The Indy Grub Review typically prefers asian food over all others, and most prefers Korean and Thai over the others... spice, spice, baby....
Over on the east side, along Pendleton Pike, you'll find two excellent, locally-owned Korean restaurants. Bando is where we were at on Friday, and Mama's House is also excellent. If you havent' gone, you should. Immediately. The Better Half and I stopped in last Friday, and we waddled out, quite sated.
If you're not fully initiated, you may not immediately get hooked on all of the side dishes that come with a typical Korean meal. But, if you have an adventurous palate, you will love this place.
Most have some cursory knowledge of kim chi. It is a cold, crunchy, spicey, salty, peppery, pickely dish that is just a fantastic compliment to rice. You get lots of side dishes with a standard meal at Bando, and while a few may be somewhat fishy (sea weed salad, maybe some squid), they're all great for variety.
You get a couple of varieties of kim chi in the side dishes. Try them all. Some you'll like, some you won't, but it is a fun and tasty collection.
If you are a first-timer, you may want to stick with the kalbi (beef short ribs) or the bulgogi, which is lean beef. Both are marinated in a simple yet fantastic blend of soy sauce, sugar, green onions, sesame seed, sesame oil.... if you're making an event of the meal (and you're okay with the proper handling of raw meat at your table), get a table with a hibachi and grill your meat over your very own wood charcoal at the table. Tons of fun, great for conversation and a long, casual supper.
This time I got the chicken saute, and the Better Half got the dolsot bibimbap. The chicken saute was a large mound of chicken, juicy, and sauteed, i believe, in a fiery sauce called gochujang. It's fantastic. If you have a gringo mouth, you may not like it, but it is so savory, spicy and just some serious fantasticness.
The dolsot bibimbap is a neat dish that comes in the hot clay pot, so it keeps on cooking as you stir it up and eat it. You can really put anything into bibimbap, and you can make all kinds of crazy varieties at home of any ethnicity, really, since plain rice can carry about anything and be in harmony.
I love this food, I love this place. I hope you'll try it.
The verdict: 5 hearty belly rubs (out of 5).
The two meals and one soda came to $34.50 before tip. What a bargain. And, what it did was kind of annoy me retroactively about the meal we had at Tulip Noir. This was a ton of food, great spice, variety, cooking skill, etc. We left stuffed. This was not just a quesadilla, some veggie hash and pretense. We spent $34 (including tip) at Tulip Noir for the two meals and one tea, and I needed to go home and get a snack.