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Revisiting Jonathan Gold’s “60 Korean Dishes Every Angeleno Should Know” A Decade Later

Ten years ago, beloved Jonathan Gold published his list of “60 Korean Dishes Every Angeleno Should Know” in LA Weekly. Since then Koreatown has undergone its own renaissance and has become a more vibrant neighborhood in LA. Today you can find that Koreatown LA is filled with great restaurants, lively pochas, busy pubs, and more. 

Post Pandemic Koreatown LA

Through the pandemic, businesses in Koreatown have suffered immensely but continue to keep their doors open. Over the last two years, many loved restaurants have closed down temporarily or permanently to reduce their losses.

Although business was difficult for the last two years, there was a spike in business when BTS had their concert at Sofi Stadium in 2021. While BTS was in town, non-residents flooded Koreatown to buy merchandise, Korean food, groceries, and more.

From then on, businesses are racing to get back to normal as new restaurants are opening their doors.

Here is an updated list of Jonathan Gold’s 60 restaurants as it has to be updated.

Jin-Gee Skhan (Genghis Khan)

Jin-Gee Skhan (Genghis Khan) is a Korean-style hot pot and shabu shabu. You can select meats that range from chicken to beef loin with vegetables. Seoul Garden Restaurant specializes in Jin-Gee Skhan with high-quality meat and traditional Korean dishes. With traditional Shabu Shabu and Buckwheat Noodles, it is certainly a great place to take family members or friends to experience what Gold felt when he dipped his meat and vegetables in the broth. There is rice mixed into the broth with an egg to create a thick porridge at the end.

Shaken Dosirak (Shaken Lunch Box)

Shaken dosirak (shaken lunch box) is imagined to be like a Korean kid’s lunch box, filled with meat, rice, vegetables, and egg. You would shake it up altogether, similar to bibimbap. Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is a high-quality restaurant with delicious meat, side dishes, and other types of Korean food. However, Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong takes shaken dosirak to a higher level where you can eat shaken dosirak with delicious meat, corn cheese, cooked eggs, and vegetables all on one grill.

Korean Pizza

Although Gold recommended Mr. Pizza Factory, the chain restaurant has been no longer in business since a few years ago. The best pizza restaurant that is most similar to Mr. Pizza Factory would be Koreatown Pizza Company. With delicious thick dough that is soft and chewy, at the same time, you can experience a whole new world of pizza with a Korean twist. Imagine having sweet potatoes on top of your crust along with delicious grilled meat and stretchy mozzarella cheese. 

Hotteok (Korean Sweet Pancakes)

Hotteok is a Korean sweet pancake that is filled with sweet brown sugar and nuts. The crust is nicely fried with butter as the sugar oozes out when you take a bite. Gold’s recommendation for Sweet Rice Pancake Hotteok Cart is no longer there as it is no longer in business. However, we tried to find an alternative selection where you can enjoy the delicious Korean sweet pancakes. At Dragon Boba, they sell delicious Korean street food with boba, as hotteok is considered a sweet, flavorful Korean street dessert. You should try some hotteok at Dragon Boba if you are craving something sweet and savory.

Duck Bulgogi

Duck bulgogi is made from duck or goose breast filets and marinated similarly to beef bulgogi, which is sweet, savory, and garlicky. As Gold recommended Sun Ha Jang, the restaurant is still up and running as they serve slices of unseasoned duck breast on a thick, cast iron griddle, along with bulgogi. After you finish eating the duck, the fat boils down on the pan, which helps prepare the finale. Making fried rice out of leftover kimchi, duck fat, and herbs finishes the experience.

Kimbap

Kimbap is filled with rice, vegetables, ham, and more, all wrapped inside seaweed nori. Kimbap is a Korean image of a sandwich as it’s filled with just simple ingredients and perfectly paired with other street foods like spicy rice cakes or ramen. As School Food is closed due to slow business, you should head over to The Kimbap as customers claim it is one of the best places to eat kimbap as there are different varieties.

Hobak Juk (Pumpkin Porridge)

Porridge is what one would eat when they’re feeling under the weather or sick. You can add minced meat and vegetables to add more flavor. BonJuk is loved by Koreans, as it is perfect to eat whenever you are feeling under the weather or crave soft food. BonJuk is a famous Seoul-based chain with delicious porridge or glutinous rice dumplings. The star of the show would be the pumpkin porridge, as it’s deliciously sweet but also calming and soothing for your stomach.

Hwe Dup Bap (Korean Sushi Bowl)

Hwe Dup Bap (Korean sushi bowl) is similar to a poke bowl. The sushi bowl includes fresh fish, vegetables, Masago, and rice along with a spicy sauce you can add depending on your tolerance. It is similar to bibimbap but with raw fish instead. Gold seemed to love the hwe dup bap at A-Won Japanese Restaurant as he claimed that the fish was as delicious as the one he tried at Nobu Restaurant.

Abalone Porridge

Abalone porridge is healthy and full of nutrients, and it serves as a great pick-me-up when you’re feeling sick. The chewy texture of the abalone adds flavor to the bland rice porridge. With Mountain Cafe, deliver delicious abalone porridge and other delicious hot soups to enjoy. In addition, there are also items on the menu you must try! The samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) is not only delicious but healthy. Eating the porridge alone can be bland, so the other items on the menu, like marinated beef and kimchi jjigae are a great addition. Gold loves and highly recommends trying the abalone porridge, where you will feel re-energized.

Kimchi Jeon (Kimchi Pancakes)

Made simply with kimchi slices, onions, garlic, and Korean pancake batter, Kimchi jeon is delicious to eat alone or as an anju (drinking snack). Kimchi jeon is always the way to go at pochas because it’s deliciously crispy, soft, and spicy. DGM (Dwight Gol Mok), which translates to “back-alley” in Korean, is a pocha where there is tasty food and beautiful lights to decorate the whole area. Gold recommended DGM, but other great places have delicious kimchi pancakes like Honey Night and Toe Bang.

Bingsu (Shaved Ice)

Although Gold really enjoyed going to Ice Kiss, the bingsu store closed down a few years back. Bingsu is shaved ice with a delicious assortment of toppings like sweet red beans, ice cream, sliced fruits, and even mochi. The most popular would be milk-shaved ice, where instead of frozen water, the ice is made with milk. It’s worth a try and is the perfect dessert after a hearty Korean dinner. Places like Sul & Beans, Anko, and Oakobing serve their style of bingsu.

Dwaeji Galbi (Barbecued Pork Ribs)

Dwaeji Galbi (barbecued pork ribs) are not only full of flavor, but they are soft. Rice and hot spicy soup best accompany the ribs. Bae Hwa Jung had delicious sweet, burnt-pork vapors that Gold claimed were delicious “enough to make you weep, or at least to break into a happy trot toward the source of magnificent smoke.” Sadly, the restaurant closed down, and a sushi place opened in its place. However, you can try slightly burnt yet sweet and juicy pork ribs from elsewhere. Ham Ji Park serves delicious ribs that you won’t be able to forget.

Soontofu (Soft Tofu Soup)

Soontofu (soft tofu soup) is a delicious hot cauldron of thick broth covered in soft tofu, meat, vegetables, or seafood. It is recommended to crack an egg inside to help the broth thicken up even more. Soontofu gained its attention for being the perfect comfort food, hangover soup, or hot soup to warm up to on a cold day. In 1986, Beverly Soon Tofu was the first soontofu place to open in LA, but it closed down after 34 years due to the pandemic. Even though it’s a shame the legend of the first soontofu restaurant closed down, there are other great restaurants like LA Tofu House, Suraown Tofu House, and BCD Tofu House.

Agujjim (Monkfish Stew)

Agujjim, known as monkfish stew, is spicy yet extremely flavorful with the monkfish, soybeans sprouts, and sea squirts traditionally. It is served in a large quantity to be shared with many people, but it is pretty pricey. The monkfish itself costs a lot, so the dish is not cheap. It is a well-loved dish as you can eat all the fish and soybean sprouts and mix the sauce with the rice for the best combinations. Although Gold recommended Masan, the restaurant closed down a few years ago. We recommend you to try either DaeBokJung or Ondal for delicious monkfish stew.

Hot wings

Korean fried chicken is notably one of the most loved foods as the batter is fried differently from American fried chicken. Every bar in Koreatown sells its own versions of hot wings with a nice cup of cold beer to accompany it. Gold recommended OB Bear as it is a loved restaurant by locals and non-locals. However, it is temporarily closed due to the pandemic. Other restaurants serve delicious hot wings like Honey Night, Toe Bang, Kang Chef Sul Box, and 77 Kentucky.

Gamjatang (Pork Neck Bone Soup)

Gamjatang, also known as pork neck soup, is not only delicious but savory as the meat is hidden between the bone marrow and is beneficial for your health. The soup is thick, spicy, and filled with potatoes, chilis, green onions, perilla leaves, and perilla seeds. It is served in a big cauldron that is either placed on a gas burner in the middle of the table or served as an individual bowl. Usually, it is a portion to be shared by many at the table. Gold recommended Ham Ji Park as he believes it is the second-best thing on the menu. But we also want to suggest trying Gamja Gol or Yangji Gamjatang as they are delicious and well-loved restaurants.

San Nak Ji (live octopus)

San nak ji, also known as chopped-still moving tentacles of an octopus that is not uncooked, is an interesting cuisine that Koreans like. The tentacles are not technically alive, but they wiggle around the plate, especially when you add some salt and sesame oil to season it up. It is a challenge you want to try, and the perfect place would be Hwal A Kwang Jang, Gold recommended. It’s a Korean seafood restaurant that serves sashimi, san nak ji, raw lobster, poke bowl, and more.

Gobchang (Pig/Cow Intestines)

Similar to san nak ji, it is interesting to try cow and pig intestines right from the get-go. Intestines don’t sound as appetizing, but it’s something people judge without trying it first. The intestines are cleaned and boiled, then served to be cooked on a grill in front of you or found in soups at bars. It is one of the most popular BBQs in South Korea as the greasiness compliments soju and beer. Gold highly recommends Byul Gobchang for their delicious seasoning and choice of intestines, but we also suggest you try Song Hak Gopchang and BTS’s favorite Ahgassi Gopchang.

Wang Mandoo (King Dumplings)

Dumplings, also known as mandoo, come in different sizes as there are the normal long-sized dumplings to the circular-sized ones you would see in soups. However, wang mandoos (king-sized dumplings) are different as they are steamy and are Korean versions of a bao bun. Filled with pork, garlic, glass noodles, green onions, and more, the buns are as big as your hand and extremely filling after one or two buns. Gold loves eating the king mandoos at Pao Jao in the food court of Koreatown Plaza, as he believes it’s the power food during a shopping trip in the mall.

Dakgalbi (Spicy Stir-Fried Chicken)

Dakgalbi, aka spicy stir-fried chicken, is served inside a steel pan as there are layers of chicken and vegetables. With cabbages and sweet potato, there is a hidden layer of chicken mixed with dduk (rice cakes) as they all cook together. The spicy chile sauce is then added as it caramelizes and seasons the chicken, vegetables, and rice cake. Some will even want to add cheese as it compliments the spiciness of the sauce. The best part would be when the leftover meat and vegetables are mixed in with rice and minced Korean herbs. The rice hardens after the heat is left on, and you would scrape it off the pan. It’s a true experience that Gold also enjoyed when eating dakgalbi at Chuncheon Dak Galbi. You can also try it at Donghae Makguksu.

Mutton kebabs

Mutton kebabs aren’t Korean as Feng Mao serves delicious kebabs. Northeastern Chinese cooks serve Beijing-styled Xinxiang barbeque for Korean and non-Korean customers. Served with kimchi and cooked on tabletop grills with hardwood charcoal. With lamb fat found on the crust of the meat, it helps lubricate the meat as it cooks. Gold highly recommends Feng Mao, and there is even more than one Feng Mao chain in Koreatown.

Jajangmyeon (Black Bean Noodles)

Jajangmyeon, aka black bean noodles, is a Korean-Chinese dish made from black bean paste, meat, and caramelized onion. Pickled yellow radish is also served on the side to help cleanse your palette. But for the days you are craving hot, spicy soup, jjampong, aka spicy seafood noodles, is the way to go with the side of tangsuyuk (fried pork/beef). Gold recommends Mandarin House, the branch location allocated in Koreatown Plaza. But we also highly suggest that you try Zzamong, the Ppong, YoungBinRu, and Kyodong Noodles.

Cheonggukjang (Fermented Soybean Paste Soup)

Cheonggukjang is a thick soup made from fermented Korean soybean paste with an aroma that is very strong and hard to enjoy at first. It is a show-stopper as the smell turns you off if you never tried it or are not used to the smell of strong, fermented bean paste. The taste is different from the smell. Cheonggukjang is hard to enjoy at first, but those who like it can’t get enough. Olympic Cheonggukjang is the place to go if you want to challenge yourself as Gold always preferred to try it there.

Corn Cheese

Corn cheese has a different appeal from creamed corn, for sure. Corn cheese is mixed in with mayonnaise, melted cheese, and large amounts of corn which would be the perfect drinking food. Most Korean pochas and bars always have corn cheese on the menu as it’s the greasiest, sweetest, and most flavorful thing to eat on the side. Gold recommends Toe Bang as a great place to try corn cheese, but we also recommend you to try it at Honey Night and Go Pocha.

Goat Fried Rice

Black goat soup is frothy and flavorful, with lots of meat and perilla leaves that can be similar to gamjatang. The best part of the meal is when fried rice is made from the broth with delicious seasoning with a porridge consistency and the perfect savory dessert. Although Gold’s recommended restaurant, Chin Go Gae, is closed, we suggest you try Bulrocho Korean Restaurant or Gam Ja Gol.

Yeomso Tang (Korean Roasted Goat)

Gold recommends Bulrocho for their yeomso tang (roasted goat), as it is an arrangement of sliced goat meat in a puddle of broth that is similar to gamjatang. You can season the goat meat with yellow bean paste and chopped herbs and chiles, wrapping it in perilla leaves as you turn it into a wrap. From the remaining meat and soup, fried rice is created at the end. Gold said it was open 24/7, but currently, it closes at 2 am, so we recommend you to try it when you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)

As chicken noodle soup is the American soup to eat when you’re feeling under the weather or extremely sick, Koreans love to eat samgyetang. Samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) is when a small chicken is stuffed with rice, tonics, jujubes, garlic, ginseng, and other vegetables to make a mild yet extremely nutritious broth. It is the food to eat whenever you need to rejuvenate yourself. Gold highly recommends Buil Sam Gye Tang, where you can get the full worth of medicinal herbs.

Samgyupsal (Pork Belly)

Pork belly is extremely popular within Korean BBQ as there are a lot of pork belly restaurants in Koreatown. Gold’s recommendation was Palsaik Samgyupsal; however, it seems that the restaurant closed. However, there are a lot of great places within Koreatown like Honey Pig, Eight Korean BBQ, Ssam Korean BBQ, and more.

Dongchimi Gooksoo (Cold Radish Noodles)

Dongchimi gooksoo are cold noodles that are cold and submerged within a sweet, cold, and refreshing broth. The broth is made from lightly pickled radishes with some 7up as well. The best place to try delicious dongchimi gook soo with delicious meat would be Corner Place in Koreatown. Gold recommends it, and we also recommend it highly!

Beondegi Soup (Silkworm Soup)

Beongdegi soup, aka silkworm soup, is an anju, a side dish to enjoy when drinking. It has a pungent smell and view that not everyone will enjoy. Dan Sung Sa is a Korean pub that Gold recommends if you want to taste it. Although silkworm soup is not everyone’s cup of tea to try, you can challenge yourself as you’re drinking. You might be disgusted or pleasantly surprised.

Seollungtang (Ox Bone Soup)

Han Bat Sul Lung Tang has been in the business for a long time with delicious soup. Seollungtang, aka ox bone soup, is boiled for hours until the liquid is white with the beneficial minerals extracted from the ox bones. As the soup is bland, you add green onion slices and salt to flavor it. Seollungtang is comforting and nutritious for your body, especially if you’re sick or hungover. Although Gold recommends Han Bat, there are also places like Jong Tong Sul Lung Tang and Sun Nong Dan.

Barbecued clams

Barbecued clams are a great place to try fresh hot clams, scallops, sea snails, shrimp, and more all on a hot grill. You need to wear gloves to protect your hands from the hot clams when you’re opening them. After grilling the seafood, you can get a hot bowl of noodles that are soaked with the juice and oils of the seafood in the broth. It is the best part of the experience! Gold highly suggests going to Jae Bu Do, an adventure you won’t encounter elsewhere.

Chic Naengmyeon (Black Buckwheat Cold Noodles)

Chic naengmyeon, aka black buckwheat cold noodles, is filled with kudzu vine broth, jet-black noodles, and ice. It is slightly different from the classic buckwheat noodles. It’s the best thing to have on a hot afternoon along with grilled meat. Gold recommends Yuchun as the place to go as you can wait for your food while drinking a hot mug of peppery soup that warms you up. Yuchun also has other delicious Korean dishes and the classic naengmyeon.

Soot Bull Barbecue (Charcoal Grill BBQ)

The classic way to grill meat would be through an open fire of hardwood coals. Most restaurants use gas as it releases less smoke and is easier to clean. However, charcoal-grilled meat tastes different from gas-grilled meat. As the meat sizzles on top of the grill, you can get the taste of fire on the meat when you eat it. Then you have to smear the meat with fermented bean sauce within a lettuce wrap and garlic. The heavy smoke wafting into your face is more annoying, but the meat tastes more grilled and earthy. Gold highly recommends Soot Bull Jeep to try the classic Korean BBQ. You will surely taste the difference.

Yook Hwe

Yook Hwe is a simple dish made with a salad of slightly frozen raw beef, silvered Korean pear, and a bit of sesame oil. The pear slices and the frozen beef as they get along together. Doenjang (soybean paste) or raw garlic compliments raw meat as well. It’s an acquired taste to try raw meat just like sang nak ji. Not everyone likes the taste of raw meat as it’s also a different taste from raw fish. Gold recommends MaDang 621 as it’s the “grandest restaurant Koreatown has ever known.”

Japchae (Stir-Fried Glass Noodles)

Japchae is a stir-fried cellophane noodle dish that is on the table during a traditional birthday party or just as banchan (side dishes). Japchae has vegetables and meat seasoned with sesame oil and soy sauce. It is the most seen side dish at most Korean restaurants. Gold commends Banchan a la Carte as he claims it’s a gourmet takeout shop with sauces like ssamjang (spicy red pepper paste and doenjang) and gochujang with kimchi, other plastic containers of banchan, and arranged party platters. You can try other delicious side dishes that you can eat with rice.

Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a delicious assortment of rice, shredded vegetables, gochujang, and a fried egg that you can mix. The salted herbs are chewy, the meat is quite plentiful, and the sauces would be sesame oil and gochujang. You can also make bibimbap with any ingredients you have since some people can combine some pre-made vegetable side dishes and meat. Gold recommends Jeon Ju, which is named after the spiritual home of South Korea. The special dish dol sot bibimbap is bibimbap served in a hot stone pot where a crisp and scorched crust forms.

Kalguksoo (Knife-Cut Noodles)

Kalguksoo (knife-cut noodles) are thick, bland, wheaty, and served in a broth made from chicken bones. Also, kalguksoo is made from anchovy broth. It is not similar to Chinese noodles, but the broth is thick and with lots of vegetables like carrots and zucchini. It’s also served in a large quantity and can be difficult to finish on your own at times. Gold highly recommends Olympic Noodle as the restaurant has steamed dumplings and fresh kimchi loved by the locals. Make sure you check out Olympic Noodle, and there are also other great restaurants like MDK Noodles and Ma Dang Gook Soo.

Cold Soymilk Noodles (Kong Gooksoo)

Kong gooksoo is are made from fresh soy milk, often bland, and with some cucumber slices on top and a few drops of sesame oil. It’s cold and often enjoyed during seasons like spring and summer. There is a huge debate about whether you should add either salt or sugar to flavor up the noodles since there are different tastes. Whatever it may be, Gold recommends trying Ma Dang Gook soo’s version of kong gook soo. You can decide whether you prefer sugar or salt in your kong gooksoo.

Donkasu

The spelling of tonkatsu or donkasu is used back and forth to describe delicious fried cutlets from crunchy bread crumbs. But the donkasu in Koreatown has a Korean edge by adding delicious radish kimchi, pickled jalapeño, and a tangy, sweet sauce with toasted sesame seeds to dip into. The donkasu is served in a big portion with rice and a side of cabbage salad drizzled with a sweet, savory sauce. But at Wako Donkasu, you can enjoy crispy, delicious katsu, which is a similar experience to eating in a Japanese restaurant in Seoul.

Ganjang Gaejang (Soy Sauce Marinated Blue Crab Legs)

Ganjang gaejang, known as raw blue-crab legs marinated in sweet soy sauce, is a Korean side dish that is delicious and irresistible. The crabs are not only soft and easy to suck on, but the meat inside is sweet and full of roe that is the perfect way to mix in with your rice. And the one place that a lot of locals rave about would be Soban restaurant, and Gold agrees. You have to try their crab legs and suck on the shell to get each last bit of meat.

Eundaegu Jorim (Soy Braised Cod Fish)

Eundaegu jorim is a spicy, black cod casserole that is spicy and sweet with a huge radish inside. However, the price is quite hefty as cod is not a cheap fish. Although Gold loves the casserole at Jun Won and also their banchan, the restaurant closed sadly during the midst of the pandemic. We recommend trying out Kobawoo House, Chunju Han-il Kwan, or Mapo Kkak Doo Gee Restaurant for the braised black cod.

Godeungeo Mujorim (Braised Mackarel)

Braised mackerel is another classic Korean cuisine where you can enjoy the fishiness and deliciousness of the fish, along with the broth and vegetables with it. Although Seongbukdong is known for their galbi jjim (braised short ribs), Gold recommends his readers to eat the braised mackerel instead. He said that the restaurant “accentuates the fishiness without quieting it.” Another restaurant with delicious braised mackerel would be Chomak.

Budae Jjigae (Army Stew)

Budae Jjigae is a traditional Korean army stew filled with Spam, sausages, tofu, and instant ramen simmering in a spicy kimchi-based stew. It is something you eat within Korean bars or pocha as it is a great soup to enjoy while drinking alcohol. As the recipe was made during the Korean War, Koreans had to rationalize their food and used leftover meat from the American bases to create budae jjigae. Although this dish was created during a hard time, it is now a well-loved soup eaten with alcohol. Many restaurants have army stew, but Gold recommends trying it at Chunju Han-il Kwan, as they add delicious chrysanthemum leaves and chilies. If you want to try it at a pocha, try it at Hanshin Pocha!

Dwaeji Moksal (Grilled Pork Neck)

Dwaeji Moksal, grilled pork neck, is a delicious meat that Koreans love to eat at Korean BBQs. At Don Dae Gam, aka Park’s BBQ, it has a combination of BBQ dinners shared by 3-4 people with beer, a pot of kimchi stew, and other items, all included in the price. With four kinds of pork belly, two types of pork ribs, and beef brisket, Gold prefers the pork neck the most from the meat combination.

Ggot Sal (Flower Meat)

Ggot sal, aka Flower cut, is a special cut of beef that is soft when grilled and melts in your mouth when you eat it. It tends to be more expensive than other beef cuts. Gold recommends eating at Park Dae Gam, aka Park’s BBQ, with high-end meat on top of hardwood charcoal to grill. With super-prime Wagyu beef and delicious meat, you can enjoy a fun Korean BBQ night at Park Dae Gam.

Sashimi

There are lots of sushi restaurants in Koreatown, owned by Korean sushi chefs. They aren’t authentic Japanese restaurants, but you won’t regret eating fresh raw fish from there. Gold highly recommends eating at Wassada, where you can enjoy one fish which is a live halibut, freshly sliced and caught from a tank. It is cut into thin sashimi and smeared with some soy sauce and ssamjang (spicy soybean paste) with raw garlic. Along with the fish, the side dishes of sliced abalone in its shell, sea urchin, oysters, abalone porridge, monkfish liver, and more.

Buldak (Fire Chicken)

Buldak, fire chicken, is exactly as you picture it. Marinated spicy chicken is mixed with a spicy garlic sauce with melted cheese on the side. It’s one of the best foods to eat whenever you are drinking alcohol, as the greasiness of the chicken pairs well with soju or beer. Gold recommended Korean Chicken Place, but the restaurant changed to Kitchen Sooda. They still sell the buldak, and it’s still a popular item on the menu.

KFC (Korean fried chicken)

Korean fried chicken is delicious and extremely popular with Koreans and non-Koreans. Unlike American fried chicken, KFC is battered differently as it’s airier and less heavy. As American fried chicken uses thick flour batter, KFC adds potato starch to the batter. And rather than frying the chicken in the oil for a long time, KFC is fried twice in a shorter interval so the chicken would stay nice and juicy. Along with chain restaurants coming directly from Korea, a lot of mom-and-pop shops are opening up to serve KFC with their touch. Although Gold recommends Kyochon chicken, we also recommend trying out Gol Tong Chicken, Chicken Hut, Chicken Day, and Mom’s Chicken.

Soondae (Blood Sausages)

Soodae, aka Korean blood sausages, are stuffed with transparent noodles and vegetables and can be served in either soup or steamed. It’s a popular Korean street food item that is enjoyed with spicy rice cakes or ramen. Gold recommends eating soondae at Eighth Street Soondae as “it is one of the oldest and most respected of L.A.’s soondae parlors.” But in addition, you should try Don Don Lee Soondae, Seoul Soondae House Two, and Moobongri Soondae BBQ.

Clay pot duck

Duck is a delicious meat that Koreans enjoy. The duck is prepared on the grill or within a special oven. The clay pot duck is what Gold recommends at Dha Rae Ok, as it is served at the table wrapped in a charred bandage. The duck itself is pale with a chewy stuffing of purple rice with beans and aromatic spills of the interior. The powerful scent of Korean herbs fills your nose, and the duck is deliciously cooked and soft enough to dig in with a spoon.

Sujebi (Hand-Pulled Dough Soup)

Yelp Mapo Kkak Doo Gee

Sujebi is hand-torn flake dough pieces tossed into a broth, similar to knife-cut noodles. Although Gold mentions that Ondal 2’s hand-tossed sujebi is delicious, he mentions that the chewy, stretchy sujebi at Mapo Kkak Doo Gee is delicious and hits “just right.” The restaurant is also known for its black cod, bibimbap, and spicy beef soup filled with leeks.

Bossam (Boiled Pork Belly)

Bossam is a plate of boiled pork belly cooked in a herb-filled broth for two hours. Paired with bossam would be cabbages, raw oysters, special kimchi, raw garlic, and fermented Sea Monkeys. Gold recommends Kobawoo as the restaurant serves delicious pork belly paired with delicious side dishes. You can also try Mister Bossam as they specialize in cooking and serving bossam.

Jokbal (Boiled Pig's Feet)

Jokbal, boiled pig’s feet, is deliciously paired with cabbages and a salty shrimp sauce that pairs perfectly. Jokbal is boiled for the best texture as it’s both chewy and soft due to the tendon. You should try it if you’re new to eating jokbal; tastes better than it sounds. The collagen found in pig’s feet is known to be healthy and beneficial for women. Although Gold’s recommendation was Jangchung Dong Wong, the restaurant is now closed down. There are other delicious jokbal places like Jang Choong Dong Jokbal, GamBoJok, and Mister Bossam.

Make sure you check out these restaurants and recommendations by the late Jonathan Gold. Sadly a lot of the restaurants closed down due to the pandemic, and we wish you can also check our recommendations as well! 

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