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Oct 11, 2006 06:24 PM

Has anyone been to O-Dae-San recently?

I'm planning to try Korean sushi and have read some good reviews on this board about Odaesan, but they were from years past. Anyone been there recently? Any comments? Thanks.

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  1. It's not the best but it's not the worst.

    For most part their sushi platter is fresh and has variety of items (my favorite has to be the abalone dipped in the chili sauce) and their side dishes are OK. The only problem you might have with their food is how they serve their tuna. I don't know why but it is served partially frozen (frozen to begin with but it thaws as it sits there and you wonder why they served you a frozen tuna). I've seen it served this way in Korea and in Korean sushi-joints and I really never asked why.

    It's clean and the service is pretty decent being that it's in k-town but they do have great parking.

    5 Replies
    1. re: cinsays

      Thanks. Any other suggestions for Korean sushi other than Odaesan in K-Town? I've heard of Arana, but don't know where or how it is.

      1. re: cfylong

        do you mean arado? i believe it's on wiltern, cross street is either pico or olympic. it's good!

      2. re: cinsays

        i've asked about the frozen tuna in the hwe dup bab in Korea and was told that it's supposed to melt when you mix it up with the hot rice. perhaps i eat too fast but it doesn't melt fast enough when i do that.

        1. re: cinsays

          I just had a great experience at Bu San (Western, just south of Beverly) over the weekend.

          There was only one frozen fish that we were served. It was dubbed a "fishsickle". It was good after it thawed out.

          This was the only fish served like this. The highlights for me were blue fin tuna, sweet shrimp and uni (served from the shell of the sea urchin) none of which were frozen. There was also a nice assortment of cooked dishes and panchan.

        2. I can't say that I've been all that recently, but it hasn't been a year. But I've only had hwe tup bap. I gather the Japanese have a similar thing they call chirashi. Basically, it's like a sashimi salad - a heap of crisp fresh lettuce dressed with sesame oil and sashimi slices that you mix all up with hot chile sauce. I love it. Have always wanted to try the lobster sushi/sashimi, though.

          The frozen sashimi thing is kind of weird, but if you want to try Korean sushi/sashimi, well, this is it, baby! I heard that they serve it frozen/half frozen because they feel it gives it more texture. You could always just avoid tuna.

          Jonathan Gold wrote up Island (Sum in Korean) a loooong time ago, but it's worth looking into. I haven't been... looks a little grubby from the outside, and although that's often the case with good Korean restaurants, it's not very encouraging in a sushi joint. Odaesan, on the other hand, is very clean and bright.

          Don't know anything about Arana.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Cicely

            I, too, have enjoyed the hwe tup bap (sashimi salad) that you wrote about. It is delicious, indeed, and pretty reasonably priced, but it is huge; this is all I could manage for my dinner, so I could not try anything else.

            If you order this, I think they give you some fish sauce with it. I found it added a wonderful flavor to the salad...but then I drank gallons of water the rest of the evening.

            I love the layering of this salad. I tried to eat it layer by layer, but both the sushi chef and the server came by to advise me to mix the salad. I don't quite understand what happened, but they were correct. One plus one = 5 stars! The mixing gave the salad much more depth of flavor, even though the bites were similar. They knew...and I learned!

            It is certainly one of the prettier Korean restaurants in this city.

            1. re: Cicely

              actually, chirashi is fresh sashimi served over a bed of rice. yummy!

              1. re: wilafur

                Yes, but this version is fresh sashimi in a greens salad, with other fun ingredients. I was always finding new treasures as I worked my way through this huge bowl.

                I don't remember any rice in the ones that I have ordered, but there might be such a version.

                1. re: liu

                  By definition hwe dup bap means fish over rice so there must be rice in it. Basically, it's the fish version of bibimbap.

            2. i like odaesan. it's clean, fish is fresh, service is great.

              1. Best thing at Odaesan (IMHO) remains the al bap -- a wonderful mixture of assorted caviars and rice. Phenomenal.

                The sashimi is very good, but perhaps a little prosaic, or unsubtle, compared to the best Japanese sashimi. On the other hand, the panchan that come alongside tend to be terrific. This is still one of our favorite restaurants in L.A. but it's more for the al bap and the panchan than for the sashimi itself.

                3 Replies
                1. re: PayOrPlay

                  Hello, PayOrPlay!

                  Are you sitting at the sushi bar when you order the al bap? Is this a dinner item? Is it an entire meal by itself or have you ordered it in conjunction with other sushi items?

                  I like O-Dae-San a lot, and I would love to order something different from my usual sashimi salad. Thanks!

                  1. re: liu

                    The Al Bap is my favorite dish at Odaesan also. You can ordered it at either the bar or at the table. It is a complete meal by itself, the way bibimbop or chirashi would be.

                    1. re: liu

                      Actually we've never eaten at the bar. Our usual order for 2 people has been the small sashimi combo plus an al bap. This produces more food than the 2 of us can eat (and we usually leave some of the more boring sashimi) but lots and lots of panchan (which we devour). We might go for a different strategy next time, though.