[caption id="attachment_4755" align="alignright" ] Gaza Hot and Spicy Seafood Soup[/caption]
The Out to Lunch Bunch never knows what might be lurking in their soup. The Gaza Grill, on US 52 West, is a Korean restaurant with a menu that is likely to expand your horizons.
The décor of the Gaza Grill is pleasant and modern with large Asian murals and live plants. Our friendly waiter was a bit overwhelmed by our many questions and said that Korean food was mainly soups and stir-fries. The restaurant features a grill at each table on which you can cook your own food, but at lunchtime, the soups and stir-fries called to us.
Before our orders arrived, we were served small salads, mostly iceberg lettuce and a bit of shredded cabbage, with a delicious sweet vinaigrette dressing. We also enjoyed six little side dishes: broccoli florets, bean sprouts, kimchi, shredded radish, fish cake, and a tasty mashed potato salad.
[caption id="attachment_4756" align="aligncenter" ] Side Dishes[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4759" align="alignleft" ] Tofu Stew with Kimchi[/caption]
The menu does not feature vegetarian items, but all the food is made to order, so meat can be left out and tofu added by request so Margy ordered #16, Kimchi Soondoobu, which is a spicy soft tofu stew with kimchi ($9.99). Margy said it was spicy but the warm stew on this cold winter day was a welcome dish.
Jo got #28, Bibimbop, which is assorted vegetables over rice topped with a fried egg. She substituted tofu for meat ($9.99). Jo says it doesn’t look like the picture in the menu, but has lots of ingredients and a variety of textures. The egg was warm and a little crunchy on the edges. A spicy red sauce that comes on the side “makes the dish!”
[caption id="attachment_4757" align="aligncenter" ] Bibimbop[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_4760" align="alignright" ] Spicy Marinated Pork[/caption]
For Bev, #25, Jaeyuk Dubbap, strips of spicy marinated pork stir-fried with vegetables and served over rice ($9.99). It was good and spicy. She said, “I love how sticky the rice is—it makes using chopsticks easier than ever! This dish has lots of chili oil, but certainly wouldn’t be too hot for most eaters.”
Remember that part about things lurking in your soup? #20, Jambongbap was the dish of the day for Kay. This is a hot and spicy seafood soup ($11.99) which contained mussels, shrimp, calamari, octopus, unusual mushrooms, and other assorted vegetables. Hot both in temperature and in spice, and a lovely color, it was served with a bowl of rice. “Perhaps a bit heavy on octopus and squid than some would be comfortable with, but very good,” she declared. Margy, sitting next to her, was decidedly UNcomfortable as an octopus kept floating to the top of the soup despite Kay’s best efforts to push it below the surface for Margy’s sake.
We didn’t find dessert on the menu, but there are a variety of teas, soft drinks, beer including Sapporo, Cass, OB, and Asahi, as well as Bokbunja (black raspberry wine), and Bek Se Ju (a rice-based fermented beverage seasoned with herbs.)
Gaza Grill is in West Lafayette, in Brindon Plaza (3457 Bethel Drive) on Sagamore Parkway. Its neighbors are Monical’s Pizza, Xin (an Asian fusion restaurant and future stop for the lunch Divas), and the Hana Market. When you go to Gaza, take a moment and check out the offerings at the Hana Market. It’s packed with interesting grocery items for Asian cooking, many of which you will have never seen before. The variety of potstickers in the freezer section is amazing and they’re so easy to cook up at home. And you can get some octopi too!