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Another Sa Rit Gol fan is made

Pei Sep 25, 2006 04:15 PM

Thanks to the lovers of Sa Rit Gol on this board!

We went on Saturday night and stuffed ourselves silly for $21 after tax and tip. Since we've been looking high and low for dinner at this price that is still served in something a step up from a dive, we were very excited with this find.

Parking: free valet, though of course you have to tip. It's a plus in this neighborhood, though we lucked out and found a lot of empty spots on Serrano south of Olympic.

Wait: for a party of five we waited about 20 minutes on a busy Saturday night. Not too bad, and I think I heard other tables saying they had made reservations.

Seating: we got seated in the room where you have to kneel at the short tables (not quite a tatami room, but same idea). Not really for us, but we didn't want to wait longer to eat. If it matters to you, do specify what you want. Also, if you sit in this room you won't be able to cook BBQ at your table. They cook it in the kitchen and bring it to you.

The language barrier: the servers here speak NO English, and the menu is written in Korean and fully translated English only. As in, there's nothing that will say "bi bim bap." It will only have it written in Korean and then translated as a rice bowl. Thank goodness I had my Chowhound cheat sheet and knew what to order.

THE FOOD
Panchan is lauded on this board, but I didn't think it was the star of the meal. Don't get me wrong. They were very good, and a step up from a lot of restaurants. But they still didn't shine enough that we wanted seconds of anything.

Cuttlefish and green onion pancake. We were disappointed that the pancake didn't have more of a variety of seafood in it, but it was still tasty. It is a huge, flat pancake, almost as big as a NY pizza and crispy around the edges. Tons of green onions, and a generous sprinkling of tender cuttlefish rounds. Definitely worth getting, though I still prefer Kobawoo's deep dish style seafood pancake.

Black cod and radish (daikon): THIS was the star of the meal. The fish was incredibly flakey, and fork tender but not falling apart. The daikon had somehow completely soaked up the sweet soy sauce/rice wine/sesame oil braising sauce, and it was all I could do to keep myself from dousing a bowl of rice with the sauce and not eating anything else all night.

Spicy noodles (first thing on the menu): very interesting. I'm a noodle lover, so I liked these a lot. They're cold noodles in a spicy sauce, but what's interesting is the incredible bounce and chewiness of the noodles. I would eat a bowl of this for lunch.

BBQ trio+bottle of beer. I think it's hilarious that the BBQ trios come with either beer or sake. There was a misstep in that the brought us marinated meat instead of unmarinated meat, but oh well. The meat was standard BBQ fare, nothing special but well done. We had kalbi, spicy pork, and slices of beef.

What we really could not believe was the price. Where else on the west side can I get such good food, stuff myself silly, and not break $25?

Sa Rit Gol
3189 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 387-0909

(Olympic and Serrano, which is between Western and Irolo)
The plaza is called Olympic Serrano Plaza and there's a big yellow sign but it's not lit up at night. The other stores in the plaza are all closed so it looks dark, but Yuchun is in the same plaza, and Sa Rit Gol is in the corner set a little back from everything else.

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  1. Bon Vivant RE: Pei Sep 25, 2006 04:58 PM

    I went to Sa Rit Gol the first time a couple of months ago and it blew me away. The second time I went back it was even better than the first.

    I dream about the food all of the time. The pan chan are the best in the city, the dipping sauces are varied and wonderful, the meat is pretty good quality, and all of the side dishes that I've received have been great.

    The prices are even cheaper at lunch and there is usually not a wait.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bon Vivant
      Pei RE: Bon Vivant Sep 25, 2006 06:37 PM

      What are your favorite dishes? I want to try the squid and dekkle steak next time, but other than that I was just going to blindly start picking things.

      1. re: Pei
        Bon Vivant RE: Pei Sep 25, 2006 09:06 PM

        I thought that the dekkle was very good though it's quite minimalist, really it's just the flavor of the meat. But it is grilled with onions and mushrooms and served with a macerated jalapeno/garlic vinegar based dipping sauce. They also served this really good hearty, spicy, tofu/vegetable stew which is perfect in cooler weather (the day that I had it it was already 100 degrees outside so it was a little too rich.)

        My favorite grilled meat is the short rib with the sea salt and fresh garlic (unfortunately, they don't let you keep the bone.) This goes great with the natto like dipping sauce and the chili sauce.

        I really like the pork and pickled vegetable pancake and it's served with a great dipping sauce that I use for the unmarinated meats as well.

        When I was there at night I saw a lot of other tables with a great looking fish - it almost looks like the Japanese miso black cod but a much bigger piece. I don't know what it's called but if most people were ordering it, it must be good.

        1. re: Bon Vivant
          Pei RE: Bon Vivant Sep 25, 2006 09:10 PM

          That's what we had. It's listed on the back of the menu as cod with radish in a braise. It's SO GOOD. You're right that it's kind of Japanese influenced. It was everyone's favorite.

          1. re: Pei
            m
            MeowMixx RE: Pei Sep 25, 2006 09:36 PM

            Yummy! It's called Eun Dae Goo Jorim :) I must definitely go and check it out.

            1. re: MeowMixx
              Bon Vivant RE: MeowMixx Sep 25, 2006 10:18 PM

              Thanks for that info re the cod; I will definitely have to order it next time and leave the fish-hater at home.

              I forgot to mention that the hearty spicy stew seemed to be served with the dekkle.

    2. j
      jenn RE: Pei Sep 25, 2006 08:31 PM

      Ah yes, language. Pei says:

      "The language barrier: the servers here speak NO English, and the menu is written in Korean and fully translated English only. As in, there's nothing that will say "bi bim bap." It will only have it written in Korean and then translated as a rice bowl."

      Sa Rit Gol is the place that made my husband say "I love LA." The server became frustrated with our lack of comprehension over some way we wanted to order so she hauled out the Spanish speaking dishwasher and spoke to him in Spanish about whatever heinious thing we were proposing and he translated her comments into English for us. . . .so if you are really despirate to know what something is, grab the dishwasher.

      And if you are curious, we were trying to order two types of meat to grill but the seasoning was not complementary and we could not order it to grill ourselves because it wouldn't have tasted right. . . .

      great place.

      1. h
        hlv2eat RE: Pei Nov 10, 2006 01:51 AM

        Thanks for the post, i will definitely check this place out since so many people are raving about it. Anyway, i like to suggest Wonjo restaurant, not in Korean town but they have good panchans, bimbimbap, and their specialty is the spicy seafood hotpot which includes crab, shrimp, fish, clam, mussel and vegetables. http://www.laritz.info/archives/00040...

        1. foleydog RE: Pei Dec 5, 2006 03:29 AM

          We went for the first time a few weeks ago for lunch on a Saturday. It was good. I had a bibimbap - not adventurous, but what I was craving. My DH had the black cod soup - and it was great. All in all more food than we had anticipated, great prices.

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