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Any interesting drinks to order at Korean place? (Yong Su San) [moved from L.A. board]

I was wondering if anyone found some interesting drink to order at Yong Su San or in general that might be available at Korean restaurants in L.A. I mainly mean things that have alcohol of some sort but am open to other ideas.

Ideally, something not incredibly strong, nor incredibly sweet.

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  1. Cynaburst & I once shared a bottle of their raspberry wine, which was not exactly a refined oenophile's dream, but fun to drink, sort of like fortified Manischewitz (but better than Boone's Farm or anything like that).

    1. A waitress brought me sochu and a shot of fresh lime juice to sip with it. She claimed it allowed me to drink as much as I wanted and not get a hangover as I recall...

      1. How about bekseju? It's Korean "medicinal" herb wine, but it has a pleasant taste, and it's pretty cheap.

        If you ever make it to a Korean bar, they take soju and mix it with various flavours -- my favourite is yoghurt. It's pretty mild, because soju is about 60 proof to start with and then it's cut half-and-half with the juice or the yoghurt. They don't sell it in restaurants, though... only plain bottled soju.

        Their beer, like Japanese beer, is light and very carbonated -- O.B. hana chuseyo!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Thanks all - and, Das Ubergeek, the O.B. beer turns out to be what I actually had there last night - loved it. (I like dry, light beers.) I just took a peek at a review/description of it here: http://www.realbeer.com/nmvbp/ob.htm

          We were in a banquet room so didn't have access to the full menu. As far as a dining report, I heard others say the jellyfish salad was very good. I avoided that and the wonderfully spicy-scented hot squid, just because I'm that way. There was sushi, which was fresh and tasty, something mild to nibble on that looked like an omelet, dumplings/potstickers of some variety, and a bunch of other salads and hot entrees including barbecue beef of course. Nicely done although I was disappointed I didn't get to try the pumpkin porridge described in other reviews, so if/when going there again will order it.

          I haven't had a lot of Korean food before and haven't got a particular predilection for it so really am not in a position to say how wonderful or not wonderful the place was - it didn't seem amazing to me but there was a freshness/tastiness/reliability to it. I would go back to try more specific things from the menu - but I'd hit Thai Town first as that's more toward my leanings.

          1. re: Cinnamon

            Sushi was probably sushi -- Koreans do have their own kind of "sushi" roll called kimbap but it's kind of a snack-after-school thing for children, you'd never order it out.

            Omelettes in Korean are called p'ajeon (pah-JAWN), and they're usually rice batter, eggs, and scallions -- if there was seafood in it, it'd be called haemul p'ajeon. Potstickers are called mandu (MAHN-doo) and they're essentially exactly like Japanese gyoza.

            If you like Thai food -- and its chile-laced fieriness -- but want to explore Korean food, try soon dubu, which is a very spicy tofu stew. The two best places (in my not-so-humble opinion) are Beverly Soon Tofu and Sokongdong, which face each other across Olympic Blvd. at New Hampshire, one block west of Vermont Avenue.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Korean food also contains egg-based "omelettes" in its repertoire. They're usually available as banchan, and range from eggs and scallions/green onion to fish or pork. I like the fish kind myself (usually made with a mild white fish and served with soy + vinegar sauce). Sometimes they'll put diced jalapenos in them too.

              If you like them, you can pick some up from the various Korean grocery stores in K-town.. availability at restaurants tends to be "whenever the chef feels like making them" unless the restaurant makes it a point to serve it.

              And since this post is about drinks... Soju is commonly available at Korean restaurants, but tastes like rubbing alcohol. I like to drink bekseju on occasion, and there are some other ume plum based drinks (can't recall the name... sorry!). The rasberry wine mentioned in one of the first posts is pretty sweet, so it may not be your thing. More "hip" Korean restaurants/bars may have soju cocktails, which can be pretty nice. A little less kick than vodka, but still enough that you know you're drinking :)

              1. re: Devourer

                more like egg "souffle" than an omelette. very tender steamed beaten egg with other ingredients thrown in to please your palate.

                btw, yong su san generally serves "han-jung-shik", or traditional course meal that involves lots of small dishes that are generally not spicy nor salty. the spiciness and saltiness generally has southern roots.

                their pumpkin porridge is okay. i would go for seoul jung over yong su san, though.

                1. re: tuttifrutti

                  Ah... I believe you are referring to gae rahn jjim (egg... stew?). I really like it when restaurants throw this in with the meal.

          2. We once I had this great rose Shoju... it was not to sweet and not too boozy, but very refreshing...

            --Dommy!

            1. bok boon ja is the rasberry wine like drink that is popular these days.

              soju is a little strong for a regular meal but with heavy meat or things like that, it is pretty good.

              i have never seen flavored soju at a dine in restaurant (like yong su san, chosun, etc.)....but it's common at korean drinking establishments.