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Apr 8, 2014 06:21 PM

Korean Banchan that is better than SF

I'm visiting SF and looking for a recommendation for a Korean restaurant with particularly good banchan variety. Seafood, Jjige (stew), pork neck Jjige a plus. We are considering On Dal2, Jun Won, Ham Ji Park, or Soban - any comment on which would be your go-to is welcomed.

We are staying close to the Westside but are willing to drive anywhere in the central LA area. Cost is not an issue. Thanks.

I've already been to Parks BBQ, Soowon BBQ, BCD, Yu Chun, Jeon Ju, and Yong Su San.

[This is a repost of a more general request:]

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  1. Jun won has good banchan. They also operate a banchan retail store in ktown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sgee

      yes, jun won is good, the cod stew is the dish to get there.

    2. i was at ham ji park just last week. both the pork neck stew & ribs are a bit pricey at about $17-18 but much worth it IMO. as good as the ribs are, the stew is better, especially gnawing the meaty pieces of neck. the banchan are not plentiful but they were tasty and cheerfully replenished. but it's the stew that has serious unction IMO.

      EDIT: i should mention that that is a DOUBLE order of ribs.

      5 Replies
        1. re: jessejames

          it's fiercely red, but i didn't find it all that spicy and i would have remembered since really spicy food makes me break out in a serious sweat. my eating companions find it rather amusing when i wrap a towel around my neck and keep eating.

          1. re: barryc

            thanks Barry - what's the spiciest stuff you've had in ktown thats good? i find your way an ideal way to break a sweat!

            1. re: jessejames

              i wish i could provide recommendations, but i haven't gone for any spicy stuff in k-town yet. the last time i needed a towel was at chengdu taste in alhambra.

      1. i forgot about genwa. upwards of 20 banchan though i personally can't vouch for the quality,

        1. ondal, ham ji pak, soban, etc all are known for different things.

          if you want gamja tang, go to gamja gol, but don't expect superlative banchan.

          for a variety of ho-hum jigae and plentiful (though not very interesting) banchan, Chun Ju han il kwan. for huge variety of banchan, default to genwa.

          if you crab stew, hit ondal. if you want ribs, do Hong.

          jun won's eun dae gu jorim was good enough, but it's beyond salty; the banchan is a small brood of "seasonal" weedy greens. wasn't interesting in '09, isn't that interesting today. *shrug*

          if you want some prideful Korean food made from house fermented daengjiang and soy sauce, Soban. Soban has a good banchan selection, sometimes made from "Western" ingredients, but it's lacking in the protein department. what they're really known for is the most hollistic approach to Korean food in LA. not cheap, though you won't be breaking out with MSG sweats afterwards.

          Or, go to cho man won for dumplings, pickup Kyochon, grab 20 banchan at Assi Super, eat at seoul internatonal park.

          1. Thank for the recs and the mouthwatering picture. We'll try to hit at least two of these places!