‘Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong(aka Baekjeong)’ opened in Koreatown LA in 2012. The term ‘baekjeong’ indicates a nomadic group from the Goryeo period, when some occupied specific professions like butchery, basket weaving or performing executions. In contemporary Korean, it is commonly used as a restaurants’ name with the meaning of ‘butcher’.
Baekjeong soon hit the jackpot as a must-stop and a go-to place for many people in America craving for quality KBBQ experience. The sign is in Korean but the restaurant is easily found with the life-size cutout of Kang Ho Dong standing by the entrance. Line is always long but it moves fast. Baekjeong offers a large space with 100 seats plus 20 special seats for group guests. In an up-tempo atmosphere with K-POP in the background, customers can have a full fledged Korean BBQ dining experience where meat dishes are provided with cheese, corn and steamed eggs on the rim of the grill. It never cuts corners in providing ample banchans(side dishes) which include braised sweet pumpkin, fish cakes, kimchi, kimchi pancake, etc. It is not an AYCE spot nor low-priced, but a visit is definitely worth the price and the experience. According to Kijung Hospitality Group, Baekjeong was ranked as one of ‘101 best restaurants’ by food critic Jonathan Gold and named as the ‘World’s Favorite Korean Barbecue’ on Eater in 2017.
Public opinion and reviews on the restaurant are generally optimistic as some suggest that it is ‘my favorite bbq spot’ and ‘worth the splurge’. Baekjeong is constantly expanding with six locations in Southern California including Koreatown LA, Buena Park, Irvine, Torrance, Rowland Heights, and Temple City. There is also one in New York, and forthcoming new locations include Lynnwood, WA and San Jose, CA. This evidently shows that Baekjeong is truly hitting the spot for those craving for Korean BBQ and not letting them down. Some of Baekjeong’s most popular menu items include combo menus like beef combo or thinly sliced beef brisket. Click here to see Baekjeong’s open hours, parking information and of course their mouthwatering photos of meat dishes.
Kang Ho Dong is a former wrestler and a renowned comedian and television show host of South Korea. Born on June 11, 1970, he began his career as a wrestler at the age of 14. He came out on top as a champion (aka Cheon Ha Jang Sa and Baek Du Jang Sa) for many years and rose to fame.
His first appearance on TV after his retirement as a wrestler was in 1993, and with his good sense of humor and enterprising personality, he soon became very popular as a television star. Kang Ho Dong shined as a main panel in some mega- hit Korean shows like ‘New Journey to the West(신서유기)’, ‘Knowing Bros(아는형님)’ and ‘Please Give Me One Meal(한끼줍쇼)’. Kang won multiple awards in entertainment awards, including the MBC grand prize in 2008. His adeptness in leading numerous shows eventually earned him the nickname “Nation’s MC”.
Instead of dwelling on his glory as a TV star, he took a step further and started a restaurant franchise with his own name. Him being a down to earth show host as well as having a good appetite would help build a positive brand image of the restaurant and appeal to many customers. After a KBBQ brand with his name in South Korea reached a big success, the brand sought opportunity overseas and that’s when Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong started to get its name.
While Kang Ho Dong remains one of the most recognized top KBBQ brand in Koreatown, some might be looking for other great KBBQ brands after they’ve had the experience. Rest assured, KoreatownLosAngeles.com will guide you through some other great KBBQ restaurants adored by the locals and foodies.