Kelly Billings, 28, of Hancock Park, was out to dinner at Bulgogi Hut, an All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ restaurant, this past Friday when three of her friends blindly gorged themselves on endless kimchi, bulgogi, and other meats, after which they eventually exploded. Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the exploded bodies, but according to Kelly, two were visiting from North Carolina. “Everyone warned them it would be a lot of food,” she said. “But they insisted they were all really hungry.”
According to reports, one of the victims worried about hurting the chef’s feelings. “The food kept coming and coming,” Billings said. “I saw her face—sweating, nodding, shoveling it in, smiling, sweating, shoveling. It went on like that for a long time. I knew it wasn’t going to end well.” Reports show that other patrons tried to warn the trio to slow down to no avail.
Paul Lee, a resident of Koreatown, said watching the victims eat, pre-explosion, was truly disturbing. “Bits of kimchi flew from their mouths,” Lee said, “and their shirts were soaked in meat juice. They were eating like they were in a contest, like they were being timed.” Lee and his family had to look away. “I didn’t want my children to see,” Lee said. Incidentally, Lee’s children, ages 8 and 11, are now being treated by a child psychologist for symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including flashbacks of the incident and repeated night terrors.
The restaurant was immediately evacuated after the explosion, and no surrounding patrons suffered injuries. The owner of the restaurant, George Park, said he’s still cleaning up the aftermath of the explosion. “You should have seen it,” Park said, “rice and bulgogi on the ceilings, on the windows, everywhere.” When asked what might have been done to prevent the incident, Park said, “That’s not how it works. We don’t stop serving food. We never stop.”