Top 5 Korean Restaurants

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!

Buffalo Chicken Chowder

BEST SOUP I’VE HAD EVER! I had to look up with Whole 30 was, apparently it’s great for you. So there it is.

I of course made my tweaks to make it spicier and have some texture. I added corn (from the cob) and blended the soup with fresh habanero peppers for that extra kick.

Well, not me, my husband, Bear. He meal preps for me. I love this soup because it’s hearty, flavorful and filling.

I also realized that it’s so good with a side of corn tortilla. This flavor is a combination of pan roast meets tortilla soup meets a Thai coconut curry.

My favorite ingredients in this soup are below… they really make the taste of this soup something like you’ve never tasted before.

Coconut Cream
Frank’s Red Hot

All you need is a pot or a slow cooker. I didn’t have an immersion blender so I just used my smoothie blender.

We just pack it in a microwaveable to go bowl and I eat it at work.


@TheNoMadHotel Lobby 1st Visit

These photos and videos were from my first visit to The NoMad Lobby the day after it opened. My friends and I were visiting venues in DTLA for a birthday party and decided to dine here last-minute after reading about its opening on EaterLA just few days before.

My first visit to The NoMad in NY was several years ago with my gf JL. She had dined there and had their roast chicken and black truffle pasta and wanted to share it with me. After that first visit in NY, we made it a point to visit the establishment every time I visited New York. (It was 11 times in 2016)

During our visits, we met Jhonel and got to experience The Library Room. Our favorite was the NoMad Bar. I don’t usually drink cocktails but I got suckered into ordering one while we sat at the bar. Guillermo was are bartender and he made the best drinks. We probably had five cocktails each. My experience in NY left me desiring to go back as often as I could so when I heard about the DTLA opening I was ecstatic.

The first evening in DTLA was just as wonderful as my memories of NoMad in New York.

My favorite dishes in NY were the crudite and steak tartare. Though DTLA doesn’t have the steak tartare, their carrot tartare is just as divine.

(I’m sorry my posts are not sequential but I have them as drafts and ended up not going in order)

I’ve now been to NoMad about 10 or more times. I try to make a standing reservation on Thursdays which has been pretty consistent and easy to get through the Resy app. However, finding someone to go with was the challenging part. I ran out of friends to go with. I’m the type of person (with OCD) where if I like something I’m going to go (or eat) as often as I can. But with NoMad being NoMad, I’m not able to go every day. I almost wish I lived at the hotel or had the means to go there every day to have the crudite and the 375ml bottle of the sancerre sauv blanc. This would be the ideal diet for me.

My joke to all my friends who ask what I’m doing on Thursday is that I’m trying to get NoMad to become my Cheers, where everyone knows my name. All my friends laugh when I tell them I’m going to NoMad or post it on my social media because the shriek in shock, “AGAIN????”

Yes, again. I love it so much. The ambiance is just my stitch and most importantly the service is flawless. I haven’t had a bad experience in all the visits.

If you have a chance to go, dine in the lobby first, then the next visit go to the Mezzanine. In the lobby you must order the fried chicken, crudite and carrot tartare. In the upstairs dining area, you must order the whole roasted chicken. As for dessert, milk & honey is ace on both levels.

My cocktail choice is the Sherry Painkiller or Cocktail No. 3.

Cocktail No. 3 is literally a cock, copper cock at that. Serves 2 but I’m greedy so I drink it all. Next time I want to order the crystal dispenser and ask for a long straw.

I promise you’ll love and if you want to find me, come on a Thursday.

I’ve also had their breakfast (yummm) and now need to go for lunch!





First Time Brunching @TheNoMadHotel

I’ve always diner in the evenings so I wanted to know what their breakfast/brunch was all about. One Saturday morning, we decided to to dine @ NoMad.

I ordered the smoked salmon plate which came with butter lettuce, my favorite! Bear ordered the lemon poppy ricotta pancakes. Both were amazing, oh and we got a chocolate croissant on the house. THANK YOU!

I want to go back and try the omellette or egg sandwich. I also need to go for lunch.

The best part about my meal was the Matchalada. Best beverage to stream down my throat.


Valentine’s day dinner was amazing because of the food. NoMad opened earlier this year and I was so ecstatic. Every time I visit NY I ALWAYS go to NoMad.

Their roasted chicken is the best. Well, everything is the best. We dined in the mezzanine for a more formal experience. Since it has opened, I’ve been there almost every week and won’t stop (until everyone knows my name). Seriously.

If you’re going on a date, both the Lobby and mezzanine are fine, if it’s a first date, I say Lobby. The upstairs is more for special occasions and serious conversations. It may feel a bit tight since you’re so close to the ceilings however the food and service makes up for it.

I saw other tables being presented with this dessert show so I had to order it. The Baked Alaska that is. I’ve never had it before and seeing that my husband is white, he obviously had. Personally it wasn’t the best. I love their Milk & Honey dessert the best.