Chosun Galbee Korean Restaurant, Los Angeles
I grew up eating Korean food and while I’m no expert I certainly have sampled my fair share. I live in the West End in Vancouver and so find myself surrounded by small Korean establishments but I’ve yet to find anything in Vancouver resembling Chosun Galbee, a large, higher-end Korean BBQ restaurant in LA. On my recent trip, we stayed near LA’s Koreatown and I was shocked to see block after block of Korean restaurants, shops and even entire malls dedicated to Korean fare and wares. Chosun Galbee is smack in the middle of this, in a ivy-covered building and the requisite valet service. Although there is a large interior, since most people opt for the galbee (Korean short rib BBQ) which is grilled on the table, it’s preferable to sit outside on their large, covered deck, outfitted with greenery and heat lamps. I always judge a Korean restaurant first by the quality of their banchan – the small, tapas-style side dishes that arrive for free at every Korean establishment. Here, the kimchee was well-cured and full of flavour (always a very good sign) but what blew me away was the cucumber kimchee – savoury, of course, but every so slightly sweet, it hit exactly the right note. For the uninitiated in Korean cuisine, a crowd pleaser is always the galbee, which arrives with the traditional marinade – the helpful staff quickly light the table-BBQ, and lay out the fat-marbled strips of beef. We also sampled the Eun Dae Ku Jo Rim which is a black cod and daikon radish in hot and spicy sauce. Cooking the fish in this quick braise left it unbelievably tender and full of flavour. Both mains arrive with rice so with the addition of the complimentary banchan, your meal is complete. Chosun Galbee is an enjoyable, and delicious Korean experience – I wish there were somewhere comparable in Vancouver.
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