Hello. I’m planning a birthday weekend in LA next month based largely around korean food. Well I’m hoping for 3 meals: korean bbq for the main celebration, and then just trying to fit in my favorites where and if I can, but probably noodles/mandu, and then maybe bossam, maybe Chinese-Korean. I’m starting my homework and I’m just a little bit familiar with ktown already. But I have questions…,
BBQ For a Friday or Saturday night party of 7-10 people: PARK’S, GENWA, or…? I’ve been to parks several times and I’ve never had a complaint about the quality of the meat, but I’ve had to request kimchi before (!!!) and seen other signs of getting different treatment from Koreans. I’m part korean but the others in my party are not at all. I also always have to ask for ssamjang, lettuce, garlic, etc. I think I’ve noticed less panchan than served to other, obviously korean patrons.
So I thought maybe try somewhere else? I’m getting some resistance to this idea. “Parks is really the best,” I hear from some LA friends, and others from here (I’m in San Francisco) have been to Parks and remember it fondly. Should I stick with it? Are they starting to care more about the celebrities than the overall quality of food and service?
Genwa seems to have tons of panchan and we can splurge on quality meat if we want, right? Is there charcoal? Parks has charcoal over gas flames, am I correct? My usual preferences for meats are not unique: marinated galbi and unseasoned pork belly. But I do like pork neck, jowl, etc, and I get the korean and English terms mixed up for beef cuts, but thicker, well marbled cuts from the rib section. I do not really care for chadolbaegi, or the other thinly shaved cuts, except maybe tongue. I like smelling like a campfire and charcoal would be nice, as in my hazy memory of charcoal at parks over gas flames. It’s been awhile. I thought of soot bull jeep, but wonder if I want something a little nicer for this occasion. But meat quality is far more important to me for this meal than charcoal, which seems to have fallen out of favor in general (?)
Please, any thoughts on the pros and cons of parks vs genwa would be greatly appreciated.
I love Yu chun and try to go whenever I’m in LA. Not just for the naengmyun but also for their kimchi mandu. Should I stick to this for a lunch, or is there another great option for naengmyun, or should I be thinking about kong guksu or other cold noodles?
I also want to go to kobawoo for bossam. Problem is I have too many friends that use the phrase “too much” in the same breath as “pork belly,” and are a little bit timid with certain textures. If a bite or two is all some can handle, what else at kobawoo do you recommend so they can be happy while I devour my pork? They all like the rest of what I see on the menu. Pancakes, bibimbap, etc.
I might also try to get my Chinese korean fix. I’ve been to zzamong and I liked it. I prefer gan jjajangmyun to the usual kind, and I don’t like soft noodles. I remember zzamong being pretty good, definitely better than what we have in SF or Oakland. But any other recommendations?
Thanks for taking the time to read all this. I may not hit all these, as there is so much to eat in LA. Every time i visit I leave realizing I’ve somehow neglected to eat Mexican food, for example. I’m always focused on korean or on dim sum, which is the OTHER thing I’m researching for the same brief trip! (I may be staying in town longer than my friends to fit all this in). Again thanks in advance for any advice!