Sun Nong Dan
Supposedly NY Chef David Chang's (Momofuku) favorite Korean restaurant when he visits L.A. We had heard so much about this place, and finally decided to go.
Their complimentary Banchan is pretty sparse, but tasty. They were all fine, but nothing really stood out.
This was really weird. Compared to most Pajeon (Korean Pancakes) we've tried in the past, this one was strangely dry(!), slightly soft, and not really crisped at all. At least it wasn't very oily. We wouldn't order this again.
Galbi Jjim (Braised Beef Short Ribs):
And the item that Chef Chang, J. Gold and others freak out over, Sun Nong Dan's Galbi Jjim is a giant pot of bubbling, oil spewing madness: Hefty chunks of Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs that is spicier and zestier than other Galbi Jjim that we've tried.
Even ordering it "Mild" it packs a decent heat to it, and is much spicier than the other famous one from Soban. While Sun Nong Dan's version tastes bolder - a bit more sweet, a bit more salty, a bit more spicy than Soban's - it's good, and the Braised Short Ribs are tender and meaty, but I think we prefer Soban's version more:
Soban's is $35 (pictured above), while Sun Nong Dan's is larger overall, it runs $46, and it has way more filler: It's loaded with Potatoes and Rice Cakes, so it feels like Soban's version gives you more meat (or at least the same amount), and you can skip the excess Rice Cakes and Potatoes.
In addition, the servers never stopped by, nor gave us any instruction, so we didn't really stir the pot, which resulted in the bottom layer of this dish being burnt.
We liked their Multi-Grain Rice:
Overall, it's pretty tasty, but I think given the price and crazy wait times, and taste, we prefer Soban's version. And at Soban you get their ridiculous selection of complimentary Banchan as well (reason enough to go!):
Sun Nong Dan
3470 W. 6th Street, Suite 7
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel: (213) 365-0303
Sun Nong Dan
927 E. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 286-1234
Some friends wanted to go, so off we went. It's been chilly so it was good to get something soup-like and spicy.
Hot & Sour Soup:
This was a solid rendition of Hot & Sour Soup. Clean, tart, peppery, warm.
Beef with Potato:
A new dish added to the menu, it's essentially a lightly spiced, Beef & Potato Stew. The Beef was slow-cooked, with lean and fatty chunks, and the sauce was delicious. Went great with some Brown Rice.
Dongpo Pork Hock (Pork Hock Braised in a Savory Ginger Sauce, with Choice of Mild or Spicy Flavoring):
This was a standout from the last time, so we had to get it again. This large hunk of slow-cooked Pork, with a bit of the Szechuan Spicy Sauce, was pretty fantastic! Succulent, tender pieces of Pork, nicely seasoned and lightly spicy. Perfect for the chilly weather.
Sole Fillet with Scallions (Sole Fillet Boiled in Sichuan Peppercorns Spiced Broth and Topped with Scallions):
This wasn't as good as Chengdu Taste's version, but one of our friends wanted to order it, so that was fine. Lightly stewed pieces of Sole in a slightly numbing (Szechuan Peppercorn) Sauce.
Meizhou Dongpo (Century City)
(Inside the Westfield Century City Mall)
10250 Santa Monica Blvd. #200a
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel: (310) 788-0120
Meizhou Dongpo (Arcadia)
(Inside the Westfield Santa Anita Mall)
400 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: (626) 538-4580
For the Soups / Stews DOTM, it was time for another visit to Luv2Eat.
Phuket Style Fish Curry Kanomjean (Vermicelli Rice Noodle with Fish Curry, served with Hard Boiled Egg, Pickled Carrots & Papaya):
Even on "Mild" this was pretty spicy. But this is the famous Curry that takes 72 hours to prepare(!), and it is as fantastic as the last 2 times we ordered it. Extremely nuanced, with lots of interesting flavors and spices, it was another great way to warm up in the chilly weather.
Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables (Cabbage, Bean Sprouts, Chinese Broccoli, Broccoli, Carrots, Celery, and Mushrooms):
Kua Gling (with Pork Spareribs, Southern Thai Style , with Hot & Spicy Turmeric Herb Curry Paste) + Sator:
The one disappointment on this visit, unlike last time's sublime version, the Pork Spareribs tasted old, like leftovers. Otherwise the actual Turmeric Curry Paste was fantastic.
Green Curry Chicken:
Their Green Curry had a subtle nutty, creamy, tropical taste with the Coconut Milk, Housemade Green Curry base and slivers of Bamboo Shoots and Red Bell Peppers. It was comforting enough to be a "stew" of sorts, and was one of the better Green Curries we've had recently. I liked it more than their Massaman Curry.
Garlic and Pepper Pork:
Their Garlic and Pepper Pork was another new item we hadn't tried before. It was pretty straightforward, but also tasty for what it was: A stir-fried dish of Pork, Garlic and Black Pepper, along with Shredded Cabbage, in a light Soy Sauce.
Luv2Eat Thai Bistro
6660 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tel: (323) 498-5835
The chilly weather and Stews for Dish of the Month meant a visit to another favorite of ours, Mirak, and their famous Black Goat Stews!
Boiled Goat Ribs:
Their Black Goat Stew is the dish to order here, but one other dish they have is a Boiled Goat Ribs dish that we've never ordered before. Sadly, this wasn't close to the greatness of their Stew: The Boiled Ribs were chewy, tough, and just not very good.
Black Goat Stew:
But then it was time for the real purpose of our visit, their Black Goat Stew. Like the other visits, a huge pot is brought to the table and it begins cooking down (via a tableside burner).
The Black Goat Stew is wonderful in its subtle gaminess, super tender, Stewed Goat, and the Soup / Stew is fantastic! Warming, delicious, lightly salted, and with ample amounts of cooked down Veggies like Chinese Chives, Green Onions, and various herbs.
Their Dipping Sauces really enhance the Stewed Goat:
And at the end of the meal, something even greater than the Black Goat Stew...
Goat Stew Fried Rice:
As fantastic as before! The combination of the distilled down Black Goat Stew with some Seaweed, Green Onions, Kimchi, Rice and other seasonings makes this one of the best Fried Rice I've ever had in K-Town!
1134 S. Western Ave., Suite A2
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Tel: (323) 732-7577