Hot Stone Bulgogi – C$9.50 (C$6.65 during happy hour)
I was in downtown Vancouver earlier in the week to run some errands, and it was dinner time by the time I finished. So, I walked along Robson Street wanting to find an interesting place to try out.
I finally found something of interest (in my opinion) near Robson and Nicola Street. It was this placed called BASE: Eat And Drink, and the reason it caught my attention was the fact the sign read “Happy Hour: 30% off 4pm-7pm, Sunday-Thursday.” It was 6:30 at the time, so it was still within that three-hour window for happy hour. Yay! (Note: I don’t drink so I didn’t care about the drink specials.)
Anyway, as I later read on its website, BASE considers itself a “casual dining restaurant that puts on a creative spin on Korean classics.” They advertise quality, authentic Asian food at an upscale yet affordable place with upbeat house music and “the perfect place to satisfy your craving.” Basically, they are targeting the young crowd who love hanging out with friends over food and beer.
They also, on their menu, indicate they have Korean cuisine + “new American” dishes. For the “new American” items, they listed dishes that included calamari, chicken wings, Spaghetti Carbonara, Seafood Spaghetti, and Italian Mussel Steamer. There was also “Korean Fusion” dishes such as seafood pancake, garlic chicken, chicken karaage, beef short ribs, spicy seafood rice cakes, and so on.
As for the discount specifically, they had this Happy Hour Special where you received 30% off all food menu items when you dine in between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. every Sunday to Thursday. If you wanted to do take-out during Happy Hour, you would add C$1 for the service fee.
I decided to go with something simple, and ordered the Hot Stone Bulgogi (C$9.50), which was grilled beef in BBQ sauce and veggies with rice in a stone bowl. As I waited for the food to arrive, I played with my phone because I wasn’t interested in the women’s soccer game on the flatscreen to my right. Surprisingly, I thought, it wasn’t too busy, with only two other tables being occupied. You would figure on Robson, places like this would be packed…. Unless the “young crowds” came in much later than 6:30! But still, to take advantage of happy hour, why not? This was a Monday evening, and before I came to BASE, I had walked past several places (including Korean) that were crowded. So, to me, it was surprising BASE didn’t have more people. But then again, I would imagine the cool people would show up much later. Anyway, whatever.
One thing you would notice is that BASE does not provide side dishes, which other Korean restaurants typically provide. I’m referring to those small dishes of kimchi or veggies/potatoes, etc. that you see in other Korean establishments. I didn’t care much for those, but during my meal I overheard the table next to me—they came in after I did—ask the server dude about “side dishes.” The server dude initially thought they meant small plates to put stuff on, but they clarified by saying potatoes, etc. etc. etc. The dude said they didn’t offer those, but I think he did offer to bring them something if they wished.
Oh yeah, the server dude was good. He offered water refills toward the end of the meal. I’d forgotten to mention that he gave me a glass of iced water at the beginning.
I think the food was decent. Nothing special about it. I mean, it was a decent meal. The beef was nice. Tender. It was good. If I had any reservation about the food, it would be the fact that beef slices seemed thicker than the ones I’d seen in other Korean places, ie. normally you would expect thinner pieces of beef. Still, as mentioned, the meat was tender so it was nothing to worry about. And because it was happy hour, it came out to be rather cheap. It came out to be C$6.98 including tax after the discount was applied, which surely seemed like a typo until I remembered it was 30% off. In total, including tips, the bill came out to be a little bit just over C$8.00. Not bad! Definitely worth it to go to BASE during happy hour for sure!
When: Monday, June 15, 2015
What: Hot Stone Bulgogi
Where: BASE: Eat And Drink, 1578 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
How Much: C$9.50 regular price (C$6.65 during happy hour)