Okay, I admit toads are probably not on everybody’s culinary must-try list. And no, Toad House does not actually serve toads, grilled or otherwise. It does serve KBBQ. It also apparently specializes in pork, particularly trotters (not barbecued).
We tried out Toad House on one of the hottest days of this summer so far, and apparently we were the only people foolish enough to go sit over a hot grill on such a hot day, because we were the only people there besides the owner/server. I have to say, though, the outdoor patio with a breeze and fans wasn’t so bad. I wasn’t uncomfortably hot during the meal. The only problem was the attack by a gang of flies after we had finished our meal and were chatting over the leftovers.
The main items that stand out in my mind from our visit to Toad House were the unmarinated kalbi, the LA-style kalbi, and of course the trotters. The unmarinated kalbi was very tender and tasty. The LA-style kalbi was new to me in the sense that I didn’t know what that meant when I ordered it, but it turned out to mean thick strips of marinated meat which were then cut up into bite-sized portions after they were grilled. It was quite tasty as well. And now we get to the trotters (pig’s feet). I’m not sure exactly how they were prepared, but they were served cold with a shrimp dipping sauce, and the texture was similar to that of roast heart. The fat was all on the outside, and there was a fair bit of it; I was of two minds about whether to eat it or stick to the trotter meat itself, but in the end I ate most of it. My waistline will probably be sorry later. The trotters were quite good.
We ordered two combos of about $60 and $45-50 dollars respectively (there were six of us). These included a bottle of beer or soju each, so we got one of each. I have to say, if getting drunk is your aim soju is a great choice, at about 20% alcohol. Since most of us were driving, we were careful.
After we finished the combos, I was still hungry, so I persuaded the others to go for the LA-style kalbi, and I’m glad we had the chance to try it. As for being still hungry, hey, what can I say, I hadn’t eaten much all day.
Someone else had claimed Toad House offers service with a frown, but I thought the service was fine. Sure, the owner/server wasn’t a wreath of unnatural smiles, but she wasn’t mean and she took good care of us.
Toad House has a small lot (it was empty when we got there), and there’s also street parking. I think there’s an English sign, but I didn’t see it; I found the place based on the word 집 on the sign (naturally I didn’t know the word for toad) and the address.
4503 Beverly Blvd
(two blocks east of Western, north side of street)
Los Angeles, CA 90004