This is the first post in my LA Food Tour, Spring 2013 series.
It pains me to write about Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. Why? It’s because I have to look through these food photos and remember that I don’t live in LA, and that I am not going to be eating here again anytime soon.
I’ve always heard that some of the best Korean BBQ is in LA (in the US at least), but after multiple meals at different K-BBQ restaurants around LA, I never really noticed the difference between LA and NY. Who would have thought that a restaurant opened by a Korean wrestler turned comedian, Kang Ho Dong, would show me the way?
Yes, in case you are wondering, that’s Kang Ho Dong illustrated on the menus & napkins in the photo below.
There are generally two categories of Korean BBQ restaurants in LA – all you can eat meat buffets such as Manna, or slightly more expensive joints that serve better quality meat a la carte such as Baekjeong. Since I usually don’t eat enough to get my money’s worth, I end up going for better meat quality since the cost ends up about the same either way.
As any LA local will tell you, there’s usually a wait at KHD Baekjeong, expect to stay hungry for at least an hour and maybe two during the weekends. Luckily, I came with a party of 4 on a Tuesday night at around 7:30 and there was no wait for us. There’s no such thing as beginner’s luck with restaurants right?
My Korean friends suggested we order the Pork Combo, since it’s what they like to eat here, so who am I to argue? Usually I always order Kalbi (Korean Short Ribs) when eating KBBQ, but I assure you, after our feast, I did not miss it at all.
Our Large Pork Combo (for 3-4 people) came with the following…
Special Pork Neck & Mushroom – just look at how marbled that pork neck is. I don’t think I’ve actually ever had grilled pork neck, but I absolutely love it.
Also usually at K-BBQ restaurants, I really look forward to the banchan (the little dishes that come along with your meal), but at KHD, the sides here is a bit different. Three of the sides are cooked in the grill – steamed egg, corn with cheese, and onions and kimchee. As the fat of the meat cooks off, it drips into the sides…mmm…perfection.
As we wait for the meat to cook, we were also given sides of Korean pancake, kimchi, salad, sprouts and green onion. Watching the pork caramelize and then get cut into little cubes just made me even hungrier.
The next course was a Seared Pork Belly, I loved how there was actually a decent meat to fat ratio, as well as how there were slits cut into the meat, so that the meat cooks a bit faster. And it doesn’t hurt that it actually makes the bit of meat look pretty.
An order of kimchi stew came with our combo as well. The whole time the staff was attending to our grill, and changing the grill tops every so often so that the meat doesn’t burn.
Finally we had the Seasoned Pork Short Rib, which pretty much looked like a huge piece of steak. As you can imagine, by this time, I was pretty full, but I still wanted more. Each cut of meat was unique in flavor and was just so good.
Good thing that this cut was served last, since it did take a good amount of time to completely cook and I needed time to digest!
Everything about this meal was great and I am now a believer that the best Korean BBQ is found in K-Town in LA, because I definitely haven’t found anything of this quality in New York or in the Bay Area.
Until I’m back in LA, I can only dream about one of my favorite meals during this trip and you can bet that this won’t be my only time here. Oh, and if by the end of this post you aren’t 100% convinced you should give this place a try, then do me a favor, and just come have a meal here and think of me. 🙂
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong | Yelp
3465 W 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020