Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Preferred Korean Restaurants

Cho Sun Galbi on Olympic, couple of blocks west of Western. Last time was last month. Nice Ambience, good for large parties as well as Order of Galbi was $28 and I believe a minimum of 2 bbq orders must be placed to grill at the table. This is a typical rule for many Korean restaurants.If 1 order is placed, the bbq will be served fully cooked already grilled in the kitchen. I know many who swear by this place. I, on the other hand, did not enjoy the Galbi so much. The meat looked great when presented, but it was tough meat. Flavor was good but I had some meat pieces that would not cooperate and had to be swallowed in one piece. Side dishes were good (very potent, lots of garlic).

Woo Lae Oak on LaCienaga in Beverly Hills. I prefer the Galbi here, also $28. Nice ambience. Good for large and small parties. Six side dishes are usually given at most Korean restaurants, not here. Side dishes here are salad, cold bean sprouts/broccoli and kimchi. Flavor is mild here which I prefer (i.e. not as much garlic/pepper is used in each dish which usually leaves that taste on your mouth for days). Galbi is tender and flavorful. I love the black cod dish (un dae go jorim) here, also $28.

Ma Dang Gook Soo (9th and Western) - Although the name suggests the specialization is noodles in a hot soup (they make their own noodles), I go to this place for the dol sot bibim bap (riced mixed with vegetables on a hot stone plate). $9. I have tried many other places for this dish and nothing have compared so far.

BCD Tofu House (one on 9th and Western next to Ma Dang Gook Soo) - It is a chain so there are many scattered throughout Los Angeles and even in the U.S. I am not a big fan of Soon Doo Bu (hot soup with silken tofu- mild, medium or spicy), but I know many people who love this soup. It's especially soothing on a cold winter day. BCD does have cold bibimbap and galbi that are ok but not that good. $8-10.

Tahoe Galbi (corner of Wilshire and Wilton) - only $14.99 for so much food (bang for your buck here). It's practially "all you can eat". I like the chicken bbq - it's tender dark meat stripped of its fat. Galbi is so-so, kind of chewy. Tahoe gives you a choice of 6 bbq items to choose from (you can order all 6 or order just 1). Obviously, you will get less of each if you order all 6, but you get to try all the meats. Other bbq choices besides galbi, chicken, bacon looking meat and thin slices of un-marinated meat. Once you have finished your plate and are still not completely satiated, you can order another plate of whatever bbq choice you did enjoy from the 6 bbq choices. Tahoe also gives you tons of side dishes including thin rice noodle sheets to wrap you bbq meat in. Don't forget to dip it in the soy sauce and/or sesame oil with salt sauces.

Update - Went to tahoe yesterday, 9/16/07. All you can eat price increased from $14.99 to $16.99. Parking increased from free to $1.50.

Seoul Garden (Genghis Khan/Korean Style Shabu) on Olympic, a couple of blocks east of Alvarado. I love this place. $23/person for shabu at lunch/dinner. All parties share the same cooking pot at the table to cook the thin slices of raw meat. A pile of green onions also is given that complements the meat flavor which should be cooked together with the meat. Dip the cooked meat and green onions in the dipping sauce provided. It's not over yet. Sesame oil, seaweed and rice/noodles are then added to the leftover broth with an egg. Complete satisfied now.