3465 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Jonathan Gold’s article in the LA Times: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/10/food/la-fo-gold-20121110
This is a BBQ chain straight from Korea. I was a bit bummed that I didn’t get to try it when I visited Seoul last fall, but lo and behold, the LA branch opened soon after I came back. I was really excited to try it, when LA Times featured a glowing review soon after the restaurant opened. The 5 star reviews on Yelp kept stacking up, but so did the wait time (it was around 2 hours for a while since the restaurant does not accept reservations). Finally, after a few months, the initial craze is starting to dwindle down, so off we went. Our wait during a Saturday was about 40 minutes.
The entrance to the restaurant is inside the plaza, which does not face the street. That being said, the little plaza has many restaurants which share the small parking lot, so parking inside the plaza can be challenging. You’re better off parking on the street, or in one of the nearby paid lots.
Kang Hodong Baekjeong is known for its exceptionally great meats. Despite that, you pay almost the same as all-you-can-eat places, so it’s a great value. The restaurant also has really good service — our server was friendly, came by very often, and cooked all of our meats for us.
The store front
You’ll see this poster board up front — it’s not PSY. This is Kang Hodong, a Korean comedian, who owns this restaurant chain.
The grill at Kang Hodong Baekjeong is different than other K-BBQ places — There is also a moat ring around the grill, which is used to cook the corn with cheese, steam the egg, and grill the veggies. What ingenuity!
Salad – included with your order. Very fresh!
One of the many side dishes — spicy bean sprouts. Mix it yourself!
I think this was mung bean pancake. Pretty tasty, but I don’t think you can get seconds on this one.
Lots of dishes occupy the table — kimchi, radish, salt/pepper, jalapeno dipping sauce, and chilled radish soup. Like other K-bbq joints, iced barley tea is served complimentary.
Lunch box – spicy kimchi rice. Watch in awe as your server brings the box to the table, then starts shaking it in front of you. The lunch box is warm at best, but really tasty! We ordered 2 for our party of 6 and that was enough with our 5 meat orders. $6.99
Our meat orders (from top to bottom): seared pork belly ($18.99), special pork neck ($21.99), and sliced rib eye ($28.99). I was going to order the pork butt, but our waiter told me point blank that the pork neck was much better. And it was. All of the meats were so good! The waiter even adjusts heat on the grill for the different meats.
Thinly sliced brisket – see the nice marbling? Yum!!! Sliced sweet potato and mushrooms also came with our orders. $18.99
Beef tongue – it was really fresh and a little thicker sliced than other K-bbq places. Nice meaty texture. $21.99
The waiter seared the rib eye and then cut them up into bite-size pieces once they were ready to eat. Medium and succulent, just the way I like them!
Kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae)
Bean stew (doenjang jjigae)
Our meal also came with soups (kimchi and bean stew) at the end of the meal. Both had great flavor, although the bean stew was a tad salty. Overall, we all loved it. It lives up to its hype! We’ll be back. 🙂