Before I review the food, I just want to take a moment and appreciate how small this world is. I’ve lived in a lot of places in my life – pretty good coverage of the great big U.S.A. I lived in a small city in Florida for a couple of years when I was a kid, and I had a really good friend. Best friend. We were basically inseparable everyday, walking together to school and then spending the afternoon together until our parents got home from work. She was the one who taught me how to draw anime eyes and how to code HTML, and although I no longer know how to do either of those things, I will always appreciate the friend who shared her knowledge and time with me.
Anyway, long story short, I moved away, we kept in touch for a while, but never really saw each other again or had the opportunity to do so. Until one day I saw that she posted a photo of herself in…La Jolla. Turns out that her family had moved to San Diego, and she was visiting! So of course we decided to meet up. But seriously, what are the chances that we’d be hanging out in San Diego, thirteen years later and all the way across the country from where we first met!
Whew. So that was my story! Anyhow, time to talk about food, haha. We decided to try out Vibe, a Korean Asian fusion restaurant that I’d been eyeing for a while. It’s actually the sister restaurant to Manna Korean BBQ, and I hear that if the lines at Manna are too long, they will often direct you around the corner to Vibe for a few drinks while you’re waiting. They advertise themselves as a fusion restaurant – on the menu, there are the familiar Korean food items, but with a twist.
Happy hour runs from 4:30 to 7:30PM everyday – all beer and appetizers are half off. We decided to start with the beef tataki and a pitcher of Hite, a Korean beer.
This was a very generous portion of beef tataki. Usually you get 10 slices or something. I really liked the presentation and flavors – the marinated onions in the middle were very refreshing and balanced out the meat. The beef was pretty good quality, too.
Duk boki is one of my favorite Korean dishes, and I was curious how they were going to “fusion-ize” it. They used slightly differently-shaped rice cakes (usually they’re thin, flat pieces instead of cylindrical), added Parmesan cheese to the sauce, and cooked it with cut up hot dogs. Is it weird that it reminds me of mac-n-cheese with cut up hot dogs mixed in? Anyway, I had a taste and thought it was good, but my friend said that it became a bit heavy towards the end.
Ordered by another friend who joined us for dinner. I didn’t try any of it, but friend said it was flavorful and a good option if you wanted something lighter.
S ordered the bulgogi plate – bulgogi on a sizzling platter, served with rice and some veggies on the side. You usually can’t go wrong with bulgogi, and he was very pleased with the dish and portion size.
Finally, I decided to try the bulgogi burrito. I’m a big fan of Korean-Mexican fusion, such as Tabe BBQ, and this proved to be delicious as well. I love that they cut up the burrito for you so that it’s easier to share! The bulgogi is again very tender, and a good amount of veggies to lighten up each bite. The dipping sauce was really good – not too spicy and very flavorful. I felt that without the sauce, the burrito was a bit under-seasoned, but with the sauce it worked perfectly.
We had a really good time here – the food and service were very pleasant. I was so happy that I got to meet up with my childhood best friend again and that we got to have a great meal together. S and I will definitely be bringing other friends to check out this place and share some happy hour specials!
Vibe Asian Fusion
4428 Convoy St., Suite 330, San Diego, CA
Hours: Sun-Thu 12pm-11:30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am