagined that I would be saying these two words in the same sentence.
Napa + Korean Food!
Kimchi Burger, Ramen, Kimchi Fried Rice, Bibimbap have all come to Napa Valley!! YAY!!!
When we planned our weekend trip to Napa recently to celebrate my daughter’s Birthday, I really did not expect that we would be having Korean foods (albeit fusion) in Napa on both days of the trip! I also have napa winery visit pics and stories to share but I will do that on my next post, DAY 2. For this post, I’ll concentrate on eating.😝
Our 1st Napa Valley Korean Fusion meal:
Kimchi Burger at Gott’s Roadside in Napa
For lunch we went to Gott’s Roadside and my husband ordered the Kimchi Burger – Fried egg, kimchi, American cheese, Zoe’s bacon & spicy gochujang mayo on a toasted egg bun. YUM!! My husband LOVED this burger. He blurted, “So happy… This is sooo good.” I know Kimchi goes wonderfully together with bacon, cheese and/or egg so this was a perfect combination.
We also ordered watermelon salad which was unusual at a Burger restaurant but it was refreshing side
Gott’s Roadside – Oxbow Public Market 644 First St. Napa, CA 94559
Our 2nd Napa Valley Korean Fusion meal:
Korean and Asian Fusion at 8 Noodle Shop
After having burgers for lunch and then a wonderful Californian American dinner of St. Louis Style Ribs, Grass-fed Beef Rib Eye Steak, Grilled Castroville Artichokes and Cheese Biscuits (my daughter’s most favorite) at Long Meadow Ranch restaurant the day before, we needed some Asian flavors to balance our taste buds.
I can go eating non-Asian food for quite some time but my husband or my mom start craving Korean food or at least some Asian food after not having them for a few meals. There’s an expression Koreans like to use – “my stomach feels 느글느글하다 Neugeul Nugeul Hada”. There’s no one word that I can translate to directly but the Korean definition says it all – “it’s a feeling where you feel you are not digesting well, feeling nauseous and greasy”. HAHAHA.. I think this is because Korean stomachs are used to digesting spicy fermented foods like Kimchi and gochujang and is at a loss when they are not present. Our bodies miss it when we have not delivered it to our system.
I’m also reminded of my father when I talk about this subject. As a diplomat, he traveled to many foreign countries when I was little and he used to bring with him some gochujang everywhere he went. Because he said his stomach could only take non-Korean foods so much. He told me that he needed some spicy gochujang smeared on toast in the morning to clear him up for the day!!!
Anyway, so on Day 2 (already), we looked up online and found 8 Noodle Shop in Napa. I was not sure what to expect as I am usually pretty skeptical when it comes to restaurants that serve many different cuisines because 8 Noodle Shop’s menu had Japanese, Chinese, Korean and even Vietnamese flavors!! wow.
But the reviews were pretty good so we decided to try it. We ordered the Crispy Squid as appetizer and it was a real pleasant surprise. Crispy fried squid (more like calamari) was served on a bed of fresh veggies of bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers that was tossed in a light tangy dressing.
And then there was Bacon Kimchi Fried Rice (see pic at top of post) – this was not what I expected but it was still good in its own way. Personally I think having both the bacon and the salty seasoned beef was a bit too salty and heavy. I would have added a bit more Kimchi, cut back on the salty beef or even omit it and lightened up the dish by adding a bit more sour flavor. But the idea is great – I am going to try it soon.
If you want to make some simple, authentic recipe, click on the image or check out my Kimchi Fried Rice recipe.
This recipe has rice, kimchi, egg, gim and a bit of gochujang. I have been making this since high school. Simple yet so satisfying. Only problem was that I ended up eating too much and was not able to study afterwards for couple hours because I was so full and sleepy. HAHAHA
Simply called “Chicken and Egg”. Teriyaki chicken and veggies on top of rice. This was basically a cross between bibimbap and deopbap (donburi). Pickled radish and cucumbers were a great addition and added great crunch and tanginess. Not as strong flavored as Kimchi fried rice and most importantly, not as salty. So it was a nice dish to have as a break from the saltiness.
The last dish we ordered was Dragon Noodle Stir Fry. Yakisoba noodles, stir fried with Asian veggies, celery and beef, shrimp and chicken. Topped with green onions and sprinkled with Togarashi. This was quite salty and was probably our least favorite. But it had a lot of veggies, shrimp, chicken and beef so there’s something for everyone.
Including my mom, there was 4 of us but these portions were pretty large so I am glad we ordered just 3 main + 1 appetizer. If you ever visit the Napa area and need a little Asian food break, this is the place to go and make sure you order the squid and kimchi fried rice!
Have a great day everyone!
PS – I have been wanting to include pictures of our dog Spock in my posts sometimes but somehow his picture never comes out right. He looks kind of scary in the photos, I don’t know why. 😌
He actually is a very fearful and anxious dog that we rescued in 2015. He has come a long way but still is very skittish. I finally got this pic while I was playing around with my camera lately that actually came out nice!!
He likes to sit in our window seat, trying to guard mom from anything and everything although he is scared to death of everything.