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Oct 11, 2000 09:46 PM

Korean Bbcue

  • d

I'm Looking for the best Korean BBcue in Koreatown.
I've done the search but thought I would bring the subject up again to see if there were any new places.

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  1. g
    Gretchen Ehrenberg

    My dearest friend from back home in Germany is a Korean-German. While he was here we went to Chosun Golbi (BTW: they have an excellent web page). Both of us thought it was marvelous.


    1. My favorite is Soot Bull Jeep, a Jonathan Gold find. The great distinction of this place is that you cook on real mesquite charcoal, making the place hotter and smokier than most, but I prefer both the food and the atmosphere.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dylan Yolles

        Admittedly, I am a newcomer to the "Korean BBQ scene", but I was at Soot Bull Jeep's this Monday and I have to say that I loved everything about it: the charcoal smell, the matter-of-fact service, the food with all the different sauce and/or vegetable sides, which were just the right kind of garlicky-spicy. It is definitely not a fancy place ... which I actually want to be understood as a compliment. Btw: It is in Koreatown on the Southside of 8th Street (Catalina is the nearest cross street) -- and you just go there and get in line for a table.

      2. I was with my girlfirend in Koreatown, and we stopped by a place called Ham Hung, on South Ardmore. She wanted BBQ, but something told me to get the cold noodle special - maybe it was the fact that we were surrounded by Koreans, all ordering the cold noodle special.

        It's a spicy, vinegary cold noodle, topped with sauteed skate wing. Warning, though - not a date place. Between the double-length noodles, the spattering red garlic goo, and the perpetual spitting of little bits of skate cartilage, it's about 2 steps below BBQ in terms of neatability. But LORD is it good.

        So, yeah, it was the first time I'd ever been in a Korean place and gone non-BBQ, and I know it's a little off-topic, but, should you ever feel in the mood...


        2 Replies
        1. re: Chris Nguyen

          Ham Hung rules! Or used to--I haven't been there in years. I was pretty sure that it had closed, and I'm glad to hear that it hasn't.

          An interesting note on the place: in the late '70s and early '80s, although most of its fame did derive from the splendid chewy noodles that are the specialty of the region from which it takes its name, Ham Hung was a regular stop on the Japanese tour-bus circuit for its extremely expensive wild-game barbecue buffet, where you could eat little bits of carefully grilled lion, water buffalo, tiger, hippopotamus, zebra, etc., all purchased from local U-shoot-'em game preserves.

          1. re: Pepper

            Hamhung may be in need of a downhill alert. I've been there only once, this past summer, which I began with the high hopes of finding a great mul naengmyon (cold noodles with soup) place in LA. I met with a lot of disappointment, perhaps none larger than at Hamhung, which has an excellent reputation. Mul naengmyon made right is artistry and the stuff at Hamhung doesn't make the cut anymore. The soup had way too much vinegar, the accompanying beef broth (yuksu) was thin, the noodles, I can't remember very well. Finally the accompanying kimchee was downright bad (it was their white kimchee, not standard kimchee). The pibim naengmyon mentioned by Chris Nguyen may be decent there -- it's probably an easier dish to make.

            The rest of the search, as I mentioned, didn't go well. Kangso myonok, which also has a good reputation, on 6th and virgil is so-so -- just a little better than hamhung.

        2. How's Arirang in Pasadena? Any good?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Fred

            Arirang is a nice-looking room, but the food--tame barbecue, insipid noodles, overcooked fish, etc.--is just okay. I will admit to a certain grudging affection for the bindaeduk, mung bean pancake, which comes sizzling in an iron pan, just like chain pan pizza. And the place is a good deal at lunch.

            It is a branch of a famous upmarket Korean restuarant in Hong Kong, and the flavors were no doubt adjusted to the chile-fearing Cantonese palate.

            1. re: Pepper

              Any recommendations near Pasadena or Roland Heights area? I'm coming from San Bernardino County so K-town is a little far. Something comparable to the BBQ in NYC K-town? Oh yeah, and grill-it-yourself is a big plus. Thanks.

              1. re: Fred

                There used to be a Korean restaurant in Riverside, right across the street from Gerard's French Restaurant. I was told that it was OK, but I never went there.