I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

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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4 Responses to “Putting the Soot back in KBBQ”

  1. kimfilms Says:

    They have another branch on Western and 6th which is where my friend and I used to go to quite often. How is the air circulation in this one?

    For 14.99, one really can’t beat the price. I have been going to Dong Il Jang lately because they do the meat cooking. And then they cook the fried rice in front of you from the same cholestrol-laden grille.

  2. Raven Says:

    I don’t recall the place being unbearably smoky, although they may have had the door open, I can’t remember for sure. Maybe Bon V. remembers.

    I like grilling my own meat. I was shy about it the first time I tried KBBQ, but that wore off quickly. 🙂 I did add Dong Il Jang to my list of krestaurants to try, though.

  3. kimfilms Says:

    Saw this and thought you might enjoy it.

    50 Things I learned from K-dramas:

    1) Hot, rich, younger men love fat, older vulgar women.

    2) If you have a best guy friend, he is in love with you. And secretly you are too.

    3) You and your boyfriend will always playfully chase each other on an ice rink, at the beach, or in the leaves. And you’ll laugh for no reason and your boyfriend will hit you “playfully” but the force of his push will have you flying across the room. But it’s okay. Cuz you’re still laughing like a crazy person.

    4) Brothers/cousin/uncles-newphews will always love the same girl.

    5) You’re allowed to make u-turns wherever you want in Korea. And there is never traffic on the side you want to u turn to.

    6) There is a super quick payment device that allows you to pay a bill quickly enough for a guy to run immediately out of a restaurant after his angry girlfriend storms out.

    7) Everyone has cancer.

    8) If you’re sick, all you need is an IV to make you feel lots better.

    9) There is vomit and urine all over Seoul at nights.

    10) Fighting at a pojangmacha with a random stranger is merely part of a normal night’s event.

    11) Soju must cost 10 cents. Everyone drinks it everyday all the time, especially the poor people.

    12) If you’re rich, you’re a jerk.

    13) If you’re poor, you’re an angel.

    14) Women sleep and wake up with a full set of makeup on.

    15) You’re not studying hard enough unless you get a nosebleed.

    16) If you have a nosebleed, you most definately have cancer. And you have no money to pay for the surgery that will save your life. And your liver is missing. We’re not sure where it went, but it’s making your cancer progress faster.

    17) If you work in a sool jeep, you have massively curly hair and wear flashy colors from the early 90’s.

    18) You always order orange juice or coffee at a cafe. And you never drink it. EVER.

    19) You will always call your boyfriend by his job title. Or simply sunbaenim. Never his name. Never. He doesn’t have one.

    20) If you TRULY love each other, you must die together in the end. Frozen outside instead of finding shelter like sane people. Just frozen….

    21) You go to America you come back miraculously successful. You go to England you come back amazingly fashionable. You stay in Korea the only thing that changes is your hairstyle.

    22) And if you come back with no apparent reason then it’s because you have cancer.

    23) Everyone always goes to the same hospital no matter where they are.

    24) If you stand out in the rain for more than five minutes, you’ll end up with a fever and vertigo and people will rush you to the hospital to get some magic IV. And instead of taking an ambulance or driving they’ll race you on their back.

    25) Even if you’re poor and can’t eat, you never wear the same clothes twice.

    26) If you play a poor kid, you always have dirt on your face and your hair is always messy.

    27) If you’re saving someone from being hit from a car, you’ll push them out of the way and wait for the car to hit you instead.

    28) Everyone has a long lost sister/brother/twin. Usually one they didn’t know about.

    29) If you don’t want to answer your phone, you can’t just turn it off. The battery
    needs to be taken out.

    30) All korean men can drink hard, smoke long, sing well and play piano. Usually all at the same time. And at the same restaurant that has a piano that they let anyone use.

    31) If you’re in a relationship, you must at one point leave and have your lover tearfully come RIGHT before you board the plane (vice versa applies as well. You can be the chaser). 60% of the time you see each other, the other 40% you’re roaming around in circles and pass each other about six times, but miraculously never see them.

    32) If you’re getting off a plane, you’re ALWAYS wearing sunglasses. ALWAYS.

    33) All guys wear hideous tracksuits zipped up to their neck. Even if all they’re doing is jumproping.

    34) Girls will always storm off because they’re mad and the guy will stoically grab them by the arm and swing them back- and by magic, not dislocate their shoulders.

    35) Guys always look like they’re 6 feet tall, even if they’re only 5’10. Thank you camera angles.

    36) Guys like to wear foundation, eyeliner and sometimes a smudge of lipliner.

    37) You always get stuck in an elevator with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Even if there are six different elevators, you’ll always be stuck in the same one with that bastard you hate (or just fought with).

    38) Unless you’re fabulously rich, your in-laws will always hate you.

    39) So will your sister-in-law.

    40) Your brother-in-law might be pining away for you.

    41) There are only 2 ways to kiss. You either press your lips against theirs with your mouth completely shut, and just press away for a very long and uncomfortable time. OR you devour the other person and suck out their soul. In both instances, the world spins.

    42) A guy will always get the right size ring, even if you’re never held hands.

    43) People stare off into space and ponder a lot. They’ll just stop in the middle of the road and watch a leaf on a tree for a good three minutes, and just ponder.
    44) You’ll get pregnant the first time you have sex.

    45) You’ll get pregnant if he kisses you on the forehead.

    46) Hell- you’ll get pregnant if you hold hands.

    47) If you overcome great obstacles to be together, one of you must die. Probably due to cancer.

    48) One korean man can kick the butts of 6 gangstas. Especially when they all stand in a circle and attack the guy one by one. Then when each of them get their butts OWNED, they wise up and attack the guy at the same time. Then the guy will get pulverized and bleed out onto the dusty concrete floor of the empty warehouse they’ve found to fight in. There will be a fire in a trashcan somewhere. And the girl will have watched this the entire time, screaming in horror. Instead of calling 119, she’ll just watch and cry. But it’s okay. Cuz the next day the guy will be fine with a few random bandages and a few face scars. But never a black eye.

    49) It ain’t a real fight unless the gangstas fight dirty with a stick or switchblade.

    50) If you study in the states (perferably Harvard), you are one of the top students and can speak perfect English (as assumed by the reactions of those around you). Why the rest of the world OUTSIDE of the TV can’t understand a single word uttered out of your melodramatic mouth is beyond me

  4. Raven Says:

    LOLOL, those are pretty funny. And totally on the mark, too!


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