tastes change. preferences change. favorites come and go. restaurants open and close. maybe ktown wont be here 25 years from now... so i present
los angeles koreatown summer 2006 snapshot
restaurant name (house specialty)
Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun (cold buckwheat+"chilk/chic" noodles)
3185 W Olympic Blvd
we stumbled here by chance and found yu chun overrun with 20 something korean american kids, 80% of them speaking english. they were obviously there right after the afternoon sunday service. they were loud, and maybe they didnt have that fobby vibe, but those kids did pick good naengmyeon houses. satisfying for hot days.
Seoul Soondae House One (blood sausage)
3470 W 6th St # 7
in the same strip mall as yu chun. a quarter of the size though, and a more low key kind of atmosphere. their jokbal is pretty good. we go for the sundae, but i was disappointed my first visit there because i wanted to order the sundae/jjolmyeon combo, but they ran out of the jjolmyeon.
Jinju Korean Restaurant (oxtail stew)
3377 Wilshire Blvd # 100
jinju recently (maybe in april or may 2006?) moved from the dark and depressing western blvd joint, to a more cheerful and clean location on wilshire. even though they make good gomtang, the main reason why we love this place is because they serve gomtang 24 hours a day. note: since they moved to their new location, they offer sundubu too. but why? tsk tsk, no integrity. but we love jinju anyway.
L.A. Omogari (kimchi jjigae, kimchi fried rice)
901 S Western Ave
very korean (read: tangy goodness!) kimchi. get the omogari jjigae. fried rice is quite good too!
Guimok (grilled pork belly with kimchi stew)
414 S Western Ave
get item #1. if you love pork and kimchi, you cant lose! the BEST. better than my beloved honey pig (which is actually different, so its apples and oranges. so there. they are both good).
Bonjuk Korean Traditional Porridge Restaurant
3551 Wilshire Blvd.
213 380 2248
not your hong kong juk. korean style. they have regular rice porrige and korean favourites like red bean and sesame and squash.
Wah! Jokbal/Soondae (pigs feet)
3557 West 3rd Street
wrote about this place recently. yummy gelatinous goodness. if you dig chicken feet and oxtails, youll love this too. get the assorted plate.
El Pollo Bailador Restaurant (roast chicken)
3553 W 3rd St
dont be deceived by the dancing chicken name. they authentically serve the "tongdak muu" or the roast chicken pickled radish that all korean tong dak places must make and give out with the chicken. and they add a small container of mexican a very mild "hot" sauce (vinegary with a touch of pepper) that goes well with everything. bonus: they sell burritos if you dont want chicken.
Keumsan Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup)
i am disturbed that i could not find the link or the address. it is located on western, south of olympic on the east side of the street in a strip mall called "sejong plaza", right next to hans appliances. we went earlier this year when they just opened. good stuff! we went again last week. damn! it was a friday night and there was a 10 minute wait for a table. unfortunately, the secret is out, but its worth it. note: there IS parking below the strip mall!
at the above places we each get one dish that costs between $7-13. so we usually spend $20 or less for the two of us. fairly inexpensive.
and you dont need a large party. you can order for one at all places except for guimok. and as most of these places are on the cheaper side, they wont have 20 banchan brought out. usually its just a few well made ones.
when we go out for korean, we first decide exactly what dish we want to order and then choose the specialty restaurant that makes that dish. living in la is a nice treat. most other parts of the country, it is hard to find more than one seolleongtang house. here you have probably a dozen. im sure there are more that i simply dont know about.
the one thing that i really crave, but cannot get in this town, is a bulgogi burger.
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