Charlie and Soomi Chi's Korean barbecue food truck has been a fixture at community events and breweries since it first set up outside a Bee Ridge gas station in 2016. Now the couple has launched a brick-and-mortar restaurant: Charlie's Bulgogi opened for business on Tuesday. The eatery is located in the former home of La Dona Donuts, which closed in April. It's a small space, with a handful of tables and a small bar that overlooks the prep station.
The Chis' truck is best known for its pork, beef and chicken bulgogi bowls ($9.99-$10.99) and bibimbaps ($11.95-$15.95). You'll still find those at the restaurant, but the menu has expanded, with bulgogi skillets ($16.95-$21.95), cook-it-yourself options made possible by the small grills in the center of each table ($21.95-$24.95), plus udong ($12.95), soups ($9.95-$11.95), dumplings (five for $6) and more. The restaurant is still in the soft opening phase, which means even the menu is a work in progress. "More coming soon!!" it promises. Hungry to try somewhere new? Eat up.
Charlie's Bulgogi is located at 4567 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, and is open 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 5-8 p.m. Sunday. Check it out on Facebook.