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Jul 29, 2007 07:44 PM

Best Korean Banchan in LA?

I've been to Shik Do Rak and Dae Sung Oak in Ktown... both alright, neither had quite the varied and delicious banchan (Korean BBQ sides) that I used to adore at a place in Northern CA. I miss it. Where should my next Korean BBQ stop be?

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  1. Sa Rit Gol or Park's.

    Park's BBQ
    955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

    Sa Rit Gol
    3189 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

    13 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Are there any that are really noteworthy, akin to the raw crab at Sokongdong?

      1. re: SauceSupreme

        Park's has fantastic banchan. They also have great raw crab (gae jang). Way better than Sokongdong's.

          1. re: SauceSupreme

            Aside from variety, there is in my opinion a difference in execution. Some are just better than others.

            For example, for all of Soot Bull Jeep's virtues in charcoal BBQ, it falls woefully short in the panchan dept. They just taste like they came from jars.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Oh yes I forgot Beverly Soon Tofu had great Banchan IMHO

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I guess what I meant was, were there any particular side dishes -- the kim chee, or the tofu or the...?

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  Well, aside from the aforementioned crab, other offerings include things like the dry salted squid, the curried soybean, sesame cucumbers, oi kimchi, radish and onions, raw yam slices, black beans and probably many others I'm not recalling right now.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    And if you are really a "banchan" fanatic don't forget:

                    Banchan a la Carte: (Thanks to Pay or Play)


                    Banchan a la Carte
                    141 N Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

                  2. re: SauceSupreme

                    Sauce, Beverly Tofu has Tofy and BBQ combos. I personally go there for the tofu. But the Panchan is really good. Fresh Kimchi, pickle Kimchi, a great soft tofu banchan in a soy like sauce ( killer ) and all the rest. They even sell some Kimchi in a refridge case for the mostly Kirean clientele to go. Hope this explains..

                    1. re: Foodandwine

                      I really like the soft tofu in that soy-ish sauce at BST, as well as the sliced cucumbers. I didn't find the crab dish at SKD to be to my liking, which is why I prefer Beverly for tofu as well as banchan.

                      I'm going to have to head to Sa Rit Gol to check out the squid and the radish dishes, as well as the candied dried fish.

                  3. re: ipsedixit

                    Hi, Ipse,
                    I still have not been to Soot Bull Jeep, but if the panchan taste like they are not homemade, it definitely is not the place for me, no matter how good the bbq beef is. The reason why is because panchan is an essential part of a Korean meal, in my opinion.

                    From reading this thread, Park's sounds like a place that I should check out, instead.

                    1. re: katkoupai

                      Go to Park's. It's a bit more pricey, but worth it.

                      I used to be a big Soot Bull Jeep fan (and still am to some degree), but after discovering Park's, I haven't been to SBJ.

              2. If you don't mind going to Buena Park, Su Rah has an amazing array, 12 to 14 choices and they're definitely not from a jar.

                PS Go early or make a reservation.

                Soora Restaurant
                5333 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90621

                1. i disagree on park's. the meat is stellar, but i recall paying $3 extra for very average kimchi. who pays extra for kimchi in a korean restaurant?

                  saritgol's sides are a tad too sweet, but they're very good nonetheless. that knee tendon thingy is awesome.

                  how come no one's mentioned yongsusan yet? cause it's not bbq-centric? they would probably be #1 on my list for panchan.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: smssms

                    YongSuSan? Really?

                    I've found everything there, panchan included, to be very mediocre (both in selection and quality). What did you like about their panchan?

                    I recall getting one of the mid-priced dinners, can't imagine the others are all that different.

                    Do tell.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      well, it's been about a year since my last visit, but i like their bossam kimchi a lot. also, i have to put their flavors in context. it's supposedly kaesung style, which is milder. now i'm not of north korean royal stock or anything, but i do think that most korean restaurants overseason. sometimes way too much. so a tad less works for me. to each his/her own, i suppose.

                      1. re: smssms

                        We love the seafood panchan at Odaesan. At least, when we get the full-on selection of mystery sea creatures in small bowls, which seems to come with the big combo platters (such as the sashimi combo), but was much skimpier at our last meal when we didn't order one of those combos.

                        My recollection of the panchan at Yongsusan (it has been a rather long time since we've been) is that it was pretty mild, and not as impressive as some of the main dishes that we really did enjoy.

                        Shockingly, we still haven't been to Sa Rit Gol, will need to remedy this soon.