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Sunny Bowl Bibimbap

Earlier this week, I had met up with some friends for dinner.  Not wanting to eat at the same old places and not knowing where else to go, I turned to Yelp for some inspiration.  I found Sunny Bowl on Yelp and with four and a half stars to its credit, it did not disappoint.  Its a little mom-and-pop type of restaurant found near Google and is located across the street from one of Mountain View’s many business parks.  The setting is very casual, with a few tables and chairs, enough to seat about 30 people at a time.

The menu is very simple.  Its all bibimbap and you just choose your topping (chicken, beef, tofu, etc).  Veggies include julienned zucchini, shredded cabbage, lettuce, daikon, carrots and a grape tomato.  I haven’t had lettuce in bibimbap before and really like it here; the lettuce gives each bite a refreshing crunch and texture.  Instead of a fried egg sunny side up, typical with dolsot bibimbaps, you get scrambled eggs.  Some people don’t like this, but personally I’m glad to find the eggs well-cooked.  I like runny yolks as much as the next person, but with all the salmonella scares in the news this past year, I’d rather have my eggs scrambled.  Sesame oil is provided at each table to flavor the meat a little if you like, along with their version of the Korean sweet-spicy sauce gochujang.  After adding the gochujang and mixing it all up, the bibimbap is ready to eat.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the bibimbap post mixing as I just dug right in and only remembered the camera after it was all gone.  The food is just how I like it–light, flavorful, healthy, light on the oil and grease and no MSG.  Portion sizes are just right.

Three appetizers are also offered on the menu, one of which was kimchi pancake.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try it as appetizers are only offered after 2pm.  I guess they have to accommodate for the busy lunch crowd and just focus on making bibimbap.  Will try this next time I’m there during dinner time.

For $6, tax included, you can get their “regular” sized portion of bibimbap, tea, a side of kimchi and frozen yogurt.  How can you beat that?  Hopefully they don’t raise their prices too much, as the great deal is part of the attraction.  Their kimchi is not the best I’ve ever had, but its good.  Its just the right level of spicy-sour and the only thing that would make it better IMO is if the kimchi were crisp instead of soft.  A bowl of frozen yogurt is included as dessert and the server brought it to us right away when they noticed we were done with the bibimbap.  No need to flag anyone down, which I appreciate.  The frozen yogurt flavor was the “original,” meaning tart, which I liked.  It served to cleanse the palate with its tart slightly lemony flavor and was very refreshing.

While Sunny Bowl clearly would not be able to compete against full-scale Korean restaurants (complete with extensive menu options and more seating), it is able to hold its own, shown by a local customer base.   Service is quick, polite and attentive.  For well under $10, one can get a complete meal which is both healthy and filling.  Five stars, in my book.

Sunny Bowl
1477 Plymouth St #C
Mountain View, CA 94043

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