The Skinny: I was surfing the net looking for places to eat with a few of my friends. I came across this place called Buldogis. I read an article saying that the hot dogs were like the ones from LA’s food truck Kogi. I was SO excited that this place is right by my house and I finally get to try Korean infused hot dogs. I love hot dogs & Korean food so this was a definite treat. I walked in and it was like walking into a subway, but with the smell of bulgogi cooking in the air. I ordered the Buckeye dog, Bulgogi beef dog & angry fries. I wasn’t that hungry but definitely had to try a bit of it all and save the rest for lunch the next day. It took about 15 minutes for my food to be ready for take-out which I’m fine with because that just means everything is made fresh and to order. As much as I loved it, it’s not something I can eat every day. The best part of it all is that the hot dogs are 5 bucks. You definitely get a bang for your buck here.
The Good: The Buckeye dog is delicious!!! It starts off with 100% beef frank with pork belly bacon, corn relish, cheddar & garlic mayo on top. Who can resist?! The Beef bulgogi dog is good too, but it was just way too much meat for me. It was topped with asian slaw (carrots & radish), green onions, sesame seeds, bulgogi mayo. I definitely needed a fork to finish this the next day. I think this dog would probably be better on top of rice.
The Bad: The Angry fries. It’s not really a bad, but just not something I’d order again. It was good for 2-3 bites, but then it was just too much. One order is huge! It’s sweet potato fries topped with spicy pork bulgogis, kimchi, give cheese blend, fried egg, green onions & jalapenos. Your behind will be angry at you after you eat it lol!
Would you come back again? Yes I will, I saw a euro special on their menu I’d like to try. I don’t think I’d order so much food again though. I do love that buckeye dog though.
More Info: 2291S. Fort Apache Las Vegas, NV 89117 | (702) 570-7560 | Mon-Thur 11am-9pm; Fri & Sat 11am-10pm; Sunday 11am-5pm | Very reasonably priced. Nothing over $4.95.
– Sniper Tam
The Skinny: I needed a nice little reality check from some good friends and they decided to go here. Apparently I’ve been here before, but it was so long ago when food was just something I ate to survive I couldn’t remember. It did feel familiar when I first walked in. I was a little excited because it is a Korean/Japanese restaurant.
The interior is this cute little homely place. I felt comfortable the minute I walked in. It was like you’re walking into your best friend’s Asian dining room. We sat down and first thing we ordered was alcohol. Soju (Korean alcohol), Hite (Korean beer) & fresh iced green tea. I’ve never been here and was open to try anything. My friend ordered a dish that was slow cooked pork belly with oysters, tofu steak & a spicy potato & beef rib soup. I loved that the owner’s daughter came to our table with fresh limes and made a special cocktail we named Achy hands drink because she squeezed fresh lime juice into a cup of ice and soju. Loved it better then drinking soju straight up. For our happy ending we had candied corn with cheese. OMG who thinks up these things? At first when it came out my friends and I looked at the dish and looked at Sarah (the owner’s daughter) and said that’s a huge dish of corn! Don’t know why we were so shocked by the plate, we actually finished majority of it. It is THAT good.
The Good: I didn’t have one bad dish here. The slow cooked pork belly with oysters was fantastic! I’m normally not a big fan of pork belly because of how fatty it is, but Sarah’s mom made it so good, I could’ve eaten the whole plate if it wasn’t so filling. The dish came with pickled napa cabbage leaves to wrap the pork belly, oyster & sides (raw garlic, raw jalapeno peppers, and this fermented soy bean paste). This dish is like an explosion of flavor in your mouth. It actually really messed me up the first bite. My brain couldn’t decide what I was eating. I had the flavorful pork belly, the oyster and all the other flavors from the sides. It was delicious.
The spicy potato & beef rib soup was a great choice too. It went well with the other dishes we ordered. A lot of places when I order this type of soup are too spicy. The spice level and flavor was perfect here.
Our last dish was the candied corn with cheese. My friend told me that this is the best dish when drinking. Boy is she right. This dish is no joke. Definitely a must try if you ever go.
The Bad: I don’t really have anything bad to say about this restaurant other than it’s kind of in a ghetto area. The best restaurants are the little hole in the walls right? It is a couple blocks from the University so it’s not that bad, but still quite a drive from where I live. Worth the drive though.
Would you come back again? Absolutely, we didn’t even begin to take a crack at the menu. There are so many choices to choose from. I will definitely be back again. It’s Korean home cooking and you can’t find such great Korean home cooking unless you’re Korean yourself and if you are, then I’m jealous you grew up with such great food. Next time I’ll try some of the Japanese items and report back.
More Info: 1801 E. Tropicana | Las Vegas, NV 89119 | (702) 262-5592 | Reasonable pricing
– Sniper Tam
The Skinny: Over Labor Day weekend I went to Redondo Beach Pier for some Seafood with my mom. She wanted to get this flat Fish that’s kind of like a small Halibut, (not sure what it is….it could just be a baby Halibut), but the price per pound was ridiculous. At the Redondo Beach Crab House, it was $30 something for a pound of that fish, and each one was no less than 4. So we settled for some Fried Clams with Fries, a $45 Sashimi platter, Nakji Bokum (A Spicy Korean Octopus dish) with cold Somen Noodles, and a bottle of Hite.
The Sashimi Platter comes with Baby Abalone, Tuna, Halibut, Hamachi, Salmon, Red Snapper and some of the Flat Fish my mom wanted. The restaurant also provided us with some Ban-chan (Korean side dishes), fresh Lettuce to wrap stuff up, and some chopped up Sea Squirt….which I didn’t touch.
The Good: The Sashimi Platter was actually a whole lot better than I was expecting. The thick slices of Fish seemed fresh, especially the Salmon, which was sweet and fatty. If the Sashimi selections came prepackaged in vacuum sealed plastic bag from China, I couldn’t tell. The Nakji Bokum was also very good and tasty. The Octopus was cooked just right, which made them very tender and sweet. The sauce it came with was a lot spicier than I was expecting, but the cool Somen Noodles and extra veggies helped balance the heat out.
The Bad: The fried breaded Clams wasn’t really needed but I just wanted something fried at the time. They were a bit dry and only a little bit clamy, but they weren’t awful.
Would you come back again? Not really….but the view was good.
The Skinny: Moodaepo 2 is another gas powered All You Can Eat Korean BBQ restaurant found in Ktown. There are two no-limit combos to choose from on the menu. Combination A has both seafood and barnyard animals for just 19.99. Then for only 16.99, you can get combo B which just has the pork, beef, and chicken.
What makes Moodaepo 2 different from other Korean BBQ All You Can Eat places, is the night club atmosphere. There are flat screen television sets everywhere with Kpop music videos playing on all of them. If someone is celebrating their birthday there, the whole restaurant dims out the lights and plays a happy jingle for that special person.
The Good: It was cheap and the meat seemed to be good quality. With a group of 10 people, we ordered probably more than 20 servings of Seasoned Sirloin, Pork Belly, Pork Neck Meat, Small and large Intestines , Brisket, and Beef Rib Meat. The Pork Belly was thick and succulent while the Rib Meat were tender and juicy.
The Bad: The food was good, because it wasn’t great. While the side dishes were minimal and the service suffered because of the packed house of hungry customers, the only thing I really dislike about Moodaepo is the Korean night club atmosphere. It felt cheesy and made my dining experience feel like I was eating in a crowded metro bus since I was elbow to elbow with my fellow diners.
Would you come back again? Not if I had a choice, I’m just not a fan of All You Can Eat Korean BBQ places. I prefer restaurants like ChoSun Galbee on Olympic, their quality over quantity menu, and the outdoor seating area they have.
The Skinny: Dan Sung Sah is a M*A*S*H themed Korean pub where all the furniture is made out of wood and people use worn out utensils that seem like they were used during the Cold War. The place serves Korean style fried goodies, mystery meats grilled on sticks, free communal soup, and cold Makgeolli (Korean Rice Wine) that comes in a tea kettle.
The Good: I usually always get the Dalk Dong Jib (Chicken Butt House), Chicken Wings, and Daeji Kalbi (Korean Pork Ribs). The Dalk Dong Jib are Chicken Gizzards fried with Garlic Cloves and sprinkled with Jalapenos and crack (MSG). The stuff is addictive and I always get it when I go to Dan Sung Sah.
The Chicken Wings are not Buffalo style and there is no sticky sweet sauce. They are lightly breaded, fried to perfection, and maybe sprinkled with some crack as well. I especially like how the cartilage at the ends of each wing are fried up nicely on their own and become crunchy.
Something new I did try was the sliced grilled Pork Belly that comes with a side of Green Onion Salad. It was very tasty and unhealthy.
The Bad: The only Rice they serve comes in a Kimchee Roll with Cheese…..and it’s not good.
How long have you been going there? For over 10 years!
More info: Yelp | 3317 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020 | They finally have a menu in English.
The Skinny: Han But is a Sul Lang Tang restaurant in Koreatown I’ve been going to for last tens years. It’s a hole in the wall that specializes in a Beef Soup that has your choice of Brisket, Flank, Tongue, Intestines, Tripe, Spleen, or all of the above. With each order of Tang(soup) you get a side of Ggakdugi (pickled Daikon), Napa Kimchi, and a bowl of Rice. And to help personalize the overall flavor of the soup, you get to add your own helping of Salt, Green Onions, and Red Chili Paste. It’s as good of a hangover cure as Phở.
The Good: The Sul Lang Tang at Hanbut is always good. It’s tasty, filling, and comforting, especially on a rainy day. The soup itself leaves collagen on your lips from all the bone marrow sucked out while stewing and any meat you order melts away easily as you chew. The Ggakdugi is aged just right, so it doesn’t have that offensive pungency you get from raw radishes. The regular Kimchi isn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad either. Han But is a no frills kind of place, you get in, eat well, and then get out.
The Bad: Nothing. Wished they served Soju though.
Would you come again? Does Geico commercials ask rhetorical questions?
More Info: Yelp | 4163 W 5th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020 | (213) 383-9499 | Mon-Sun 7 am – 10 pm | Cash Only
Extra: One street South of Han But Sul Lang Tang is a Cigar store that hand rolls their product on location. The place is called Leon Cigars and their prices range from 3 bucks up to around 7.
I went there for dessert.
The Skinny: Jang Mo Jip, which means Mother In Law House, is a small Korean restaurant in the City of Lomita that serves Kalbi Tang (short rib soup), Soon Doobu (tofu stew), Soondae (blood sausages), grilled meats and other hot pot stews. I ordered their Sul Lang Tang with beef and tripe to go.
The High: For 8 bucks you get everything you see in the pictures. That’s what great about soupy Korean food, it’s one of the easier kinds to contain and order to go.
The Low: The thing I love about Sul Lang Tang is the collagen and fat you get on your lips thanks to the long hours of ox tail bones being stewed and the marrow that gets pulled out. The Sul Lang Tang at Jang Mo Jip did have some of that effect but not even as close as Han But, my favorite Sul Lang Tang place in Koreatown. Their take on it was pretty bland, even with the use of the salt provided. I actually emptied the whole serving into half a bowl of what is seen in the soup container, but it didn’t make a difference. And even though there was no real taste to the tripe, it did have that tripey “back in mouth” action going on. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t good either. The sliced beef that were also in it were tasteless and dry in texture despite being bathed in hot broth.
As for the Ban Chan, the Mu (Daikon Radish) Kimchi they gave needed more time pickling because it was offensively raw in pungency. The other Ban Chan selections were good though.
Would I come back again? Probably not, but if I am there again, I’ll probably try the Kalbi Tang instead.
More Info: yelp | 1824 Lomita Blvd. Lomita, CA 90717 | (310) 530-6017 | 8 bucks for Sul Lung Tang that comes with Ban Chan and rice…is a good deal!
The Skinny: A popular burger hub that’s been voted as one of the top 10 places in Los Angeles by the Huffington Post. Their signature dish is the Korean influenced Kalbi burger.
The High: The Kalbi Burger itself lives up to the hype. It’s juicy, messy, delicious, and everything The Counter is not. (:-X) The greens in it had the same vinaigrette at those $19.99 all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ places. The flame broiled short rib and ground chuck patty was flavorful thanks to the Kalbi aioli; even though it tasted more like Bulgogi. The toasted bread stayed together well despite my sloppy way of eating it. It also served as a piece of sponge to soak up all the delicious juices that tried to escape. The fries were crispy and tasty thanks to them being fried twice.
The Low: I remember the first time I went to Kalbi Burger I made the mistake of getting the Saigon. I was expecting it to taste like a Bahn Mi….but it didn’t. The pickled veggies needed more pickling.
Would you come back again? Yes! I got to try the Seoul Dog.
More Info: www.kalbiburger.com – $9.95 for a combo meal that has the Kalbi Burger, Fries, and a drink. $7.95 for just the burger.
The Skinny: I consider Budae Jjigae to be Korea’s stone soup and I love it. It’s a stew that came about during the Korean War when people used whatever they could find to make something with a lot of calories to burn.
I usually go to Toe Bang (3465 W. Sixth St. Los Angeles) in Korea-town for my fix and it costs about 20 bucks an order. I first started going to Toe Bang at an age where I should have been carded, but never was. It’s been kind of a Zen thing when I eat this communal hot pot of mystery meats and sodium induced broth. I really need the atmosphere to be a certain way to really enjoy the experience of raising my own blood pressure through consumption. When Toe Bang first opened, it used to be made up of a green canopy, lawn chairs, and metal patio tables. Now it has wood furnishing all over with flat screen TVs and heat lamps keeping customers warm due to the main seating area being outdoors, and outside is where you want to be. Add some Korean Euro-trash techno music, soju, and some red faced lightweight Koreans yapping in the background…and you have the perfect Budae Jjigae atmosphere. It’ll make you feel like you’re in another country…like Korea!
However, things have changed a little bit too much at Toe Bang. Instead of being able to cook the Budae Jjigae at your own table with your own little gas powered hot pot, they cook it before hand and just serve it to you; and that just kills the fun.
So now, I just cook it at home and with my friends….but it isn’t the same as going out and having it in Korea-town where people still smoke indoors.
* 2-3 cans of Swanson’s chicken stock
* half an onion sliced up
* some sliced up spam
* some hot dogs sliced up
* some burger patties rolled up into tiny balls the size of your thumb
* Firm Tofu
* green onions sliced up
* vegis like bean sprouts, cabbage, and enoki mushrooms.
* Sliced rice cakes
* Korean Red Chili Paste
* Chrysanthemum leaves which is a must. They come in bundles.
* A portable Hot Pot, electric or gas powered. The bigger, the better.
* Nong Shim Neoguri Udon – Ramen with some thick ass noodles.
* and Soju!….Chamisul to be more specific.
It’s not really rocket science as to how you bring it all together. There’s no set amount of ingredients because after all, it’s a military stew. You just start heating up the hot pot, add the sliced onions and pour in some chicken stock. When it starts getting hot, take 2 big spoonfuls of red chili paste and stir it into the pot until it becomes thick with red. When it begins to boil, that’s when you add the mystery meats, tofu, sprouts, and Chrysanthemum leaves. Then at the very end, add the ramen noodles and green onions. Serve it with rice, kimchee, and shot glasses full of soju…and you’re set to go.
Starring… “Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal restaurant, Aziz Ansari, Michael Rapaport, Ethan Suplee, Giovanni Reda of http://www.theberrics.com, Jeff Miller of http://www.thrillist.com, and Zach McGowan of many fine things related to Hollywood.”
See the more at VBS.TV: Animal – Munchies | VBS.TV