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Kim Bob Na Ra, Ellicott City

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It takes a lot to pry me away from The Canopy when I'm here, but I'm glad I detoured to Kim Bob Na Ra.

Kim Bob is, I believe, Korean for "sushi," or perhaps "rolls." Na Ra? I think it means "national" or something like that (Grover?) <--- Twenty years from now, people will look back at this lame paragraph and remark on how food writing has progressed.

Kim Bob Na Ra opened about two months ago, about a block west of The Canopy on Route 40. It's refreshing to walk in here and see a Korean-only menu prominently displayed behind the counter - there's not a word of English, and I had to ask for a printed menu (which mirrors it exactly).

Beef Kim Bob (#4 on the menu, $5.95) is a futomaki-like roll, wrapped in rice and seaweed, cut into ten pieces, and arranged like fallen dominos on the styrofoam (I got it to-go). Pieces 11 and 12 are higher, with the fillings sticking out towards the ceiling. In each piece is a few shreds of bulgogi-like beef, surrounded by an array of vegetables - radish, spinach, carrot, turnip, and a little stick of surimi. The only condiment is a tiny plastic bag of bright-yellow radish.

This roll hinges on the rice, and it was excellent. For $5.95, it was the perfect carryout lunch - big enough to satisfy a hungry me - and only took about five minutes to get. Dare I say it was healthy? It only had a little bit of meat and was primarily a vegetable dish.



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