I decided to post better content on my food blog so I decided to kick off my first post talking about my favorite Korean restaurants.
Each restaurant has a dish or two that I would simply not be able to live without! Most are in Los Angeles because that is where I live and have frequented the most Korean restaurants. I also am not ranking any of these as I go down the list. Enjoy!
1. Ma Dang Gook Soo – 869 S Western Ave #1, Los Angeles, CA 90005
I love their chicken kalgooksoo, jjohlmyun, donkatsu and spaghetti. Okay it’s more than two at this place… I love this place because there are so many dishes I would order here. A part of why I like this restaurant is also because I love their banchan (side dishes), it’s simple yet so complementary to the dishes. I came here a lot with my parents, my mom especially as a child and into my young adult stage. Now I go all the time and I take my son and my husband. Eating with more people is always the best so we can order multiple dishes and we can all share!
2. Jong Ro Shul Lung Tang – 8942 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844
One of my favorite dishes in all of Korean cuisine is bossam. What’s not to like? It’s carb free, has multiple textures and can be as spicy as I like! Of all the restaurants I’ve been to that has served bossam, this place is the BEST. They serve it with fresh greens, pickled radish WITH oysters, raw garlic and jalapenos and of course the pork. Oysters are a huge deal in this dish, if there are no oysters I am not happy. Their banchan was un-memorable but I don’t usually need banchan with bossam.
3. Sun Nong Dan – 3470 W 6th St #7, Los Angeles, CA 90020
First, let me tell you… whichever location you visit, expect to wait at least 45 minutes. This place has blown up amongst the Chinese community and that is how I heard about it! My Chinese colleague introduced me to Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown… we went together with our husbands and waiting almost two hours to eat. I was hooked after that. I must have went at least once a week for a very long time. I took all my friends and talked about it for months. I went so often, the employees knew me and I didn’t even have to wait anymore. Then I stopped like I usually do with all my obsessions. They ended up opening two more locations in SGV and even though those locations are much larger, it’s still a minimum 45 minute wait. Now to the dishes I love… Ox knee soup if I’m eating with one other person and if I’m with a group, I’m definitely ordering the mo deum soo yuek. I think it means assorted beef stew or something. It’s an assortment of beef over a fire with leeks and mushrooms. It boils throughout your entire meal and you eat every piece in the metal oversized bowl. This is where I discovered ox knee, my favorite type of meat in Korean soups. It’s gelatinous and tendon like, best to dip in the soy sauce with jalapenos and spicy yellow mustard they provide. Protip, ask for extra spicy yellow mustard for your sauce, a little spice won’t kill you. I always ask for more and use the entire thing (or more)! Again, the banchan does not disappoint. They have three side dishes and all three are the best in LA. I love the green onion mix, their radish and kimchi are perfectly ripe to eat with the soups. Bear loves the spicy galbi jjim with cheese.
4. Seoul Garden – 3701, 1833 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
IDK why the address is listed like able on Google, but I just copied and pasted how it was provided.
This restaurant serves a style of shabu that I’ve never experienced before. I grew up eating this all the time with my family so it holds a special place in my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten their KBBQ ever in my life because their jeen kes khan is all the rave. I love the vegetable mix they serve, although they used to add more perilla leaves, but now they don’t anymore (it’s still damn tasty). I want to say this is a Korean shabu dish but I’m not too sure. The sauce is different from all the rest, ban chan is on point and after the udon, they make a porridge! Koreans and their rice mix after everything is seriously the reason why I can’t get skinny. Pro-tip, when the porridge is ready to be consumed… make sure you eat it with the squid radish red banchan. Best combo ever!
5. California Market Gimbap & Udon – 833 S Western Ave #39, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Cheap, easy and delicious! I never visited this establishment when it was at the market… I discovered it after it moved to Rodeo Galleria. Yes, it’s pronounced like Rodeo in Beverly Hills, but the businesses inside are not like Beverly Hills. It’s just another shopping mall in a strip mall in Koreatown. If you’re Korean, you love kimbap (I spell it with a K and not a G) and sometimes the kimbap that your mom made you was not the best but you still loved it. I used to push out the spinach and whatever else I didn’t want inside of it… This place serves tuna, cheese, sausage, ham, beef, veggie, so much variety! My favorite are the tuna, cheese and sausage. I also LOVE their jangchi gook soo. It’s a noodle dish with veggies in an amazing broth! Not a lot of restaurants in Koreatown serve it so when I found it here for less than $6.00 or a tasting bowl for $3.99, I was floored. I like to pickup for on the go meals since they have pre-made ones, but I do also like to eat in and enjoy the noodles while they’re fresh. Protip, eat inside and get a half and half order for your kimbap!
I know this seems a bit sparse, however there are so many establishments that have really great dishes, but I rarely frequent them. These are my top go to spots that I will probably never stop going until they close.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post… I hope to have better content like this on my #pigletventures as we move forward into the end of 2018 and on!