12275 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton, 641-1734.
[PAN-KOREAN] There are times when I think life in Beaverton ain’t so bad. By “times,” I mean “meals at one of the stellar Korean restaurants.” And by “ain’t so bad,” I mean “I could eat at DJK for a month straight without complaint.” One of the pricier (meaning “more food than you can eat for $30”) of the handful of similar establishments in Beaverton’s little K-town, Dae Jang Kum (“Jewel of the Palace”) shows that while most restaurants do best sticking to specialities, others can excel as polymaths. First, of course, there are those little bowls of banchan appetizers, which DJK does uniformly well. This smoky room’s bibimbap bowls are a glorious mess of rice, meat and fresh veggies. Want to do the Korean barbecue thing? They’ll fire up the grill on your table, wheel out a massive pile of meat and hand you some scissors. (If you start screwing up the process, a waitress will giggle at you and fix things.) More interested in bulgogi? It’s very good. Intent upon slurping down some japchae? DJK makes a mean version of the clear sweet-potato noodles. Purists may point out that you can find a better version of almost anything on DJK’s menu at one of Beaverton’s other 10 Korean restaurants, but DJK stands alone for doing so many things so well.
Ideal meal: Banchan, kkotdeungsim ($24.95) and two big bottles of Hite beer.
Best deal: Everything here is a great value, but Beaverton Korean food fans will point out that it’s still pricier than Koreana.
Pro tip: DJK is less than a quarter-mile from the Beaverton Transit Center, meaning you can easily get there without driving.
11 am-9:30 pm Sunday-Thursday, 10 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $$.