Cool, Refreshing Banchan - The Bright, Summery Korean Side Dishes, Incredible Rice Rolls (Gimbap) and Marinated Grilled Beef (Bulgogi) of Perilla LA [Thoughts + Pics]

We’ve been hearing on FTC and via various news outlets of ways that folks in the restaurant industry are trying to adjust to survive during the pandemic. Reading the recent LA Times article by Bill Addison about new Takeout efforts (from Chefs / Cooks via their own home or other kitchen spaces), one that caught my eye was a Chef doing their version of a variety of Banchan (Korean Side Dishes), which sounded perfect for this weather.

Perilla LA is a new solo Takeout project from Chef Jihee Kim (previously worked for Chef Michael Mina, Gary Danko (SF) and Rustic Canyon). On any given week, you’ll find her offering multiple types of Banchan along with a few other cooked dishes.

First, the chilled Banchan, which were fantastic and cooling in this scorching Summer weather! :slight_smile:

Fermented Cucumber with Melon (Fermented Cucumber, Melon Seasoned with Korean Chili Flake, and Garlic):

While it says it’s fermented, this isn’t the super funky fermentation you might be thinking about from some Korean restaurants’ Kimchi offerings. It’s fresh, bright and the chilled, soft Fermented Cucumber and Melon bites were nicely seasoned, spicy, but because it’s chilled, refreshing.

Purslane Namul (Lightly Blanched Purslane, Onion Seasoned with Fermented Soybean Paste, Garlic, Green Plum Extract, Sesame Oil):

This felt like a more elevated dish from a classically trained Chef perspective, refined, interesting use of Purslane, Green Plum Extract with more familiar ingredients like Fermented Soybean Paste and Sesame Oil.

Garlic Summer Squash (Summer Squash Braised with Garlic Finished with Garlic Chili Oil):

Loved this dish! Supple bites of Summer Squash braised with Green Onions, Garlic and fragrant, light heat from the Chili Oil, tempered beautifully by it being chilled. We devoured this in seconds! :heart:

Ginger Soy Braised Yam (Braised Soy Sauce with Ginger and Orange Peel):

Another winner! Normally Yam is met by mixed reactions amongst friends and family (some really don’t like it, others love it to death). But here, Chef Kim elevates Yam to a point that even Yam haters might love it: A perfect braising, infusing each bite with just the right amount of Soy Sauce, Ginger and Orange Peel. The result is something delicate, lightly earthy, but engaging with the citrus and Ginger spice notes. :heart:

Scallion Muchim (Blanched Scallion Seasoned with Toasted Seaweed):

I love Scallions in general, but the Blanched Scallions with Toasted Seaweed, Sesame Seeds and chilled tames the more potent onion-y notes and creates another tasty dish.

Eggplant Namul (Steamed Eggplant then Marinated with Garlic, Scallion, Serrano Pepper and Sesame Oil):

Rolled Egg (Rolled Egg with Seaweed):

First, there’s a strange hypnotic effect if you end up staring into the center of these Rolled Eggs and try to follow the lines. :smile: Chef Kim has been making this dish since she was a kid, and they are fantastic! :heart: Perfectly cooked Eggs, a little burst of Seaweed in the center, and you have another highlight. :blush:

Marinated Okra (Charred Okra Marinated with Soy Soy Vinegar Overnight):

A very good preparation, without any of the sliminess associated with Okra at times, cool, tart-savory.

Besides the excellent Banchan, Chef Kim also offers a few hot, cooked dishes. This week:

Salmon Gui (Seared Salmon with Garlic Chive Sauce):

We liked the crisped Salmon Skin (although a touch steamed/softened by being in Takeout containers), the Salmon was maybe a touch overcooked (just a bit), but mainly tender, moist and nicely seasoned. But the Garlic Chive Sauce really elevates this dish, enhancing each bite of the Salmon dramatically.

Spicy Bulgogi (Thin Sliced Beef Marinated with Gochujang Sauce and Yuba):

And then you get to this:

A powerhouse of flavors, Chef Kim’s take on the classic Korean BBQ favorite, Spicy Bulgogi, is a mouth-watering bite of fantastic sweet-salty, real depth of flavor, light beefiness and perfectly tender slices of Marinated Grilled Beef in a balanced Gochujang Sauce, and she mixes in Yuba! :open_mouth: Yuba, the lovely “Tofu Skin” (the thin, delicate layer that happens when you make Soy Milk), adds this delicate lovely mouthfeel and textural contrast to the Bulgogi.

This was one of the best Bulgogi dishes we’ve had in recent memory. Highlight! :heart: :blush: :heart:

Seasoned Rice (Rice Seasoned with Soy Marinated Mushroom, Pickles, Furikake, Nori):

Toothsome Seasoned Rice (not overly mushy or dried out), I loved the textural contrast with the Pickled Yellow Radish, Marinated Mushrooms and Furikake. :slight_smile:

Gimbap (Rice, Avocado, Mushroom, Pickled Daikon, Garlic Chive Rolled in with Toasted Seaweed, comes with Hot Mustard Sauce):

I am not a Gimbap expert, the Korean Rolls of Rice wrapped with Seaweed that resembles various Japanese Cut Rolls, but with different fillings. However, of the limited amount of Gimbap we’ve tried over the years, Perilla LA’s Gimbap might very well be the best I’ve ever had! :heart:

First, it’s made fresh to order, so many versions you find in Korean supermarkets or various places taste like it’s pre-made. The Rice here is not dried out, still pliant and the fillings are incredibly fresh and bright. The Pickled Carrots, Radish, the bit of creaminess in the Avocado, Mushroom, the Garlic Chives, and that incredible Hot Mustard Sauce! :heart:

It may not sound like much, but the confluence of all of the ingredients together make this an outstanding dish on Perilla LA’s menu.

Ordering is via Perilla LA’s online site and then they will confirm your order and send a pickup address (in the Koreatown area).

Chef Jihee Kim and her new Takeout project Perilla LA is providing a beautiful source for elevated Banchan (Korean Side Dishes) and other tasty creations. Especially during the hot Summer months here in L.A., the array of chilled Banchan were the perfect antidote to melting heat. :wink: If there’s one thing that felt “missing” perhaps, would be the familiar pungent, funky aged Kimchi to go along with all of these fantastic Banchan.

But otherwise, don’t forget to also try her amazing Spicy Bulgogi: Tender, perfectly seasoned, balanced, sweet-savory slivers of Marinated Grilled Beef and the Yuba combination is outstanding! And also the Gimbap, quite possibly the best Gimbap I’ve had in L.A., especially with that Hot Mustard Sauce. Wow.

Perilla LA is creating invigorating dishes that feel perfect during the Summer. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

Perilla LA
https://www.instagram.com/_perilla.la/

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ALL of it looks great!

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Hi @JeetKuneBao,

It was quite good and refreshing. I think you would enjoy most, if not all of the Banchan and the hot dishes here. :slight_smile:

This looks amazing! I am almost embarrassed to admit how much of my own sustenance during this time has come from California Mart in form of
Various little take out Korean dishes (I just ADORE their little omelets that are stuffed with meat and veggies) so this is perfect for me even during the week…

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Hi @Dommy,

Nice! :slight_smile: We’ve stopped by a few Korean markets and stared at the offerings and wondered how good they are. Are the little Banchan and Kimchi offerings at California Mart you go to pretty good? How do they compare with some of the tasty Banchan offerings around K-Town?

Give Perilla LA a try if you get a chance, some really nice side dishes. :slight_smile:

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There are Banchan and Kim Chee specialists around Koreatown, but right now a lot of places are closed or holding odd hours. I’ve resigned to using Sesame Oil from Whole foods than try to track some of the fresh stuff down after striking out quite a bit. I’m also taking the safer at home orders a bit more serious than most. 95% of my meals are made by me at home.

However, among the various H Marts and other Korean markets, I have found I like the pick up food from California Market the best. They have wonderful Cucumber Kim Chee… Their Jap Chae is not greasy. Like I said, those little eggy pancakes are SO GOOD. If you are lucky, you can find these Jalapenos stuffed with minced galbi and coated in egg and fried.

They are made in a little cafe inside the market, wrapped up and you just pick them up while still warm… As you can see in this photo, they have quite the selection and they are all SO GOOD to just bring home, with some kimchee and freshly made rice and have a wonderful lunch

A photo at California Market

Be careful about parking and leaving California market though, their security guards have eyes like hawks. But they make attempts to stop you instead of just letting you go and calling the tow truck…

–Dommy!

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Note to folks… I tried to order tonight and found that they cut the week’s orders as of this morning. I totally understand why, especially since it was such a small operation but no where does it say on her insta bio or on the order website that orders must be placed days in advance… so just fair warning.

Going to put a reminder for me on the calendar for Monday and see if I can workout a time to get over there next week.

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Thanks @Dommy for the reminder.

Wow, new Banchan addition for this week as well. It sounds amazing (I hope they have it next week still!):

"Corn :corn: crab :crab: salad with Saikyo miso dressing and tomatoes :tomato: I felt bad not grabbing corn at farmers market for last couple weeks but finally able to grab some and play with it. This banchan is the ultimate sweet combination, just from the ingredients :two_hearts: "

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Order form is open for this week for those that are interested (@Dommy). :slight_smile:

https://perilla-la.square.site/

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Chong’s sesame oil is available at Yang Ga Neh 1676 W 11th St - and they have good kimchi as well.

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Are they open? I went there in April during week and they were closed up TIGHT. So I haven’t been back as I don’t speak Korean so I didn’t felt confident enough to call.

–Dommy!

That sounds fantastic. I’m not sure I’ve ever had maesil cheong.

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That’s too bad. They were open when I went, but it looks like others on yelp have had the same problem:

Access: poor. The doors are always locked but there is a doorbell. Rang the doorbell three times then called on my cell phone. No response. Finally I pounded on the door and that’s when the lady opened up for me.

Yeah no. I’m not Korean nor Blonde… so the odds of them opening for me banging the door aren’t good… Going to Epicure Gourmet this weekend and will check out the Sesame Oil situation there… Thanks tho’! :slight_smile:

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YAY! Thanks so much @Chowseeker1999! Ordered on Sunday for FriYAY pick up! Luckily P is actually working from home that day so he can go pick it up in case someone else gets brilliant late afternoon meeting idears…

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Hi @Dommy,

Nice! :slight_smile: Hope you enjoy the banchan from Perilla!

Thank you again @Chowseeker1999 for alerting us of this wonderful operation. We have been trying hard to make the few meals we get take out from count when it comes to supporting neighborhood spots. Since we live right down the street from Koreatown… this was just perfect and it fit into the timing for us for our monthly visit to California Market…

Of the Korean Markets in Koreatown, my favorite if California Market. It’s selection is great and it’s take away food super tasty with a big variety. H-Mart is nice… but the H-Mart in Torrance is actually better than the ones in Koreatown… so I don’t even bother with the ones up here when California Mart meets my needs so well and then some… So we stopped by before picking up our order at Perilla to add to it!

it was late in the afternoon and so they had all their pancakes out for the dinner rush. Sadly no stuffed Jalapenos though! Those little Korean Hamburg steaks at the bottom are the BOMB too… but we decided to go with something a bit lighter…

!

I also really like their Japchae because it’s full of veggies. Carefully give them the once over to find the ones with the most veggies and piece of bulgogi

No KimChee for us this trip, but the KimChee ladies are always out in full force…

And here’s what they are making… all varities of Kimchi! The Cucumber made with fatty spears is particularlly tasty and satisfying.

We also saw these new snacks they had which may make a worthy appetizer… but alas… we don’t have an air fryer… :wink:

Now you see why we love California Mart… but you also don’t have to take our word for it… :wink:

What we did end up with…

Mushrooms because we love mushrooms and these are huge flavorful shitake… they are cooked perfect…

Pollack Pancakes! I love these… they are meaty, but not too heavy. Pollack is a very nice light and clean tasting fish. We happen to have some mustard Kewpie that this will go wonderful with!

Japchae! Just had to…

What we got from Parilla!

Kimbap! Just had to because I actually love Kimbap rolls better than most sushi. I love the greens and raddish they put in. This one was missing the greens… and it did suffer a little bit because… Also the rice was not seasoned at all and quite loose. Not old, but a bit more crumbly than I would like Kimbap rice isn’t sushi rice but it should have some flavor whether salt or some of the sesame oil from the added greens. This was very good and HUGE. But honestly, I think I like the Kimbap better at Kimbap Paradise just because of the flavor and texture I come to expect from the comfort food that Kimbap is.

The dish that made me pull the trigger on the order… char grilled Okra. OMG. How I love Okra. It’s one of my favorite things to order for Yakitori and this was like a while bowl of that in a super tasty sauce. This is a MUST order even if you think you don’t like Okra… super delicious. Amazing job.

The other dish I was really excited about was the rolled Omelet. Because of how it was rolled, I didn’t expect it to have to much of a custardy bite to it like a great Tamagoyaki. To get the seaweed center we imagine that it’s more of a crepe she start off with. Eitherway… this suffered a bit like the kimbap of being a little lacking in flavor. Thank goodness we have that really nice whiskey barrel aged soy sauce because even a drop of it (and that is all that is needed! made such a difference to this dish…

Finally… another favorite… Green beans in sesame. I had hoped it would be like Spinach Gomae… and it was… and even better. The tender green beans were well cooked with a little of snap… The sesame dressing was flavorful, but not heavy at all. Just a wonderfully cooked and thought out dish…

Okay… here is the plate with it all together… For me… it was a dream meal because it was old favorites with new… lots of little bites and excellent compliments from both Parilla and our pantry.

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Perilla highlighted in NY Times article

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