Thursday, January 20, 2011

Haejangchon Dolgooi Restaurant

Last Saturday we went with Andrew and Lauren to Haejangchon Dolgooi Restaurant located at 3821 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles (Koreatown), CA 90020 (phone: 213-389-8777). It was my second experience with Korean bbq and I had a much better experience here than at Tahoe Galbi. I'm learning how it works and it was quite good. It helped that there were people that could speak English. We were provided with four dipping sauces: sesame oil and salt (the best one), soy sauce with chunks of something in it, bean paste (a sweet taste), and hot chili sauce. 
It also comes with rice cake papers (which I liked a lot), tangy radish paper and banchan, small dishes of food, including steamed egg (good with the hot chili sauce), 
potato salad with apple (which provides a nice sweetness to it - one of my favorite parts of the meal), 
bean sprouts, lettuce in a citrusy ginger dressing, 
and kimchi pancake (there were other items I don't remember or can't identify). A large, round, stone grill sits in the middle of the table for grilling and we had all you can eat. Our first round of three meats was marinated short ribs, beef brisket and pork belly. Kimchi pancake and kimchi are off to the right side in the picture below. 
All three were good. After the first round, our waiter cleaned the grill with radish and vinegar. Our second round was bolgogi (bbq beef), bbq pork and beef tongue. 
The bbq pork was cooked in foil on the grill and I would pass on it, it was nothing special. The beef tongue was very tender, and along with the marinated short rib and pork belly, was my favorite of the meats. Our third and final round was octopus, 
and more marinated short rib. 
I would not get the octopus or squid again either. They were good for octopus and squid, but in my mind aren't meant to be grilled like that. The fattier meats just seem to be better with this type of cooking. We finished out the meal with kimchi fried rice which was very good. I'm not usually a rice fan, but I ate a lot of it. It was not as spicy as I would have guessed, given how spicy kimchi is, but it had a nice flavor and lots of add-ins which gave it body.  The sides here were better than Tahoe Galbi, as were the selections of meat, and it was also a little cheaper. I would love to go back again and would recommend it to anyone. We were there at an off hour, mid-afternoon, which was perfect. I've read that it can get quite crowded, with long waits, during prime hours.  

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