We had a chance to visit a couple wonderful places for Korean cuisine.
Mirak is famous for Korean Black Goat Stew, which is a funky, soulful meal, and perfect for the times you just want to relax and eat something rustic with friends.
Mirak's free Banchan won't win any awards, but it's very solid (and bottomless):
Bek Se Ju:
I can't handle the more popular firewater from Korea, but this drink is delicate and sweet and enjoyable to drink chilled.
Black Goat Stew:
And the reason to visit Mirak arrives at our table. After a few minutes of boiling and stirring, the Black Goat Stew is ready.
There are some wonderful herbs and spices thrown into the stew, but the key is the soft, tender chunks of Stewed Goat. It's slightly gamey, tender and deeply satisfying and savory. It's SO GOOD!
But what might top the Goat Stew is the complimentary Goat Stew Fried Rice that comes at the end of the meal:
Towards the end of the meal, when most of the Black Goat Stew has boiled down and distilled into a more concentrated liquid, you can signal the servers, and they'll bring over some Rice, Seaweed and other condiments. They then pour it all together in the pot, turn up the heat, and make the Tableside Fried Rice.
The copious amount of Seaweed, the long-distilled Goat Stew concentrate, Kimchi and herbs all combine to make this a true Bowl of pure Umami flavor!
This is one of the most satisfying bites around, rustic, homely, and DELICIOUS!
Obligatory pics on another visit (a week later, with another group of friends who heard about the visit and demanded to go, LOL ):
Dipping Sauce (2):
1134 S. Western Ave., Suite A2
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Tel: (323) 732-7577
I had bookmarked this place for a while, but kept forgetting to try it. After the long discussion on FTC and recommendations, we finally made it out there. Make note to remember the street address because they had no signs in English. We approached the front door, unsure, but then saw an L.A. Times cutout, and figured this must be it.
The most glorious thing at Soban (arguably) is the Free Banchan that arrives before you meal even begins. We were blown away by the variety of the dishes!
Doenjang Jjigae (Soybean Paste Stew):
This was recommended by @TonyC, and it was quite good. It tasted like the best version of the broth you might have with Korean Soft Tofu Pot (Soondoobu), made with Anchovy Broth, Fish, Clams and Squash.
Galbi Jjim (Braised Beef Short Ribs in Sweet Soy Sauce):
Absolutely DELICIOUS! Mouth-watering, tender morsels of Beef Short Ribs, braised for hours. The Sweet Soy Sauce is sweet and salty, but never cloying. Within the stew are Ginko Nuts, Carrots, Chestnuts and other veggies.
It was so satisfying to eat this with their Multi-Grain Rice. Just really heart-warming food.
On a 2nd visit, we were treated to their generous Free Banchan again:
Their awesome Multi-Grain Rice:
Braised Black Cod:
This was OK. Too many bones in the Black Cod, but flavor-wise it was spicy, briny, and light.
Maeun Galbi Jjim (Braised Spicy Beef Short Ribs):
The Spicy version of their Galbi Jjim we had last time, this was pretty spicy, but not terribly overwhelming. Maybe like a Level 2 at Jitlada. The spiciness really did pair up well with the Braised Beef Short RIbs which were as tender and succulent as the 1st visit.
It's a very homely, relaxed setting, and the Galbi Jjim at $35 is definitely enough for 2 people (with leftovers), and you get bottomless Banchan which were just splendid!
4001 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Tel: (323) 936-9106