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Kal Bi House
5718 Dyer St.
El Paso, TX
(915) 562-0311
Cost: $$ (Lunch $) 18 Korean Tea: Korean Ice Tea House
MSG: Yes (Chinese Food Only)
Smoking: No Smoking
Best Items: Vegetable Side Dishes (especially kimchee), Barbecue Beef, Seafood Soup
Korean Barbecue Beef:
Korean Barbecue Chicken:
Seafood Soup:
Korean Iced Tea:
6-Sep-04 10+
The Kal Bi House is located about two blocks north of the larger and more visible Young Vin, and these are the two Korean restaurants with which most El Pasoans seem to be familiar. I was first drawn to the Kal Bi House because of the vegetable side dishes served with every meal; they are fresh with a good flavor, and even if you go by yourself you Kal Bi House get a full selection of the dishes. Although I have never left the restaurant anything but stuffed, I believe they will give refills on the vegetables should anyone be able to eat more.

The specialty at Kal Bi is the Korean Barbecue (beef is most popular). I haven't ordered the barbecue beef for a number of years, but I remember enjoying it more at Young Vin. However, the entire meal seemed more satisfying at Kal Bi House because of the vegetable side dishes. There was always a large variety of side dishes, and the kimchee was one of the best ones served. I also thought the turnips, cucumbers, and fish cakes were better than at any other El Paso Korean restaurant.

I do not know how the Barbecue Chicken at Young Vin compares to the one here, but I have found the one at Kal Bi to be gristly, and my definite opinion is that it is better at Han Il, farther north on Dyer Street. Kal Bi still serves a good overall meal, though, because of the vegetable side dishes.

When I have wanted to eat vegetarian meals I have tried some of the Chinese dishes such as Chow Mein. I strongly advise avoiding the Chinese food here--it has MSG that was bothering me more and more as my sensitivity increased.

The dinner menu does have some good non-meat options such as Seafood Soup (a delicious mixture of noodles, vegetables, and some, but not too much, seafood in a red slightly-spicy broth).

If you are more adventurous there is a large Korean menu with items starting about $10, and ranging to $15-$20 and higher (items are written in Korean, and the English descriptions are no help at all). The staff is very helpful, though, and will give recommendations.

This is my favorite place for Korean Ice Tea--other places have tea that is good but Kal Bi House is the standard by which I judge everyone else.

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