Tucked away in the parking lot of the Western Addition Safeway, Arang is a tiny gem of a place to fill up on bargain-priced Korean classics like kim chee (seasoned pickled vegetables, the most common being baechu, made with cabbage) and bi bim bap (a rice dish topped with vegetables and seafood or meat). Arang also has a great lunch box (Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–4 p.m.) — my favorite is the combination, with teriyaki chicken or barbecued beef, tempura, rice, vermicelli noodles, pot stickers, salad, and miso soup, all for $7.95.
For just $6.50, the tempura-only lunch box comes with two plump shrimp and eight vegetable pieces in a light, crisp batter. I also like the bi bim bap, either seafood or beef, with spinach, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts, and a fried egg, served in a piping hot stone bowl with a squeeze bottle of gochujang (chili pepper paste), affectionately known as “Korean ketchup,” to make it as spicy as you like.
Tip: Open until 2 a.m.; free and easy parking
Not to miss: Bi bim bap, kim chee soup, combination lunch boxes
1506 Fillmore Street (at Webster)
Monday–Saturday 11–2 a.m., Sunday 3 p.m.–2 a.m.