Showing posts with label koreatown. Show all posts
Showing posts with label koreatown. Show all posts

Friday, March 23, 2018

Belly Up to Eight Korean BBQ for 8 Flavors of Pork Belly

Eight Korean BBQ focuses on pork belly, and has locations in Buena Park, Koreatown, and Singapore. The main attraction here is the eight flavors of pork belly. If the concept sounds familiar to you, that would be because the Koreatown location was Palsaik which also served eight flavors of pork belly. Palsaik is now rebranded (and with much much better service!) and with new menu items.

We got the Combo A, which comes with the eight flavors of pork belly plus a seafood stew and mozarella kimchi fried rice for $56.99. It was plenty of food for 2 people and probably would feed 3-4 depending on how much you eat.
Eight Korean BBQ
The eight flavors were: hot, miso, curry, herb (mostly rosemary), garlic, black sesame, original, and wine. The black sesame one is a new addition (it replaced the ginseng) and I'm pleasantly surprised how well the sesame flavor worked with pork belly. I think the sesame was my favorite this time around, but the garlic and hot flavors are also great.
Eight kbbq
We also ordered the Flower Pork Belly ($22), because it looked so cool! Although we thought it looked more like a hedgehog than flower, but either way it made for a great photo and more fatty pork belly for us to eat.
Eight kbbq

Friday, September 19, 2014

Roy Choi's Commissary at The Line Hotel (Koreatown)

First of all, the new Commissary is beautiful. Situated in a green house complete with hanging pots of greenery next to the pool at The Line Hotel in Koreatown, diners can enjoy the LA sunshine all year long. You already kind of feel like you're on vacation when you step in.

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The menu at Commissary can be a tad confusing at first. You get two pieces of paper. One is the picture menu that shows you the price and main ingredients. The little numbers lead you to the second piece, the "cheat sheet" which tells you how it's prepared ("grilled") and what sauces go on that dish ("lemon, green sauce" - for example).

Now, the setting is a green house, and there are a lot of vegetable and produce-focused items, but it's not a vegetarian restaurant. There are a number of vegetable-focused and vegetarian dishes, though.

There's grilled corn with red sauce, chili, garlic, onion
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This is Roy Choi after all, so don't expect bland vegetable dishes. Just like the things he's known for, these are full of spices and flavors.

The original cocktails were created with the help of Matthew Biancaniello, although he won't be behind the bar. Served in deli cups, you'll find cocktails made with seasonal produce and unusual ingredients like pisco, white peach and anise hyssop; or mojito with zebra tomatoes.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Saint Martha: An Ode to the Patron Saint in Koreatown

An unexpected wine bar has opened in the heart of Koreatown with Tart's Chef Nick Erven (formerly Messhall) and sommelier Mary Thompson (formerly Rivera). The warm gougeres is just an amuse of the surprising and delectable dishes to come.

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The appetizer puts almost all that is good on one plate - and it worked with the steak and oyster tartare and champagne sabayon, served with hot bone marrow beignets ($13)
Steak Oyster Tartare
Steak and oyster tartare: the combination of these two raw delicacies  was one of those "why didn't I think of that before?" moment.

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Sommelier Mary Thompson has done a wonderful job with the wine list, and the servers know their stuff, too. I told my waitress what I liked and she recommended a lovely, crisp, 2012 Wagner Stempel Weissburgunder, Rheinhessen from Germany. This is one of the best new whites I've tried lately.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dishcrawl Hits K-Town, with a Giveaway!

Dishcrawl is the newest walking food tour in town (they're actually nationwide), and next Wednesday on May 21 they are hitting Koreatown. The tour will visit 3 different restaurants, but the itinerary is kept a secret. The only one I can tell you is that they will be visiting Escala, the new Colombian gastropub from Chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage! It's not your typical Koreatown restaurant, for sure, and it already garnered many good reviews with dishes like pork skin guacamole and pork belly tamale. 
To promote the Koreatown tour, they've offered to give away one ticket to the crawl! The tour takes place next Wednesday, May 21 at 7pm. The meeting location will be disclosed 2 days before the event. Note that the giveaway is only for 1 ticket (valued at $45), though, not a pair, but I'm sure you'll meet some cool people there. For more information about the Ktown crawl, check here.

To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eat Here Now: Roy Choi's POT in Koreatown

Pot from Kogi BBQ's Roy Choi was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings recently, and it does not disappoint. The restaurant inside Koreatown's Line Hotel showcases Roy's Korean heritage with hot pot dishes, other Korean favorites, along with some of his unique creations.
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We had a really hard time choosing, but finally we ordered one that had almost everything. We tried the Fisherman's Wharf ($39 for the pot pictured above, plenty of food for 2 people) which comes with rock cod, crab, sardine, clams, mussels, fish roe, shrimp, tofu, daikon, scallion, sesame, spicy paste, and herbs. Each of the hot pot can also be served as individual portions - this one would cost $17.
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It's chock full of seafood and packs quite the flavor punch. Not that I'm Korean but this tasted "authentic" to me and just as good if not better than what I've had around K-town. In fact, I prefer eating this than the crab soup at Ondal. The crab is still in the shell, so be ready to get down and dirty. That's part of the fun and they hand you a whole roll of paper towel, so you'll be set.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Piedmontese Beef for Korean BBQ at Star King BBQ

There's a new star of Korean BBQ in Koreatown. Star King BBQ has actually been open for a while, but a recent change of ownership led to the kbbq joint being the only Korean restaurant and one of the few places in Los Angeles offering Piedmontese beef. The new owner Jackie Yoo is the daughter of a meat distributor, so she knows where to get the good stuff.

Not just the Piedmontese, but Star King is possibly also the only place in town serving the tomahawk rib eye of the Piedmontese. This is what put the restaurant on the heat map, and you have to admit, the presentation is rather impressive!

gourmetpigs.com
All the bbq is cooked over charcoal grill, and you'll find plenty of banchans, from the typical to the more unusual.
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Instead of the potato salad, you'll find sweet potato salad along with pancakes.
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grainivore: A Tiny Singaporean Join in Koreatown

The name Grainivore certainly doesn't sound like a Singaporean restaurant and who knows why they decided to open up in Koreatown, but there it was. Grainivore is a tiny joint (there is extra seating in a back room, which is connected by an alleyway) serving up combo Singaporean meals on paper plates.

You first choose between steamed rice, chicken rice, or coconut rice. Then, there are four protein choices: Hainan chicken, barbecue pork, shrimp paste chicken, and beef rendang. All the combos are $6.99 except beef rendang costs $2 extra.

The place closes at 8pm and when I came around 7pm they were out of the pork and Hainan chicken, so I ordered the beef rendang on coconut rice. All the combos come with a salad with peanut dressing.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cravings: Goat Stew at Mirak (Koreatown, Los Angeles)

I get inexplicable cravings for the goat stew (yumso tang) at Mirak. I say inexplicable but really, the explanation is easy: it's damn good.

Be it winter or summer, I would still crave this stew. Mirak is (of course) in a small strip mall in Koreatown, hard to find if you don't know what to look for. The yellow sign above the restaurant is all in Korean, but it does say Mirak on the window. Look instead for a sign for "Samil Plaza". There is a parking lot but it tends to be overrun, even when the restaurant doesn't look that busy.

The black goat stew is listed as "Goat meat spicy broth with vegetables served in hot pot". They charge per person, $15 each.

Goat stew for 2
The meat is gamey but the perilla leaves and spicy broth compensate for the smell, and the meat is also extremely tender! The broth is filled with chilies and mustard seed, incredibly flavorful but not overly spicy (if I could handle it, so can you).

Banchan and condiments

After you finish off the stew (if you don't, the ladies working there will heap what's left onto your plates), they will come by and start the finishing touch: kimchi bokkumbap (fried rice) in the pot using leftover broth. Here they make the fried rice with bits of dried seaweed which added a really nice touch.

Usually at the end of a meal for two I will have a container of leftover rice and goat meat, plenty for a meal the next day! Maybe not for office lunch, though. To say the aroma is strong is an understatement. Mirak is one of my favorite places in Koreatown, offering a dish not easily available anywhere else. It hits the spot every time. It's also a good deal for $15 a person, as it usually feeds me for 2 days!


Mirak
1134 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 732-7577
Mirak on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 7, 2013

8 Flavors of Pork Belly at Palsaik BBQ in Koreatown (Los Angeles, CA)

I was recently involved with a project to review a few Korean restaurants in Los Angeles, and one of my assignment was Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ. I was pretty excited since I had never been to this restaurant which boasts eight flavors of pork belly. The set menu with the 8 pork belly and stew ("Palsaik Set Menu") was $49.95. I asked around as to how many people the set would feed and got answers ranging from "two, but when you get to the rice you won't be able to taste anything" to four, so I settled at three, which seems to have been the perfect number.


Compared to other Korean BBQ places, Palsaik is decidedly more modern looking and cleaner (though the service wasn't any better)
The presentation was also quite impressive. A long wooden board held eight plates of the pork and underneath each one the flavor was printed: Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, and Red Pepper Paste.

On the wall they also display the "health benefits" of each flavor, which I thought was pretty funny ... I mean, we're eating eight slices of fatty pork belly here! I don't think the "benefits" of the red wine marinade would really cancel out the effects on your blood vessels.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Korean Royal Cuisine at YongSuSan (Koreatown, Los Angeles)

I've always wanted to try Korean "royal cuisine" ever since I stayed up all night for weeks watching Dae Jang Geum, so YongSuSan has long been on my radar, but I never actually went until very recently. 

Their prices have increased from what they listed on the website, but since this was a long anticipated visit, I went with the most expensive tasting menu, the Royal Court Table D'Hote for $49.99 ("table d'hote" means a prix fixe set menu, a phrase that is rarely used in the US)
YongSuSan is one of the fanciest Korean restaurants we have in town, as you can see from the entrance.
There's no grand dining room inside though, as they have several private rooms and a small dining area for those not requiring a private room. The dining room is not particularly "fancy" compared to restaurants in West Hollywood, but I like its quietness and the service.
The Royal Court menu changes seasonally. For mine, it starts with a "soft creamy porridge".

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Eating Through K-Town [buzz Korea]

So buzz Korea is a website launched by the Korea Tourism Organization dedicated to promote all things Korea, including through various contests (for example, you can vote for your favorite Touch Korea Tour video and win Samsung products). Now, they're also holding a contest for a blogpost or video where you show your passion for Korea and can win a trip to Seoul! That's where I come in! My passion is of course, all about Korean food! I love Korean food. I mean, I even got my mom to start a Korean restaurant in Indonesia! Even the Korean dramas I watch tend to all be about food.

Los Angeles Koreatown is a great place to get a huge diversity of Korean food, and I've tried plenty there (but of course, I still want the real thing in Seoul!)
It's not just all about Korean BBQ and bibimbaps (although we all love those).

In LA's Ktown you can find things like black goat stew at Mirak, the gaminess masked with the fragrance of perilla leaves.

Like most students, my first exposures to Korean food was the 24-hour joints like Nak Won, filling the stomachs of hungry students and drunk party-goers alike with jap chae, kimchi bokkumbap, and more.
Then there's my favorite comfort food, soon tofu. First there was the 24-hour BCD Tofu but then I learned about the beauties of both Beverly Soon Tofu and So Kong Dong.
And then with food blogging, my world expanded!
There's the gam ja tang (pork neck stew) from Ham Ji Park, one of my first introductions to Korean stews and I fell in love with it, along with their spicy squid noodles.
Ondal 2's kkot geh tang (spicy crab soup) is another unique offering in K-town ..
... although I usually prefer their spicy rib stew! These stews ($45) are enough to feed three people, and they also make kimchi fried rice with the remaining broth!
One time I even tried the poisonous blowfish at Dae Bok, where you can order it either as steamed fish with bean sprouts or as a stew (mehwoontang)
A new 24-hour favorite is Myung Dong Kyoja, where the dumplings (manduguk) are perfect after a late night of drinking. 
Call ahead for a special order of clay baked duck at Da Rae Oak. This aromatic and tender duck is stuffed with rice, various nuts, dates, etc.
This is just a sampling of what's available in Korea town, and there are so much more from Han Bat Sullungtang to intestine stew at Dwit Gol Mok. Much more to explore for all of us, and one day I'll try even more of the real thing in Korea!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Working Into the Night at Tom N Toms (Koreatown). Open til 4 AM!

It's past midnight. You need to get work done, but being in your room puts you to sleep. You need coffee and some snacks, and a change of atmosphere. Is there anyplace you can go? Actually, there is. Coffee houses in Koreatown apparently tends to open late, including Tom N Toms Coffee, which stays open until 4 am (they open at like 6 or 7 am also - who knows when they sleep!).

Apparently Tom N Toms is a big chain in Korea. There's only one location in LA right now but they are planning seven more. Oh, and they're famous for their butter toast (their version of brick toast).

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They have different flavors including walnut and caramel, and they also have savory items like pepperoni pretzels.
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Did I mention there's free wifi?
I was told that the most unique drink is their walnut Walnut Tomnccino ($3.95/4.50/4.80). It is actually the most expensive of their frozen blended drinks, but it is definitely different. I had expected flavors from a walnut syrup, but instead it had a strong walnut flavor, as if I was eating a Chinese walnut soup!
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I tried the Caramel Bread ($5.50). Apparently they have a special toaster for these brick toasts. I actually like these better than the famous brick toast at Half and Half Teahouse in SGV. The one here is thicker yet more moist. I could do without the tall whipped cream, but it didn't really hurt either.  
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It's after midnight. You need your laptop and wi-fi handy, plus some caffeine and sugar. K-town is the answer.

Tom N Tom's Coffee
3300 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020-5613
(213) 427-9867
http://tomntomsusa.net/www/us.php

Disclosure: this visit was hosted.

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