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What is Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown LA?

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1. What is Sun Nong Dan?

Sun Nong Dan is a Korean restaurant renowned for its Sul Lung Tan(ox bone soup) and Galbi Jjim (braised beef short ribs). There are a total of three locations of Sun Nong Dan in Southern California: Koreatown LA, Rowland Heights and San Gabriel. 

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Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown LA is one of the hottest spots and specialty restaurants in Koreatown, not to mention that it has ranked #37 on Jonathan Gold’s “101 Best Restaurants” list in 2017. Sun Nong Dan has survived the struggles from the pandemic and is even in the process of expanding to another location on Western which was once Sizzler, an American chain restaurant. 

Whether it is a comforting hot bowl of ox bone soup or a spicy beef dish you are craving, Sun Nong Dan will cater to every conceivable need. The street address of Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown LA is: 3470 W 6th St Ste 7, Los Angeles, CA 90020. 

2. Origin of the Name Sun Nong Dan

While Sun Nong Dan is most famous for its Galbi Jjim dish, the name ‘Sun Nong Dan’ has nothing to do with Galbi Jjim. Sun Nong Dan, located in Seoul, South Korea, is originally a historical site known to have been an altar in the Chosun Dynasty.  

The Asia Business Daily

Sun Nong Dan was a place for people to gather around for a Sun Nong Je (agricultural rite), which was a rite paying homage to agricultural gods. According to the Encyclopedia of Korean Folk Culture, this ritual was aimed at ensuring a good farming year and was conducted on an official government level. 

The Asia Business Daily

After the ritual, the king himself would come to Sun Nong Dan to demonstrate how to farm in front of his people. Then they all would hold a big festival where they boil the farming cow into a hot soup to feed all the participants from the ritual. Some say that this soup was originally called Sun Nong Tang then later modified to Sul Lung Tang, which is the name of an ox bone soup we normally call these days. 

Although this is not an established theory for an etymology of Sul Lung Tang, many believe that the term Sul Lung Tang came from Sun Nong Dan. It is without doubt that our beloved restaurant Sun Nong Dan’s esteemed name has come from this theory on the origin of the name Sul Lung Tang.

3. Our Recommendations at Sun Nong Dan

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Sun Nong Dan is a perfect place to enjoy meaty Korean dishes. If you’re alone or with a small company, enjoy their Korean soup entrees like Galbi Tang(beef short rib soup) or Sul Lung Tang(ox bone soup). 

Sun Nong Dan is most famous for its Galbi Jjim, which is adequate for a big group of 3-4 people and more. Galbi Jjim is originally a Korean dish made with braised beef short ribs and served on special occasions like Korean holidays or family member’s birthdays. Galbi Jjim here at Sun Nong Dan is a modern version of this traditional dish with a contemporary twist. It is a big, heavy combination of beef, rice cakes, green onions, potatoes, carrots, kimchi and cheese(optional).

4. What Makes Sun Nong Dan's Galbi Jjim So Special?

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In addition, ordering Galbi Jjim here doesn’t only come with the food but also with an amazing fire show. See the cheese and meats get torched and you won’t be able to help but smack your lips. Some even say that no experience in Koreatown is complete without trying Sun Nong Dan’s Galbi Jjim.

The price of Galbi Jjim here at Sun Nong Dan is steep, but many say it is still worth it. That is why we strongly recommend you try Sun Nong Dan’s Galbi Jjim- there is a reason for all this Galbi Jjim hype. 

Served on a sizzling hot plate, Sun Nong Dan’s Galbi Jjim is very savory and just spicy enough to be enjoyable. The dish is filled with meat, which is very tender and juicy. The large size is just enough to satisfy 5 people with extra rice. Unless you are allergic to dairy, please add cheese on top because it makes the dish extra flavorful! Getting full won’t stop you from thinking about getting more of this meaty, cheesy goodness.

5. Pro Tip: Go During Off-Peak Hours for a More Relaxed Experience

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With that said, there is always a line for this location and parking is a little tough, so make sure you come with extra time. Don’t worry about being famished due to a long wait, because they have fast service and they even require you to order before getting seated. Many are already thinking about coming back for the unforgettable, mouth watering experience- Get ready for your journey to an LA staple this weekend, here at Sun Nong Dan. 

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