Everyday Eats: Bulgogi Sliders at Fuze
Marinated beef meets secret sauce in this addictive item from Fuze.
When I crave Asian food, my mind usually steers me toward spicy coconut milk curries, banh mi sandwiches, or a quick bowl of pork bun. Korean food isn't usually top of mind, but after eating my way through two bulgogi beef based dishes at Fuze, that's going to change... because I have a new addiction, and its name is Korean fusion secret sauce. See that delightfully creamy orange goo unassumingly lying in wait under the tender bulgogi beef? Yeah, it's not so innocent after all. One bite and I was hooked, for life.
Part of me wanted to avoid the sliders completely and discover that my favorite thing was something more unexpected, not the most approachable option on the menu, but then I would never know the beauty of that sauce. It's spicy, creamy, and a little bit sweet. It melts into the beef, bounces off the sweet Hawaiian roll, and manages to ring the bell of every flavor sensor on your tongue simultaneously. Addictive, indeed. For $9.95, you get three sliders and a side of fries, but word to the wise: don't plan on sharing them. When that awkard moment comes when there's one slider left and two people vying for it, it's going to get ugly.
Another tasty option that's more traditional is the Jap Chae ($9.95), made from sweet potato noodles, stir-fried in sesame oil with vegetables and bulgogi beef. The dish is most commonly served at family celebrations, like birthdays, sometimes on top of a bed of rice. The noodles have a unique texture; they're chewier than most, and also a bit gelatinous. If your exposure to Asian noodle dishes is limited to food courts, it will be an adjustment, but the balanced application of oil and soy sauce (and the absence of MSG) makes this dish much tastier and healthier than what you'll find elsewhere. Like the bulgogi sliders, the jap chae is a great introductory dish.
After raving about the bulgogi sliders to first time chef (and part owner) Edward Sung, he let me in on a little secret: there are two off-menu versions of the bulgogi sliders. Ask for "Joe's Fries" and you'll get bulgogi beef, secret sauce, and hot sauce layered on a bed of french fries, or "Joe's Nachos", which switches out the fries for tortilla chips. Who is Joe? A regular who came up with the idea. (Thanks, Joe!)
About the author: Erin Jackson is obsessed with finding the best cheap and tasty eats in San Diego. Keep up with her other food finds on EJeats.com.