Sun Nong Dan is an iconic restaurant native to Koreatown LA that has existed for over a decade. Originally started in a small location on 6th Street Koreatown LA, Sun Nong Dan has kept its reputation of being the best ‘Galbi Jjim spot’ in LA.
On weekends, the parking lot is filled up with patrons rushing in to indulge in its legendary dishes. The main reason Sun Nong Dan is very popular and trendy is because of their ‘Galbi Jjim (braised short ribs)’ dish that comes with a fire show and lip-smacking melted cheese on top of the braised short ribs.
On November 22nd, 2021, the new and expansive 2nd location of Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown LA finally opened. The location’s street address is 710 S. Western Ave, CA 90005 and brings new life into an old run down Sizzler.
The new Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave has a dedicated lot for its customers and allows for an ample amount of parking. With the new expansion of Sun Nong Dan’s second location in Koreatown LA there is now no need to get stressed or anxious due to parking.
We visited Sun Nong Dan on November 23rd, the second day of opening, to try out the new location of Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave. The building itself looked incredible from the outside, with an impressive facade resembling kiwa, a Korean traditional roof tile design that is also imprinted in the brand logo.
There was a sign that pointed out different ways for dine-in and pick-up customers, maximizing the efficiency of service. We were elated to find a beautifully modern and spacious dining atmosphere, which has a capacity for approximately 100 people. Around the perimeter of the dining hall are booths which create an even more comfortable dining atmosphere when compared to the tables & chairs setup of the original Sun Nong Dan on 6th Street.
All the tables, set with four chairs each, were large enough to place various dishes and cooktops to heat them up. One side of a wall was covered with pungsokdo(Korean traditional painting), adding liveliness to the dining area. Overall, the restaurant was bright and clean, offering a laid-back atmosphere for anyone who wants to best enjoy traditional and modern Korean cuisine.
Unlike the system of Sun Nong Dan on 6th Street, Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave did not require customers to order in advance of getting seated. Instead of feeling rushed the moment you get on the waitlist, the new Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave felt very comfortable, at least for now.
The menu from the original Sun Nong Dan on 6th Street has not changed. The menu at the new Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave is practically identical. From all kinds of soups to Soo Yook(beef plates) and of course, their specialty, Galbi Jjim(braised beef short ribs), Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave offers dishes to fulfill a hankering for meat. Don’t try to curb that hankering by ordering only one dish- as soon as you take a look at the menu, you’ll want to order every single entree from each category!
When we went, it was lunchtime and we wanted to try something warm but not too gluttonous, something for a good afternoon bite. We ordered a Cha Dol Soo Yook(beef brisket plate) and a bowl of Yang Ji Sul Lung Tang(fat-removed beef soup). The servers were quite respectful and helpful, making sure the customers could have the best dining experience with absolutely no inconvenience. They were very friendly, too.
Cha Dol Soo Yook (beef brisket plate) looked like a dry dish in the picture but it turned out more like a jeongol (stew) with broth and lots of vegetables like green onion and a small piece of a whole date on top. Soo Yook in Korean normally indicates pork belly slices, but Sun Nong Dan’s Soo Yook was made of beef which was interesting.
The Cha Dol Soo Yook was served on an electric induction cooktop and soon boiled vigorously, getting ready to be the perfect main dish to be scooped up and swallowed with a spoonful of rice. Beef slices were pretty long and thick, being less fatty and softer than the beef brisket we normally see in KBBQ restaurants. It was more like a soft, thinly sliced piece of beef found in Naengmyun (cold buckwheat noodles) but larger and juicier.
Yang Ji Sul Lung Tang (fat-removed beef soup) came with thin noodles on the bottom and milky-white soup that reminded me of my youth. When I was little, my mom used to tell me that Sul Lung Tang was a ‘milk soup’ because I loved milk. Ever since then, I began to like soups that have milky-white broth, not knowing that it was actually meat and bones simmered for hours. The soup has a rich flavor but not too deep, with ultimate savoriness. The meat had a similar tenderness and thickness with that of the beef plate.
Yang Ji Sul Lung Tang is perfectly suitable for anyone who is trying Sul Lung Tang for the first time. Put the noodles on the spoon with a piece of meat with broth and just appreciate the flavor- it is truly comforting, keeping your body warm in a cold weather. The two dishes were truly filling. One great thing about these dishes was that they were filled up with meat, never letting down those who are craving for a lot of meat. In terms of both quality and amount, it was certainly commendable.
Sun Nong Dan on Western Ave also has great side dishes and condiments to accentuate the flavors of its cuisine. In order to best enjoy the soup, it is better not to add too much salt and have it a little bland so you could enjoy the broth just as it is.
According to the staff, the ownership has not changed. However, small things like the pay process, which you have to self-tip or get a credit card machine to sign, have changed. Also the location on the Sun Nong Dan 6th Street which used to be open for 24 hours has now changed their schedule to 11am-10pm, and the new location on Western now takes over the 24-hour.
We are truly glad and excited to see Sun Nong Dan opening its second location in Koreatown, with their system optimized for best dining experience and delectable dishes. According to one of the staff, it is already hitting the ground running just from the second day of opening, being filled up during peak hours. We highly recommend anyone try their dishes that bring pleasure and energy for the rest of the day, at their new location on Western.
Ultimately, we have concluded that the new Sun Nong Dan location on Western Ave has changed for the better, being more spacious, with the same great taste we all know from the original Sun Nong Dan on 6th Street.
We highly recommend you check out the new Sun Nong Dan location on Western Ave to experience it for yourself.
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