Korean Tak-Kalbi (or Dak-Kalbi) in LA
I'll be in LA for business next week and am looking to find a dish I absolutely loved while living in Korea. It was really popular in Seoul but since moving back home I haven't found it in either NYC or anywhere in the DC Metro area.
It's called Tak or Dak-Kalbi. It's spicy marinated chicken (red sauce) that is cooked at the table in a circular skillet with veggies such as sweet potatoes and shredded cabbage. Before it is served, duk (rice dough dumplings) are added. The long, roll-like version of duk, not the thin flat round version.
I've been craving this stuff for four years now, I think LA is my best bet. When I've asked Korean restaurant staff in NYC and DC about this dish, they look at me like I'm crazy.
Real Dak Galbi places give you an option to wear an apron while you eat. This allows you to leave the place with clean clothes and a less smokey smell. The first time I went was at the Doosan Tower, I was in awe when I saw a hundred adults wearing an apron while eating... I myself conformed with the crowd
in english the sign says "mapo galbi korean bbq restaurant" but in korean it says in big bold letters dak kalbi.
from what i remember a couple months ago, they served up a generous amount of rice cakes. it was kind of unusual, those rice cakes. oh. i guess i remember a little bit more: they also had sweet potatoes! yes. rice cakes and sweet potatoes with your dak kalbi (that is all that we ordered. we dont try things other than dak kalbi at a dak kalbi restaurant.)
map: http://tinyurl.com/y4jbxd and more details:
3090 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone: (213) 487-2274
call before you go. i think they have weird hours. i cant vouch for their english. not many non-koreans go to this particular spot.
yes, i do remember the sweet potatoes...
it might have been better than i expected from the appearances (as i said, divey), but it doesn't quite rival the best of what korea has to offer, of course.
there is a dak kalbi place on olympic. if you go north on western from the 10, go east on olympic (turn right). it will be on your right hand side. i went there a couple months ago. i neglected to post my findings and i dont remember too well but i do know that i had the dak kalbi and that it was okay. it certainly wasnt bad but its kind of a divey place.
let me see if i can find it.
but let me tell you this. i may be heading out tonight to the ktown area.
if no one posts the exact name, i may post it here with the addrses.
i dont think you can read korean, but the sign says "dak kalbi" in korean. dont remember the english name. i think it may not have had an english sign... but i may be wrong.
i also clearly remember that you could read another restaurant's name right underneath the "dak kalbi".
i know im being vague. anyway, i will be more helpful hopefully later on tonight.