I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

The kblog visits Maryland October 4, 2007

So, for those of you who didn’t know (which is probably most of you), I’m currently in MD for my dongseng‘s wedding. I’ve got a lot of folks to see here and lots of stuff to do, so I’m spending a full two weeks. But naturally I can’t go two whole weeks without Korean food. I mean, seriously, after that long I start getting withdrawal symptoms.

So the natural solution was to look for a Korean restaurant within reasonable driving distance. Mind you, this wasn’t the first time I’d looked for one with no luck. But this time I found not one but two, both in the same shopping center! The one I picked was called Gah Rham, and I picked it for a very simple reason: it had a menu online for me to look at before I left LA, so by the time I got there I had already decided what my friend and I were going to order.Gah Rham has a sushi lunch buffet (they offer Japanese food as well as Korean), but we went for KBBQ. I think we were about the only people in the place eating anything but the buffet. There were also more non-Koreans than Koreans when we got there, although by the time we left the non-Korean lunch crowd had thinned and there were more Koreans in the place. That felt homier to me. :)

gah-rham.JPG

We ordered the traditional kalbi and bulgogi, both good choices since I was introducing my friend to Korean food for the very first time (she loved it). Both were marinated. The bulgogi was thicker than I’ve sometimes had, and in general the pieces of meat seemed to be cut bigger than I’m used to in LA. But the quality was excellent, and so was the taste. The meat was extremely tender. Unlike many KBBQ joints in LA, this place automatically provided lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat. And apparently the rice wrapper craze hasn’t made it across the country, or at any rate Gah Rham hasn’t joined it.

In addition to our BBQ, we also ordered a seafood pa jeon, which turned out to be huge. It was a little crispier than I’m used to, but very tasty. I enjoyed everything we ordered, although I have to say we ended up with a huge amount of food. There was lots of meat and then the hugp1010102.JPGe pancake, and of course we’d been filling up on panchan as well (the panchan were pretty standard, but good: kimchee, bean sprouts, seaweed, pickled radish, a couple other things). With the barbecue also came the egg casserole that I love and a bowl of soondubu. And at the end we each got small bowls of miso soup. So yeah, HUGE lunch.
In addition to the delicious food, our server took excellent care of us (maybe she was pleased because we were the only folks eating Korean food instead of sushi). If anyone happens to be in the Maryland suburbs of DC with a sudden craving for Korean food, I recommend Gah Rham.

Gah Rham
5027 Garrett Ave.
(off Route 1 between Odell and Powder Mill)
Beltsville, MD 20705

 

Charcoal in the Park September 25, 2007

Filed under: restaurants — Raven @ 11:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

charcoal.JPGPark’s is another charcoal KBBQ (see the pic for proof!). However, I have to say I barely noticed the charcoal (although I probably smelled like it when I left). The grill concealed it from view, and the charcoal didn’t remind us it was there by shooting up huge flames. And I didn’t really register the smoky flavor, if there was one.

My favorite meat was this one:

p1010091.JPG

I’ve conveniently forgotten exactly what we ordered, so I can’t really say which meat that was. All I know is it was the tastiest, partly because it was thicker than the others, so it held more flavor. Some of the others were sliced too thin, I felt, particularly the tongue, which I prevailed on the table to order (some people had never tried it before, but it didn’t take too much prevailing). I’m a big fan of tongue, but you have to be able to actually taste it, which you can’t when it’s in thin little slices. p1010085.JPGSo the meat passes in my book, but it wasn’t what really stood out.

What really stood out was the panchan, which were among the best I’ve ever had. They included some little eggy pancakes (hard to go wrong with pancakes), a cold mashed squash salad (yum!), some greens with crumbled tofu, and many other delicious items. We also ordered pa jeon (green onion pancakes) for the table. I love those, and they didn’t disappoint. They were just the right amount of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.p1010089.JPG

Overall, I felt the panchan and the service were outstanding, the meat was fine but I wouldn’t need to write home about it, and I recommend the pa jeon.

Park’s has a lot, but I don’t think any of us parked in it. Street parking is relatively easy to come by, and if you go on a Sunday morning like we did, you won’t have to pay the meters.

Park’s BBQ
955 S. Vermont Ave
(just north of Olympic)
Los Angeles, CA 90006

P.S. I’ve been made aware that Park’s charges extra for their kimchee, which I didn’t notice at the time. So be warned.

 

 
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