Korean food for visiting Koreans who have been starved of good Korean food the last 4 months
Here's the scenario................
We will be hosting a Korean exchange student who has been stuck in South Dakota for the last 4 months. She's flying to LA on June 2 and is eagerly anticipating a taste of home.
I know that I could take her to any place on my regular Korean rotation, which for the record includes:
Soot Bull Jeep
That other soontufu place across from BST with the raw crab panchan
That dolsot bibimbap place next to the place with the raw crab
Sa Rit Gol
and my not-so-regular rotation:
She claims to love all Korean food, and at this point is so desperate for anything vaguely kimchi flavored that she'd probably scarf down Woo Lae Oak and proclaim it delectable.
However, I would really love to show her a wonderful experience that will not just satisfy her palate but leave her feeling as if she's been back home.
My gut reaction is Sa Rit Gol (for the extremely Korean ambiance as much as for the black cod jigae, bbq, glorious panchan, etc). I the fact that SRG has a large, diverse menu that she could pick her favorites from (though I realize that the best Korean restaurants tend to specialize).
I'm extremely open to suggestions as this would be a great experience for me also, to break out of my old standbys and try something different. (Though it doesn't have to be...)
Thanks for your ideas and opinions, 'hounds
- The original comment has been removed
Ditch Soot Bull Jeep for Park's or Shik Do Rak or Cham Sut Gol (in that order)
That tofu place is So Kong Dong and I'd pick that over Beverly
The bibimbap place is Jeon Ju - I'd go to KT plaza over Jeon Ju
Ham Hung for bibim naeng myun
Ho Won Dang in KT Galleria for some precious (expensive) Korean rice cakes
For a quick dessert - there's a truck in the HK market parking lot (or is it the California Market parking lot) that sells ho dduk (sweet rice pancakes with sugary filling)
Or take her to the Koreatown Plaza and let her pick... Chew Young Roo has great comforting Korean buns and Gamja Bawi has a good selection of many Korean classics.
I'm not Korean, and this could be straight blasphemous for all I know, but if I wanted to give someone that just like home feeling, I would probably do it at Beverly Soontofu.
Do Koreans really eat that BBQ kinda stuff at home? It's like, foreigners might associate American food with hamburgers and hot dogs, but when was the last time you ate that at home?
Sorry, nothing much to add other than that... my regular Korean rotation is pretty much the same as yours. Maybe for a taste-of-home experience, you could take her to OB Bear or Prince later on.
While Koreans living in Korea do eat some bbq at home, it's not all that frequent, as they tend to eat a lot of fish and pork.
Most Korean kitchens are small and don't have ovens so you have to pan-fry or use a tabletop cooking stove with grill pan. As such, bulgogi is probably more common than kalbi when cooking at home.
Beef in Korea is expensive, so it usually just cheaper and more convenient to go out to bbq that do it at home.
Many Koreans who come to the States can't believe how cheap beef can be in a non-regulated market and go nuts when they realize it's cheap and easy to do at home. Especially when you live in LA and can grill 90% of the year.
My favorites in addition to some you have mentioned are:
Ham Ji Park (pork ribs, soup of pork neck and potato)
Kabawoo House (Bossam and seafood pancakes).
For the longest time I have been meaning to go to
the Goat Stew/Soup/Fried rice place, CHin Go Gae.