I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Tongue in Jeep October 29, 2007

Filed under: restaurants — Raven @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

So I broke down and went to the KBBQ for non-K people, Soot Bull Jeep. It was only to try the tongue, I swear! In most respects I think Park’s beats Soot Bull Jeep (although some readers may not agree with me): better service, awesome panchan, cleaner, prices about comparable or maybe a little less. Plus Soot Bull Jeep charges extra for their panchan! Can you imagine?

But let’s move on to the things Soot Bull Jeep does right. They have a parking lot, and it’s free and non-valet, two things I like. No, the list doesn’t end there. Their tongue is better than Park’s. The reason is it’s cut thicker. If you cut it too thin, it just won’t be tasty, as I remarked when I blogged about Park’s. Here’s the tongue before:

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And here’s the after photo:

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The tongue is good with Soot Bull Jeep’s green onion salad, which rocks. I tried the tongue with the lettuce wraps, but the lettuce tended to overwhelm it. I mean, even thick tongue still isn’t thick enough to compete with all that lettuce. The lettuce is better with the kalbi, which we also ordered. The panchan (which we paid extra for!!!) were only so-so. I think they were left over from yesterday or something.

Soot Bull Jeep
3136 W 8th St
(just west of Catalina)
Los Angeles, CA 90005

 

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:

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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.

 

Putting the Soot back in KBBQ July 24, 2007

Here’s the caveat: It’s been a while since my visit to Soot Bul Gui Rim. In fact, I went there for Easter this year. Seems appropriate, right? After Lent, which is supposed to be meatless, you go out and gorge on KBBQ? I can’t think of anything better.

Oh, here’s the second caveat: I stole the pic from Bon V. at My Culinary Adventures, who was one of the people with me for this Easter meal. Check out her blog entry on Soot Bul Gui Rim here.

Soot Bul Gui Rim uses a charcoal grill (actually it’s been hinted to me that it might be a hybrid charcoal/gas, but it looked and smelled like charcoal to me, and my clothes and hair certainly smelled like charcoal after we were done eating). My previous experience with a charcoal grill had been at Cham Sut Gol, where the grill sits down in an indentation in the table, has a semi-closed rack, and there’s less smoke. This grill was on the tabletop and had an open rack and there was plenty of smoke. In fact, the grill didn’t seem too eager to cooperate with us at first, so our first course got a bit charred. But eventually the grill realized we were in it to win it, so it settled down and we ended up with some nicely grilled meat.

Soot Bul Gui Rim has a varied selection of meats, including beef heart and beef tongue (which we ordered) as well as chicken (which we didn’t order). Yes, we ordered the heart and tongue and skipped the chicken; we’re no lightweights here. I grew up eating heart and tongue as often as my Pennsylvania German dad could persuade my mom to cook them, and now I tend to order them whenever they’re on the menu. The heart here was probably my fave of the meats we ordered, very tender. But the tongue was good, too. Oh, we ordered the usual kalbi and bulgogi as well, at least I think we did; I was concentrating more on the unusual.

The ambiance is okay. You’re there for the all-you-can-eat BBQ, which weighs in at about $15 per person. I found parking in the lot right outside, where every space was marked “45 minute parking” and everybody (including me) was parking for longer than 45 minutes. I was pleased because I located the place from the Korean sign, which I’ve been doing more often. Our waiter, who appeared to be Hispanic but wrote down our order in Korean (interesting detail there), was a little tough to flag down, but we managed. You don’t get the pricey experience we got at Cham Sut Gol, but you don’t pay the price either, and I liked the selection of meat better. Given a choice of the two, I’d pick Soot Bul Gui Rim.

Soot Bul Gui Rim
233 S. Vermont Ave.
(just north of Third)
Los Angeles, CA 90020

 

 
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