REVIEW: Panda Express Kobari Beef

Written by | October 1, 2010

Topics: 3 Rating, Fast Food, Panda Express

Panda Express Kobari Beef

In the Korean language, I’m pretty sure kobari is a swear word.

Okay, I’m not 100 percent sure. It could just be a completely made up name Panda Express wordsmithed to give to their new Korean Kobari Beef. I’m not Korean, nor do I have a Korean translator handy to ask, but kobari really does sound more like Korean profanity than a Korean dish. According to the internet, which I trust when diagnosing rashes on my body, the words jiral, shibal, poji, gaeseki, kochu and byungsin are all real Korean obscenities.

Don’t you think kobari would fit nicely in that list?

Actually, I have to admit, if those swear words were on a Korean barbeque menu, they would all sound delicious. I would especially want to put some kochu in my mouth to go with a bibimbap. As for kobari, I still think it sounds like a swear word.

And if it’s not, I think we should all start using it like one. But I’m not sure what it should mean because after doing Korean profanity research, they appear to have words for all the common swear words that English speakers have. So it’s going to have to be an uncommon English swear word.

Personally, I think it should mean taint licker, i.e. a level above brown nosing.

For example: Man, Bob wants that raise so badly that he’s being a total kobari!

Well, until kobari is added to Urban Dictionary, I guess for now it will be the name of Panda Express’ Kobari Beef, which is made up of thin slices of marinated beef with wok-seared bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and leeks and tossed with a sweet, smoky and spicy Kobari sauce.

While the previous sentence makes Kobari Beef sound delicious, I have to say that it’s quite possibly the most boring and blandish non-starch item I’ve ever eaten at Panda Express. I don’t have a beef with most of the ingredients, but I think the Kobari sauce is the cause of this dish’s lack of flavor. While it’s sweet, smoky and spicy, it’s also not a very strong sauce. It’s what makes Kobari Beef The English Patient of Panda Express dishes, and I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep while eating it.

When I heard Panda Express was doing a Korean dish, it seems a bit odd to me because if you ask some people, they’ll say Panda Express doesn’t even do Chinese very well. But I’m a Panda Express fan and there is a very short list of their dishes that I won’t eat, most of which include shrimp, which I am allergic to. However, that list got a little longer because of Kobari Beef.

While I may not enjoy it, others probably will and if Kobari Beef becomes successful, it could encourage Panda Express to create menu items from other Asian cuisines and give them names that sound like profanity from their respective languages.

(Nutrition Facts – 5.3 ounces – 210 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 840 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein.)

Item: Panda Express Kobari Beef
Price: $6.50 (2 choice plate)
Size: 5.3 ounces
Purchased at: Panda Express
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Uses leeks. Wide variety of vegetables used. Other Panda Express choices. Decent calorie count. Good source of protein. Knowing how to swear in other languages. Putting some kochu in my mouth.
Cons: The English Patient of Panda Express dishes. Boring and bland. Weak sauce. Not having a Korean translator handy. Awesome source of sodium. Kobari sounds like a Korean swear word.






16 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Chuck says:

    I like the spicy dishes at Panda Express. Their Kung Pao Chicken actually isn’t too bad. This one sounds like a must-miss for me!

  2. Lane O says:

    I had it the other night and was surprised it was spicy. You know how some places claim a dish to be “spicy” but isn’t? And of course they changed the pan of Kobari Beef to a freshly made one AFTER I got served.

  3. tiffany! says:

    Panda Express is giving coupons for free Kobari Beef online! I just saw it yesterday so I’m sure its still available for anyone interested in trying it out.

    • Marvo says:

      Panda Express also lets people sample it. So if the coupon expired just jump into the Panda Express line about 34 times and it’s just like getting a free serving.

  4. Review Spew says:

    That was really funny. Kudos!! New Korean swear words sounds like a Tosh.0 skit.

  5. Justin says:

    Definitely the worst thing I ever remember having from Panda. I got one real piece of beef – the others were tiny shreds – and it had zero flavor.

  6. random guy says:

    This looks like your average chinese buffet food.
    I’ve been living in korea since 2008 and this in no way looks like any korean i’ve ever seen.

    Korean BBQ is called bulgogi fyi.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgogi

  7. elrey says:

    Actually judging by that picture the recipe wasnt followed. Maybe it was the store you tried it out in? But the new kobari beef is pretty good. Not the best but up there. The recipe needs to be followed in order for it to taste good. Try a different panda! But don’t miss out if you like spicy! Mix well with Kung poa chicken yuuuum yuuumm!

  8. “I would especially would want to put some kochu in my mouth…”

    Please… Read that over before publishing some mediocre review about a dish served by a fast food joint… Is this really what America has come to? Do we really need to be do doing this. It’s completely ridiculous, just take a moment and just realize how idiotic it is to even write this. I would much rather hear a story about a person getting a paper cut than this garbage. INB4 “Free speech” blah blah blah. Another failed food critic. Go get back to college and retake English 101

  9. kobariking says:

    you are a fool it’s good



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