Saturday, December 26, 2015

Come for K BBQ, Stay for Uni and Bone Marrow at Hanjip (Culver City, CA)

There's a hot new Korean BBQ spot in town and it's in Culver City. Hanjip is the new restaurant from restaurateur Stephane Bombet and Chef Chris Oh (from Seoul Sausage).

While Chris Oh is mostly doing traditional Korean BBQ and other Korean dishes, he's elevating the soups and stews using bone marrow stock, perfecting side dishes with unusual ingredients, and using very high quality meats.

Most of the banchans are the traditional ones: kimchi, bean sprouts, fish cakes, and the like. There are pickled perilla leaves to eat with the grilled meat and some super fresh tomatoes, just lightly marinated.
I loved the dried squid probably the best.
You can get dishes a la carte or as a combo at Hanjip, and they use high quality ingredients that you can taste on your first bite of meat. For the pork dishes, you have to try the marinated pork shoulder ($26)

Roasted Cumin Spice Lamb ($22) - with spices similar to what you'll find at Xinjiang restaurants or at Feng Mao.
Instead of spicing the lamb before grilling, they give you of bowl to dip in the meat in.

They also have LA Galbi, but I tried the Boneless short rib ($34 - only half of it is shown on the grill)
Again, it is worth reiterating that the beef they usually is definitely a step above other Korean BBQ joints.

The one item that got Instagrammers buzzing is this one, though: Tomahawk steak with foie gras butter ($120)
This one, obviously, I couldn't order when I was just there with one friend. (I mean I could've but ...) so when I went back for Christmas Eve dinner with more people, I finally got to try one! They grill it on your table but take it back to the kitchen to finish off the steak in the oven before serving it to you.

Also, if you've got money to spare, the next dish is expensive but so delicious ... Carabineros prawns ($49)

These prawns are some of the most sweet and tender I've tasted. Apparently these Carabineros prawns from East Atlantic (Spain, Portugal, etc) are one of the most sought after prawns and I can definitely see why. They're much more flavorful than other prawns, even when they are simply salted and grilled like this. And do not miss out and sucking on the heads!

The side dishes at Hanjip are extra special. The steamed egg is topped with uni and salmon roe ($19)
Anything is better with uni, right?

Bone marrow corn cheese with shaved parmesan and bonito flakes ($15)
They'll come and scrape the bone marrow to mix it with the corn for you.

They're not trying to be too fancy here. They have beer and sake and shochu just like other KBBQ restaurants. Since I came during the day I went with a lighter option, iCing which is a sparkling grapefruit shochu drink (which is actually 4% ABV but tastes like grapefruit soda)
Some of you will certainly comment on the higher prices at Hanjip, but after splitting the bill, the meal cost is similar to going to Genwa or other high end KBBQ places, and I very much enjoyed everything I've tried here. Hanjip is definitely the best Korean BBQ option on the Westside (the only option?) but it's become one of the top in the city as well. They have $12 lunch items, as well, if you wanted to try out the places for less first.

3829 Main Street
Culver City, CA 90232
(323) 720-8804
Hanjip Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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