Dish of the Month (DoTM) – MAY 2016 – KOREAN


Dunno if Kogi counts, and I keep eating before I remember to take a pic, but I’ve had some ridiculously good meals there recently. The quesadillas are just a perfect synthesis of Korean and Mexican flavors.


Decided to try something other than my usual standbys in Garden Grove in the spirit of DOM.

Apparently my standbys also happen to be the 4 most popular restaurants on Yelp so I had to find something different.

I settled on Jang Mo Jip:

They advertised mother in law kimchi (whatever that is). The kimchi was okay but the pickled radish was really good with a vinegar tang that permeated each piece.

Ordered mandu. Decent. Lots of veggies and a strong but not unpleasant white pepper flavor.

Gam ja tang (pork neck stew) Initially pretty bland so I had to add a few scoops of salt provided tableside. Afterwards it was decent.

However, for Gam Ja Tang in Garden Grove, I would have to rank it:

  1. Jong Ro Shul Lung Tang
  2. Gam Ja Tang House
  3. Jang Mo Jip


I’m quite fond of their kimchi. Here’s their retail ops site

My goto’s are the Su Lung Tang and Hangover soup.


Hangover soup looked good. It was down to that or the pork neck stew.


No pics, but in honor of DoTM, we took our three kids to Gen on Sunday for an early dinner. I know it’s not the best Korean BBQ, but it was great for our first-timers. I loved that our 16-y/o tried and actually really liked the pork jowl and intestine that I ordered. He can’t wait to go back and try more new things. The highlight, though, was seeing our 10-y/o very picky (just nuggets, ranch and quesadillas, please) plead for a 3rd, 4th and 5th plate of “steak” (beef bulgogi). Yup, we’re creating very expensive little monsters. They already complain bitterly when they find out we’ve been to DTF w/o therm, now they can’t wait to get back for more KBBQ.


Newest kalguksu obsession has been Myung Dong Noodle House on Irolo. Been 4 times, only white people 4 times.

Favorite kalguksu in town. Noodles have best texture i’ve seen yet… almost toothy… yet still very slick. their seafood version is wonderful with loads of clams.

very nice chicken mandu… the dough is just stellar

octopus dish tastes great but awful chewiness… couldn’t order that again… not sure if a bad day or if koreans really like that


Buil Samgye Tang on 3rd in K-town.
A comforting meal of stewed whole hen, ginseng, sweet potatoes & stuffed w/sticky rice, served with banchan & a pot of salt.

Excuse me if I mangle the language.

The Kimchi Radish Cubes (Kkakdugi) were the best.

Number #1 - Young Yang Samgye Tang

Number #5 - Young Yang Samgye Tang & Abalone. This didn’t work for us. It tasted like the broth was more boiled abalone shells, than the savory chicken broth.

I read the owners of Ju won were cooking there now, but can’t be sure. The service was super sweet. When I inquired about the ingredients of the tasty tea (ginger, corn, barley? & cinnamon) he gave us some to take home.

May 2017 Weekend Rundown

that’s right around the corner from me—I noticed some sort of sign about an ownership change? Last time I went there was before they turned it into the hen restaurant. It just never seems busy.

I’m interested in what’s going on at the new Korean place across the street from this—they just put up a “grand opening” sign, but all other signage is in Korean. They seem to have had at least two name changes (in English and Korean) before they finally opened. It looked like it was going to be a beer place/pub for a couple months, but that didn’t materialize.


It’s small, but was full last night.

I noticed the “Grand Opening” sign across the street too. Looks like that block is trying to get in on the burgeoning k-town food/nightlife scene. But, they have a ways to go. That abandoned house on the big lot is creepy.


so are the people who have been camping there on and off for the last couple of weeks. they’re supposed to start construction on a hotel maybe next month. the noise and dust will suck, but according to the notices that I received—there will be a bar and a restaurant. I’m hoping for decent b’fast and drinks in stumbling distance :wink:


(The new and improved) Mountain Cafe: Much better…

The abalone porridge with raw egg, the mandoo, and the chicken soup all taste great, like homemade. Especially them mandoo. The banchan go great with the simple menu.



Hangari bajirak kal gook soo.

Best kal gook soo in ktown. Nice fresh hand cut noodles soft but chewy. Milky chicken broth with tender chicken. You also get barley rice with sesame oil, ten jang, and homemade pan chan as startersUploading…


We really do love living near Koreatown. But mainly for the markets. To be honest, we rarely eat out in Koreatown. It always seems like a big commitment, like you have to order more than one dish. You have to make sure you go to the right place. To be honest, my favorite Korean dish is BiBimBap, which is as casual in Korean as you get. Going to a restaurant and then just ordering BiBimBap… The waiters just look at you as if YOU have just spit in their food.

I work on the Westside and our Korean food pickings are slim. I’ve been making due with the George’s Cafe Bibimbap for years. And that is the other thing, there are few take out places in Koreatown that might specialize in Bibimbap. Jeon Ju is all about the experience (and their great Panchan) so it’s kinda lame to go there and get to-go. I have long admited my love for Chego on their board, although not technically Bibimbap, the concept is familiar. So when I first went to Yellow Fever in Torrance, I felt like HOME. I had been to other Chego-Chipotle-Bowl Concepts like Kaga and Shophouse. Their flavors and ingredients were just not on point. But the flavors of Yellow Fever were true and bright. I was THRILLED when I heard they where expanding closer to work in MDR at Uncle Darrow’s old spot (Parking!)

So we hit it as soon as they opened. I got my favorite… The Seoul Bowl with Noodles. It was good as I remembered. The egg freshly cooked and runny. The steak plentiful and tender. The rice noodles with just enough tooth to them. And I admit, I love kale. But the best thing is the gochujang sauce used in them. It’s not too sweet, you can taste the chiles and even a little toastiness. Although our own House gochujang sauce is the BiBiGo (we make an awesome sour cream based dip with it) now it’s just too sweet for me to use with my own rice bowls at home. I think I might start hording Yellow Fever’s sauce like I do the Horsey Sauce from TopRound.

Thrilled that the MDR location was as good as the original Torrance location, I went back to try the Seoul Bowl with Rice. They use a mix of three rices, white brown and sticky. Sadly the sticky rice kinda threw the texture off. Some folks might like that extra ‘bounce’ it brings, but for me, it was kind of distracting. And since Yellow Fever is a semi-make your own place, you can ask for half noodles and half rice that I may try next.

So probably the lamest entry for this dish of the month round, but I am glad it gave me an excuse to visit and report back.


Funny - I was just texting my wife about having Yellow Fever for dinner tonight.


Mo Ran Gak in Garden Grove.

Probably the best Korean BBQ down here in OC. It is always busy. Get here before 6pm on weeknights and 5pm on weekends if you don’t want to wait.

Start with a tea pot of hot beef broth.

Banchan varies and is usually very good quality.

The mung bean pancakes are complimentary and made a la minute. Always very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Dangerously good.

Steamed egg is also complimentary and always made on the spot. Always bubbly and very fluffy.

Cold noodles here are top notch. The noodles are very chewy. Topped with beef, slices of Asian pear, pickles and pickled daikon. So refreshing with a hit of yellow mustard provided tableside. $4.95 for a small bowl (pictured) when you order a la carte. Complimentary if you order one of the combos.

Angus beef brisket. Min 2 orders to grill on the tables. Not a problem. I could probably eat 3 if they didn’t give you so much darned free stuff.

I had previously said the meat was as good as Park’s. I retract that. The kalbe is hit or miss and much thinner. The angus beef brisket and pork jowl though are as good as Park’s and the cuts to get here.


wow—me too. I find it hard to go to Korean places solo for those reasons. Yes, I could get a bowl of soup or porridge, but I’d rather get a variety of things and have more flavors which is hard to do without a small group of friends joining in. So I live in Ktown but mostly end up eating non-Korean food.


I have the same dilemma, living in ktown… maybe we at FTC could arrange some group dinners? I know the pizza one didn’t go so well, but we could probably manage.


I would be up for that. It would be fun to explore some of the places that I can’t enjoy solo and to meet up with folks that are interested in eating foods/flavors that some of my friends wouldn’t be interested in.


Yeah, there are those food court places, but I’m not a huge fan of communal eating either. I understand the economy we are dealing with here that makes Casual Korean Dining a hard sell to the resturanteurs in the area. But I think a place like Chego and Yellow Fever would kill it because there are so many people in apartments and such and they just are going over to Larchmont for Chipotle…



Wow! I though I was going come off as fussy or a lazy diner. It’s just you don’t want to be that person who goes into Jeon Ju and orders to go. I did it once and they wrapped up like 5 banchan!! It was a huge waste of time and actual containers!! We greatly enjoy eating out in K-Town and love Korean food. But more often than not, we head up there to go to H Mart and make some at home instead.