Traditional Korean cuisine from family recipes

2013-07-04T00:00:00Z Traditional Korean cuisine from family recipesGerald M. Gay Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
July 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 
  • Where: 2900 E. Broadway
  • Phone: 305-4900
  • Online:
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 4-9 p.m. Sundays.
  • History: Husband-and-wife team Charles and Bok Kim opened Kimchi Time a little more than a year ago in the old home of Jorgie's Cafe.
  • Type of cuisine: Traditional Korean from Bok Kim's own recipe box, including her take on dolsot bibim bap, marinated slices of beef with vegetables, egg and rice served sizzling in a hot stone bowl. Prices are $4.50-$6.95 for appetizers and $6.95-$29.95 for entrees.
  • Tastes from home: Charles Kim enjoys the osam bulgogi, a stir-fried mix of squid, pork and different vegetables, and the tofu kimchi, which also comes with pork. Charles Kim said the tofu kimchi is not meant to be a meal, but an appetizer to eat while drinking soju, one of Korea's most popular distilled beverages. "My brothers and I like to eat it when we get together," he said.
  • Bio: Charles Kim was 8 years old when he came to the United States in 1979.
    His parents sent him to live in America with his two older brothers. His sister already lived in the country. Her husband was in the Air Force stationed in Tucson.
    "Korea was like a third-world country back then," Kim said. "My parents thought there would be better opportunities in the U.S."
    After a few years spent in Washington, where his siblings worked in shipyards and for lumber companies, he moved to Tucson, where he went to high school and entered the military.
    He spent eight years in the Air Force, including one year on remote assignment at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul.
    "I couldn't really recognize anything when I was stationed there," he said. "But I was fluent in reading, writing and speaking Korean, so I could get around."
    He met Bok while visiting family in Seoul. The couple has been married for more than two decades.
    Kimchi Time was inspired in part by the food that Charles Kim ate growing up, but also by Bok Kim's family. Two of her sisters own restaurants in Seoul.
    Charles Kim, who works in real estate on Tucson's east side when he isn't serving food, is pleased with the response they've received.
    The eatery gets a healthy mix of customers, from Korean residents to students to retired military from all over town.
    "Bok is a great cook," he said. "We ended up taking a chance. It has worked out well."

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