27. Co*myon Korean on the Pontocho (Downtown Kyoto)--KathrynThe narrow Pontocho, parallel to the Kamo river, is carless, cobbled, and swanked to the max. Restaurants line either side, with English menus the exception. It was here that we caught a glimpse of two white-faced women in full kimono and six inch platform shoes--two geisha. An older, handler-type woman whisked them along, then into an alley, then into a door. Ken and I (with a Japanese couple at our heels) hot-footed along behind them. For a moment the four of us stood breathless, thrilled to gawk.
At the North end of the Pontocho, this place drew us in with hopes for bibimbap. We were wandering home from our amazing nine-course kaiseki meal at Uzuki, yet somehow, we could still think about food. We saw this sign: "Co Myon," and it read like a dyslexic, "Come on in!"
We stuck our heads in, reprised our plea for a bejitalian meal, had a short conversation with the restaurant's main guy (only guy?). He assured us (in 3 words or less) that we could get a vegetarian meal there.
The next night we were back, and since we probably stand out like a sore thumb, he already knew our order. This was our last dinner in Japan. We liked the Dolsot Bibimbap so much, we ordered a third bowl to share, after we'd finished two. . . Bar seatting was fun, and even with the metal chopsticks, we wrestled out every last grain of rice.
Our seats at the end of the bar. Floor seating with a foot-well.
For the unititiated, bibimbap is a bowl of rice topped with spinich, sprouts, a spicy red sauce and an fried egg. The stone bowl comes out really hot and a you stir with a spoon. The ingredients sizzle and blend. We vowed to find bibimbap in Berkeley. . .
The Kirin was on tap.
Ken with beer.
A set of elegant ladies dined behind us. Too bad they smoked.
Ken with our very nice host.