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Bi Bim Bop from Mana Food Bar

Item Purchased: Bi Bim Bop
Location Purchased: Mana Food Bar / 1742 W Division St / Chicago, IL
Price: $7.00 + tax
Purchased on: 07/28/08

Review: I’m a fan of fresh vegetables, brown rice and fried eggs. Together or separately. Sometimes when you combine these ingredients and add chili paste, you come up with a Korean dish called bibimbap. When Mana Food Bar combines these ingredients with way too much soy sauce, they come up with a pseudo-soup that is closer to a simple Hutjesa bap than bibimbap.

This slip of the description on the menu at Mana Food Bar would be okay if it weren’t for the extreme puddle of soy sauce at the bottom of the bowl of these otherwise well prepared ingredients. Though anyone expecting the signature spice of bibimbap’s chili sauce may be disappointed beyond the sopping soy overload, Mana’s primary concern should be to reign in the extremes. Between the blandness of their Pho and the extreme tartness of their version of bibimbap, there is an expanse of happy middle ground that needs to be populated.

Maybe with a little work, Mana will plant a few flags. They have all of the fantastic ingredients and ideas they need.

Rating: 1.25 / 5

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