Thanks to the lovers of Sa Rit Gol on this board!
We went on Saturday night and stuffed ourselves silly for $21 after tax and tip. Since we've been looking high and low for dinner at this price that is still served in something a step up from a dive, we were very excited with this find.
Parking: free valet, though of course you have to tip. It's a plus in this neighborhood, though we lucked out and found a lot of empty spots on Serrano south of Olympic.
Wait: for a party of five we waited about 20 minutes on a busy Saturday night. Not too bad, and I think I heard other tables saying they had made reservations.
Seating: we got seated in the room where you have to kneel at the short tables (not quite a tatami room, but same idea). Not really for us, but we didn't want to wait longer to eat. If it matters to you, do specify what you want. Also, if you sit in this room you won't be able to cook BBQ at your table. They cook it in the kitchen and bring it to you.
The language barrier: the servers here speak NO English, and the menu is written in Korean and fully translated English only. As in, there's nothing that will say "bi bim bap." It will only have it written in Korean and then translated as a rice bowl. Thank goodness I had my Chowhound cheat sheet and knew what to order.
Panchan is lauded on this board, but I didn't think it was the star of the meal. Don't get me wrong. They were very good, and a step up from a lot of restaurants. But they still didn't shine enough that we wanted seconds of anything.
Cuttlefish and green onion pancake. We were disappointed that the pancake didn't have more of a variety of seafood in it, but it was still tasty. It is a huge, flat pancake, almost as big as a NY pizza and crispy around the edges. Tons of green onions, and a generous sprinkling of tender cuttlefish rounds. Definitely worth getting, though I still prefer Kobawoo's deep dish style seafood pancake.
Black cod and radish (daikon): THIS was the star of the meal. The fish was incredibly flakey, and fork tender but not falling apart. The daikon had somehow completely soaked up the sweet soy sauce/rice wine/sesame oil braising sauce, and it was all I could do to keep myself from dousing a bowl of rice with the sauce and not eating anything else all night.
Spicy noodles (first thing on the menu): very interesting. I'm a noodle lover, so I liked these a lot. They're cold noodles in a spicy sauce, but what's interesting is the incredible bounce and chewiness of the noodles. I would eat a bowl of this for lunch.
BBQ trio+bottle of beer. I think it's hilarious that the BBQ trios come with either beer or sake. There was a misstep in that the brought us marinated meat instead of unmarinated meat, but oh well. The meat was standard BBQ fare, nothing special but well done. We had kalbi, spicy pork, and slices of beef.
What we really could not believe was the price. Where else on the west side can I get such good food, stuff myself silly, and not break $25?
Sa Rit Gol
3189 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(Olympic and Serrano, which is between Western and Irolo)
The plaza is called Olympic Serrano Plaza and there's a big yellow sign but it's not lit up at night. The other stores in the plaza are all closed so it looks dark, but Yuchun is in the same plaza, and Sa Rit Gol is in the corner set a little back from everything else.