Odumak, a recent arrival in Koreatown, brings to Los Angeles what could previously only be found east of the 5 - proper Sichuan food. Thankfully this does not come at the expense of the Korean cooking, which is also quite strong (based on my limited sample size).
Tasty! The kimchi was milder than most variations but I actually preferred it that way. Seaweed was a bit spicy with some nice bite to it. The biggest surprise were the bean sprouts, which I only tried on my second visit. They were seasoned with Sichuan peppercorn (maybe oil? no visible flakes). Normally I don’t touch bean sprouts with a ten-foot pole, but these were really good.
The picture doesn’t give much sense of perspective, but it’s an enormous bowl (and, if you plan on eating the veggies, quite a lot of food). Very numbing, moderately spicy. The sausages reminded me pretty strongly of Oscar Meyers. Glass noodles were tasty. This was my first time having hot pot so I can’t say with any confidence how it stacks up to other places. It was good, but hot pot is probably not for me.
Similarly, this was a very large amount of food. Fresh, tender lamb, with quite a lot of seasoning that managed to emphasize the flavor of the meat instead of drowning it out. Mildly spicy (at least in comparison to the hot pot). Again, this was my first time having the dish, so I can’t tell you how it compares to, say, Chengdu’s Taste, but I thought it was very good. Definitely something I’ll be ordering again - here and elsewhere.
Again - a large dish. If you just planned on eating the meat, that would be enough for many people, though perhaps not for some of our more prodigious eaters. However, add in the generous helpings of mushrooms, peppers, onions, and carrots, and this once again turns into a dish meant for more than one person to share (with a smaller dish to round it off). And as for the quality - pretty good. The marinade on the meat is great, with a very low level of sweetness counterbalanced by the mild, creeping spice of the peppers. The meat itself could be a smidge more tender, but it’s only really a flaw in comparison to the rest of the execution. By itself this would be a decent if pretty standard dish, but scrape aside the meat and veggies to find…
…a thin layer of glass noodles soaking up the sauce at the bottom. These were amazing! The meat sauce had the extremely focused beef-and-onion flavor that forms the basis of beef stews everywhere, but so few ever achieve with this richness and clarity. There was also a stronger kick from the peppers here, though it was still mild. If I could order a bowl of the glass noodles drenched with that meat sauce alone I would probably come here every day; as is, I’ll have to settle for trying to bring groups of friends.
Both times I came in on a weekday ~6 pm, and the place was nearly empty (one or two other parties were present during both visits). Service is friendly, though you may have to flag somebody down to get seated if you arrive too early, and be prepared to point at your menu items - some of the staff doesn’t speak English. It seems like they run on a skeleton crew until some point in the evening.
I really hope traffic for this place picks up, because I want to explore more of their extremely extensive menu.
338 S Western Ave Ste D, Los Angeles, CA 90020