just tried a new (to me) place: omogari
they specialise in kimchi and kimchi jjigae, what they call the "omogari". since we were new the the place, we decided to go for what they specialise in and we ordered the omogari and their iron plate kimchi fried rice.
for banchan we were given:
muk (acorn based jelly)
gul jeot (salted spiced raw oysters)
kim (roasted salted seaweed sheets)
eomuk (fried fish cakes)
cold steamed broccoli
put gochu (korean peppers)
duenjang, chamgireum (soybean paste and sesame seed oil)
gamja jeon (fried potato slices)
we did not eat the eomuk (i have banned it from my life - it always has a freezer burn taste no matter where i go) and skipped the broccoli (why? why? there must be a lot of koreans out there who like it. but i dont understand the appeal of over steamed, naked, cold broccoli).
all the other banchan else was excellent. we cleared everything. and while we did not get more helpings of any of the banchan i could have had another round of the guljeot (cold and tasted of the ocean) and the excellent kimchi (de.li.cious).
with the fried rice we were given a small bowl of kongnamul guk (soybean sprout broth). simple, but really, you cant go wrong with kongnamul guk so i wont give them bonus points for it being good. the fried rice was satisfying. we were asked if we wanted spam (we did) and i think they cooked it with other meat (probably pork but i dont remember); it was all good. there were no off tastes and nothing tasted even slightly rancid... i know, you must wonder what kinds of places i frequent, but i have been to average homestyle restaurants and many times i can taste the old oil gone slightly off and or meat that must have been from two nights before. and as a whole the dish did not strike me as overly oily, which is also another problem that fried rice can have.
everything about the kimchi fried rice was very good. like something i would have made myself. just VERY well done. i was really happy with it, if you cant tell.
the omogari was excellent too. it was tangy, sour and spicy. the kimchi was perfect for stewing. the only complaint was that they were a little bit stingy with the pork and that the pork was not fatty enough. dining partner doesnt mind pork belly but i think the trend these days is to use meats more lean... but i concur, that it wouldnt have hurt to use more fatty pork for this dish. still, it was delicious. it is a jjigae that any korean would be happy with.
the house rice is also something just slightly different than the usual. it is white rice, but they add a few grains. i think they add just a little bit of lentils to the mix and something else that colors the rice reddish black. so its slightly attractively colored. something new and catches you off guard.
hmm. just writing about this (this late afternoon lunch took place five days ago) and boy, i sure want to go back tonight. i guess i will...
901 s western ave
los angeles, ca