My best friend growing up was a dude named Dave.
He is Korean and living abroad now, but when we were in high school at Burnaby North Secondary, we were inseparable.
We shared a lot of the same tastes in music (Prince, U2) and clothes (he always looked better in them), but when it came to food, we weren’t even close.
He grew up, of course, eating Korean food like spicy kimchi and I grew up eating the food equivalent of Richie Cunningham.
I still remember Dave’s awesome and kind mom asking me to try kimchi and it being so hot I felt like time had literally stopped – I needed a fire extinguisher for my tongue.
I just wasn’t ready for it.
Flash-forward 30 years and I’m at a point where I eat mostly Asian food because the foods I grew up with are pretty tiresome. Like, if I never eat another bland mashed potato that will be fine with me.
I eat kimchi more frequently now and understand its complexities.
So when I go to Sooda on Lougheed near Brentwood, I always add the luscious kimchi fried rice to my bulgogi special, which includes beef marinated in bulgogi sauce, served on a hot plate with cheese, corn, green onions and seasoned rice.
Korean barbeque is incredible. You get so many items and cook them right at your table – just bring a hefty appetite.
Sooda describes itself at Korean fusion and they love mixing other influences into their food. For instance, I’ve never seen cheese served at a Korean barbeque joint.
All I know is when I’m hungry enough, we devour Sooda food and come home happy.
Dave’s mom would be proud of me.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.