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Park's vs. Kang Hodong Baekjeong?

  • aching Jan 16, 2014 10:32 AM
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I've never been to either place and want to try one of them with my brother, who is a Korean food lover and is visiting from out of town next week. What I have gleaned from Yelp so far is that Kang Hodong Baekjeong is the most popular Korean BBQ place at the moment, and that Park's takes reservations but is more expensive while Kang Hodong Baekjeong doesn't take reservations but is less expensive. I'd love to know more about the food - which has the best meat (or is one particular kind better at each place)? What about banchan? And any standout non-BBQ dishes? Please share!

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  1. This is like comparing a Bentley to a BMW. The price is more than negated by the higher quality of meat you get at Park's plus the ability to make a reservation and not deal with the circus at KHB.

    1. General rule for buying meat at park's

      #1 of guests - 1 +a side

      ie 5 guests, buy 4 meats + large cold noodles
      total price approx 4x$25 + $15 = $115/4, or ~$29pp

      This strategy has never failed me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        good god, man, you left out the hite.

        1. re: linus

          that should be obvious to any drinker =P

      2. I stopped going to KHB after the lines became ridiculous.

        I'll gladly go to a pricier place that takes reservations.

        No time to be waiting around

        1. Thanks for the feedback - I made a reservation at Park's!

          1. I like Park's, and would choose Park's over KHB even if the latter took reservations.

            KHB just seems a bit gimmicky. Food is fine enough but I do think the steamed egg thing is pretty awesome (not a big of that corn cheese thing, though).

            7 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I've never been to or even heard of KHB until right now. What makes it gimmicky?

              1. re: Butter Fight

                It's owned by a Korean wrestler/comedian I believe.

                1. re: TheOffalo

                  And it has pictures and placemats of the comedian all over the restaurant.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    …but besides, that, the food is pretty damn fine, especially once you factor in the price, 2hr wait notwithstanding.
                    If the "gimmick" only extends to the identity of the owner, is that an automatic disqualification for you?

                    Though I agree that Parks has the better (read: top) quality product of all the BBQ places in Ktown.

                    1. re: jdwdeville

                      Yes, agreed.

                      Like I said up above, KHB is fine enough, but given the choice between it and Park's, I would do Park's even if KHB took reservations.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I suppose I'd agree with you if I felt the prices were equal, but somehow (big eyes, bigger stomach) I always end up paying significantly more at Park's.

              2. re: ipsedixit

                I went there with a very picky Korean friend and had an excellent meal - the pork neck was splendid. Excellent banchan, too. We were lucky and waited only about ten minutes, but I'd be willing to wait longer to have that again.

              3. simply put: parks is the best for beef, khd is best for pork.

                i always determine which meat i'm in the mood for and go accordingly.

                1. There is a KHB opening up on Beach Blvd in the OC in the same plaza as the Super H-Mart. Signs aren't up yet but I heard they are looking at sometime in Q2.

                  Parking is already a disaster and will get worse.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: js76wisco

                    I'll be really happy once they open. It means I dont' have to drive thru the 5 or 60 to get to LA.

                    Just drive 10 minutes on Beach and I'm there!

                    1. re: JMan604

                      8 Palsaik is already open on Beach. And it's glorious. I prefer it 3-to-1 over KHD (the egg moat is rather disgusting, reminds me MCD eggs), 2-to-1 over Park's. http://la.eater.com/archives/2013/12/...

                      1. re: TonyC

                        interesting...oh look there's a branch in ktown too.

                        same?

                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/eight-korean-...

                        1. re: ns1

                          Exactly the same.

                          Palsaik/Soonwon/KHD are the 3 highest rated KBBQ joints on "Y". Interesting. If you enjoy pork, Park's can't touch Palsaik. VIPs get extra strips the next visit.

                          1. re: TonyC

                            You know offhand which ones will take a res for 4-5? I know khd won't.

                            1. re: ns1

                              Ktown location has an odd reservation policy, but they do take it. Better call.

                              BPark location is slow right now, and gladly accepts res.

                              1. re: TonyC

                                Palsaik on Beach is great. Very nicely renovated from the old Soot Bull Jeep. I would recommend the unseasoned, miso and goochujang paste versions of the pork. The other flavors were an odd combination with Korean flavors especially the wine and herbs.

                                As others have said get there early. On weekends expect a wait if you get there around 6pm or later. Palsaik is excellent and identical to the one in K-town. I hope KHB is as good. The only other place I've been to that has locations in both K-town and BPark is Ondal. The Ondal in BPark is not as good as Ondal on Washington.

                                1. re: js76wisco

                                  I kinda enjoy the wine, and herb, pork bellies. they're great alternative to the same, tired sam gyup ssal flavor profile. It also shows Korean food can be more than just douse-everything-in-gochujang. No matter how good Park's beef may be, it's still just boring KBBQ.

                                  FYI, 85Deg C is hiring for the BPark location right now. It looks like they'll be opening soon.

                                  (how's that for thread derailment)

                                  1. re: TonyC

                                    I hear you on the different flavors, I don't think my brain and taste buds were on the same wave length. I was thinking Korean and I tasted Italian. I'll try it again and try to be more open.

                                    That parking lot is going to be a joy.

                  2. Park's was fantastic - thanks for all your feedback!

                    1. Summed up in 2 sentences:

                      Parks has higher quality beef. KHB has a better execution on everything else on the menu.

                      Neither had memorable panchan...
                      Lunchbox rice was worth ordering at KHB, as is the pork jowl (they call it neck). Beef is of a higher quality at Parks, again.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: turbox3

                        ...although at Park's I usually ask for kimchi and ojingeo, both of which don't always come on the banchan but are free if you ask.

                      2. The KHB in OC is supposed to be opening up today and tomorrow. This is according to my mother in law. Can anybody confirm this and also provide some info on wait times/lines and parking situation?

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: js76wisco

                          I am going to take a look, but I called the DTLA location and they were thinking Thursday or Friday...

                          1. re: turbox3

                            Sorry it was a soft opening for F&F - either today or tomorrow. I'll report back with any info.

                        2. Is lunch at Park's less expensive then dinner? I checked the menu on their website but could not see any prices. Thank you!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Kat

                            Depends on what you mean by "less expensive".

                            Prices are lower, but so are the portions at lunch.

                            So you do the math. I'm too tired.