Restaurants & Bars 1

Gam Ja Gol

Stan | Jun 20, 2004 04:33 PM

Koreatown is great. Everyone seems so sane. So it's extra disappointing when the food isn't good. Gam Ja Gol, on the NW corner of Olympic and Normandie, seems happy enough. It's a few blocks east of Sa Rit Gol, but unfortunately, at least based on my one visit to each place, it is not in Sa Rit Gol's league. There are two menus. The one on the wall is entirely in Korean; the shorter, laminated one is mostly sort of translated. The people only spoke a few words of English and couldn't translate the wall menu, so rather than order at random I just got a kimchee stew. The half-dozen panchan were not to my taste. I actively disliked two of them, a crunchy root and a bitter leaf, but this may have been one of those cultural things, like lutefisk or durian. But, compared head to head with Sa Rit Gol, the kimchee just seemed inferior. English doesn't have two hundred words for kimchee, unfortunately, but the stuff just seemed like it was from a jar. The kimchee stew turned out to have a lot of beef, which I don't normally eat, but okay, and some vegetables and tofu. It was okay but again lost out in comparison to the similar stew at Sa Rit Gol.

By the way, there's a pretty good Central American bakery in the middle of Koreatown, on the SE corner of 8th and Irolo (near Normandie). At least I assume it's Central American rather than Mexican because that's what the neighborhood generally seems to be. The best thing they have is a variety of sheet cakes, cut into squares, with a layer of jam in the middle. Some of them are quite good. Although Korean and Central American aren't the first pair you would normally think of, it's a convenient place to get dessert after eating in Koreatown. It's a couple of blocks west of Soot Bull Jeep for example.

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