We went to hangari. There was no wait, and our three adults and a toddler and an infant were quickly seated at a table. We split an order of mandu, which were fine, if the filling was a little mushy, with strong black pepper notes. Three of us ordered the chicken, and we ordered a non-spicy seafood one, so the children could eat. This was more or less exactly what i had been craving. Each bowl of the chicken kalguksu come with half a small bird, or game hen, a roughly hewn piece of kabocha squash, and dried jujubes in a thickened broth that tasted like good home cooking, with warming garlic flavor. It wasn’t quite a samgyetang flavor, without the ginseng roots, but it was very good.
The seafood one had a very clean tasting broth. I only had one sip of the broth but it tasted of sweet fresh clams. I’m often suspicious of mixed seafood dishes, because i often find the fish itself over cooked, with dry mushy flesh, rubbery bits, and otherwise indiscriminately cooked seafood that has at best given up its ghost to the broth. As i only tasted the soup i dont’ know if that was true here, but my friend who ate most of it and shared with her kids made quick work of the seafood. We both said that we would try the spicy version if we didn’t have to worry about the kids.
I loved the texture of the noodles, and i’m working up to making some myself, as i hate cleaning up flour and dough messes in the kitchen. But they were toothy and slurpy and irregular. I’m more used to the higher temperatures that Korean food is often served at, but my friend’s husband felt that while delicious, he had to wait for his soup to cool off before he could taste it better, at which point the noodles had started to soften. That’s what slurping is for, i say!
Oh the panchan was pretty good, but we never got the boribap, maybe because we asked for a white rice for the kids. Once i realized the omission i didn’t really care anymore. The kimchi was maybe too fresh for me, and a bit sweet. I would have liked it better in a week or so, i think. I liked the irregular cut chunks of radish in the ggakdukkee, and the yolmu kimchi was good, if it seemed a little unseasonal to me.
I know LA does get cold weather, but i have rarely if ever experienced it. Well… “cold.” But it was nice that the weather was a compliment to the food. I wanted warming, wintery food. I’ll keep all these other suggestions in mind, too. Thanks!