Despite its billion dollar makeover, I still consider the Westfield Century City Mall to be a food wasteland.
Eater with its usual PR-focused rah rah journalism (we’ve never seen a press release that we can’t rewrite and pass on as journalism) just did a feature on the new Bibigo Kitchen in Century City, so I thought I would mosey over at lunch and give it a try.
The restaurant is right when you enter the mall off of Avenue of the Stars, across from the horrid Panini Kabob. It’s fast casual where you order at the counter and they bring your meal to you. There’s limited seating inside and then some outdoor seats which would be pleasant on a nice day, although not today in the heat.
Your mileage may vary, particularly if you are heavy into beef or pork, but I would not return.
I ordered a chicken breast plate - they also have various plates of beef, pork, octopus or “plant based protein.” The plate consists of a protein, a “base” (rice, noodles or something called Gochujang Naan) and a choice of vegetables or salad. For $2 extra, you can get a sous vide egg on top (which I passed on). For my plate, I chose seaweed rice as my base and broccolini for my vegetable. I also ordered a small side of cucumber kimchi which is usually $3, but was on special for $1 today.
The best part of the meal was the broccolini, which was fresh and crunchy (which I appreciated, since it it seems unduly hard to get fresh and tasty vegetables in Century City). The chicken I was not a fan of. The chicken was really, really, really soft and tasted, well, artificial. I looked for some hot sauce to douse it in and they have their own brand of Korean hot sauce, which actually is not hot at all and is kind of sickly sweet – think of it as hot sauce for people who do not like spicy food. The seaweed rice was tasty enough. The side of kimchi was a few sliced cucumbers laying on top of a bland sauce.
I also ordered “Jasmine Blue” hot tea. I thought Jasmine Blue was just a fanciful name, but sure enough the tea was blue, which I found extremely off-putting. It didn’t affect the flavor, but it’s interesting how we take in things with our eyes as well and I was just not into sipping what looked like hot ink. A nice gentleman came over to see if I was enjoying my meal and I questioned the blue color and he proudly told me that they use some kind of flower to make the tea blue and that I could also get a blue Boba. He gave me a coupon for a free Boba, which I left on the table because I really, really do not want my food to look like ink (nor was I interested in a non-blue Boba).
Anyway, today was the second day of business and the staff were all nice and enthusiastic and the place is attractive enough, but just not to my taste.