Remember that chain of bibimbap restaurants heading our way from South Korea’s CJ Group? The first location of “Bibigo” finally sprouted in Seoul, and the owner tells Joongang Daily that L.A. will have the first location in the States by the end of 2010. We hope Chego’s recipes will become the first casual Korean concept to catch on with multiple locations, but Bibigo says it is seeking to reinterpret rice bowls for an audience not used to eating Korean food, even stating that “It’s often the case that foreigners have a difficult time eating Korean food cooked and served the traditional way.” To remedy the perceived problem, the restaurant ambitiously plans 1,000 global stores in the next five years. Serving barley and black rice, it already sounds pretty healthy for U.S. fast-food, especially when its reps say it aspires to be the “McDonalds or Starbucks of Korean food.” Could Bibigo bring bulgogi to nationwide popularity? We’re keeping our eyes peeled for a West Coast launch to find out.
‘McDonald’s of bibimbap’ debuts [JoongAng Daily]