Cheap Eats: Mixed Grain
Try a delicious bibimbap or dolsot rice bowl. Simply choose your toppings, rice and protein then enjoy!
Photo by John C. // Yelp.com
Pay no attention to the health food–sounding name: Mixed Grain offers a fascinating, authentically Korean dining experience that’s unique in downtown Walnut Creek.
It all starts with the bibimbap and dolsot rice bowls, for which you can choose your toppings (the “works” gets you spinach, mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts, plus an over-easy fried egg on top), rice (plain white or mixed grain), and protein (bulgogi beef, chicken, spicy pork, short ribs, salmon, or tofu). The bibimbap ($12) is served in a plain bowl while the dolsot ($14) makes for a grander spectacle, arriving literally sizzling in a red-hot stone bowl that crisps up the bottom layer of rice for extra texture and flavor. We recommend the dolsot works, with mixed grain rice and spicy pork. It’s big enough to share.
BANCHAN BONANZA: All entrées come with banchan: a tasty mix of Korean sides—many of them variations of pickled and spiced kimchee vegetables—served in small dishes that are refilled throughout the meal. Mixed Grain makes its banchan in-house daily.
KOREAN EMPIRE: The owners of Mixed Grain also run a half-dozen other Korean eateries around the Bay Area, including the popular Ohgane Korean BBQ restaurants in Dublin and Oakland.
BEYOND BIBIMBAP: There’s plenty besides rice bowls, such as Korean barbecue ($8–$14), silken tofu stew ($12), noodle soups ($9), and traditional small plates, like savory jun pancakes ($6–$8) and mondoo dumplings ($6). Wash it down with a soju cocktail, Cali wine, or Korean brew.
Mixed Grain, 1546 Bonanza St., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-5959, mixedgrain.com. Lunch and dinner daily.