I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Dong Il Jang August 17, 2007

Filed under: restaurants — Raven @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , ,

I love KBBQ places that give you a cool rice drink after the meal. It’s the crowning touch, sweet and refreshing in just the right way. Dong Il Jang does that. But that’s not all they do.

p1010012.jpgI forget what cut of meat roast gui is in English. I know it’s not as tender as kalbi. However, at Dong Il Jang it was still quite tasty (just not as melt-in-your-mouth tasty). Even the bits that got a little too charred were tasty (our grill was ornery; maybe it was annoyed that I was adding meat instead of letting the waitress do all the work). So the meat was good. And the panchan were good. In addition to the standard kimchee, bean sprouts, and radish kimchee, they included a cabbage and mayonnaise salad (I’m a sucker for mayonnaise salads, fattening though they are), some yummy seaweed in oil, and some chopped potatoes served warm in a vaguely sweet sauce. Those were my favorite. After the meat, we were each served a bowl of chicken broth with a few radishes in it. And I’m always a fan of chicken broth. But still, none of the things I mentioned above (not even the rice drink at the very end of the meal) are the main thing Dong Il Jang has going for it.

The main thing is the fried rice.

dij-rice.jpgDong Il Jang is one of those places where they come around after you’re done and make fried rice on the grill in all the meat drippings. It was kimchee fried rice, and the waitress also added in some fresh meat (not left over from our meal) and what was left of our radish kimchee. Luckily I didn’t let her add the Korean hot sauce, because I’m sure that would have made the fried rice inedible (for me). It had a kick as it was, from the kimchee, but guess what (and this is a huge admission from Miss Non-Spicy here)? I thought it was really really good, spices or not. I ate three rice bowls of the stuff. Dong Il Jang is definitely on my list of places to go back to, if only for the rice (the pic is of our fried rice in preparation, with an inset of the finished rice).

On the logistical side, they have a parking lot, and the waitstaff speaks comparatively good English. They also have a small koi pond inside, and I think they have private rooms in the back.

Dong Il Jang
3455 West 8th Street
(at Hobart, about 3 blocks east of Western)
Los Angeles, CA 90005


9 Responses to “Dong Il Jang”

  1. youngkim Says:

    what a coincidence. My friend and I went there tonight around 9 PM. We were like the last customers there.

  2. Raven Says:

    Is it true you only get the fried rice if you order the roast gui?

  3. youngkim Says:

    I think so. All other times, they didn’t give us the fried rice.

  4. Bon V. Says:

    You are going to start craving the chile in a way that you crave a bad man.

    Just think, pretty soon you’ll be able to go to Ttu Rak.

  5. Raven Says:

    What’s Ttu Rak?

  6. henrychan Says:

    Awesome! I actually love Kimchi Fried Rice more than any other Korean Dish. But, I’ve never had it made using the “MEAT DRIPPINGS!!!” Now, that’s sounds like seriously good stuff, so I’m definitely headed to this place šŸ™‚

    Thanks for the great review! Nice pics!

  7. Sku Says:

    Great post! I think Dong Il Jong is one of the most underrated BBQs in town (at least among Non-Koreans) and it is my go-to BBQ. There is something great about the unadorened pure beefiness of the gui. The rice is awesome, but you’re really missing out on the hot sauce, which is not too hot.

    Coincidentally, I will be posting a very brief piece on DIJ this Friday.

  8. Raven Says:

    Henry, glad the review was helpful! And I’m happy you liked the pics; I just got my first digicam and am still figuring it out (I’m behind the times, I know).

    Their kimchee fried rice is definitely worth the trip!

  9. Raven Says:

    Sku, you have to understand that until recently I couldn’t do spicy AT ALL. So just eating the kimchee fried rice is a step forward for me. It will take time before I brave the hot sauce. šŸ™‚

    I’ll check for your DIJ review on Friday!

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