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Restaurants & Bars

Chin Go Gae - Black Goat

crumpet | Sep 27, 200201:08 PM

Finally tried this place which can be found at 3063 W. 8th Street, Koreatown. We ordered the soup version of the black goat special for two ($26). A typical assortment of panchan promptly arrived and although varied and generous it was perhaps the least spectacular element of the meal. Two dipping sauces were also brought. The first, a chilli-mustard and oil combination, the second a standard chilli sauce usually associated with Korean sashimi.

The soup came in a large circular dish that was placed on our table's central burner. It is presented "under cover" with the surface of the soup smothered with a great heap of assorted leaves, mostly parilla. As we submerged the greenery down into the broth, so the aroma hit us. Good God. Dark, rich, gamey, positively pulsing with garlic and chilli. The layers of flavor in this single dish were just extraordinary, the taste and texture deepening and evolving as the nuggets of garlic dissolved and the leaves softened imparting their owm distinct fragrance. The meat, sampled alone with one of the dipping sauces or in a steaming spoonful of broth, was juicy and lean, collapsing at the bite.

As we reached capacity we leaned back to survey our glorious feast and noted something a little odd. No rice had been brought. Literally at that moment, the waitress appeared with two bowls in hand. One contained the absent rice, the other a different combination of chopped leaves. She set these down and portioned out most of the remaining soup between us. She then emptied the rice and leaves directly into the main dish and using the ladle whipped them together before flattening the mixture across the bottom so that the heat would from an excellent crust beneath. This rice, oh heavens, just wonderful, each and every grain bursting with the deepest, most concentrated flavors of the stock, each mouthful hiding a fragment of that glorious meat recaptured from the depths of the dish. Simply a magnificent, inspiring meal and one that evoked so many distinct memories. Hearty plates of game at a Devonshire pub, "goat-grabs" in the Middle East, sneakily running a finger along the bottom of the gravy boat. Hound Paradise.

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