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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
8.4
7.0
$20
Korean, Chinese
Casual restaurant

Hours
Mon–Thu 4:00pm–1:00am
Fri–Sat 4:00pm–2:00am

Bar Beer, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Not accepted

Beaverton
12590 SW 1st St.
Beaverton, OR
(503) 643-5388
Du Kuh Bee
Sincerity and gratitude fill this microscopic handmade-noodle shop

Du Kuh Bee means “lucky” in Korean. You’re lucky to be here, yes, but the owner and chef also acts lucky to be doing what he so obviously loves to do. This feeling of gratitude and sincerity is in every dish, both those from his Chinese heritage and those devoted to his Korean-cooking passion.

It’s most apparent when you sit at the bar (really, the only place to sit) and watch him hand cut and stretch noodles, performing feats of rhythmic gymnastics before tossing them in a pot of boiling water and then fetching them out while they are still al dente. He then fries these up in a pan of sizzling oil with garlic, garlic, and more garlic (Koreans consume even more garlic than Italians do), plus plenty of chili flakes. All this with a smile or a laughing conversation with patrons. It’s so happy it’s thought-provoking: what are you doing with your life? Are you this happy?

Dumplings are also made in house, and are ridiculously cheap. And quite well textured. They do require a little sauce to excite their inner porkiness, however (where’s all that garlic now?). Pork makes its way into almost everything here, including vegetable dishes. We do wish kimchi were a little hotter and funkier here; it seems mellowed out for American palates—a rare move in this tiny temple of overachievement. In fact, most dishes suffer from the opposite problem: they’re a bit heavy-handed and uniform, trouncing subtleties. Try the dumplings in an earthy soup with odeng (thinly sliced fishcake) to experience them best.

Barbecue performs quite well here, too, even if you don’t get to make it yourself (that’s often preferable, anyway). Bulgogi is properly charred, with delectable little bits of fat striping through the tender meat; eel is also wonderful, sweet and briny, like the bacon of the sea. Perhaps it’s just the soju and beer, or perhaps it’s the show in the kitchen. Either way, this place is great, and humbly so.

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