Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Speaking of LA

Speaking of LA


A bit of non-comic book blogging tonight. Should have really posted this prior to the Wizard World Long Beach show but I had to get ready for my trip to NYC where I am now. It's cold here, but we had some Korean food last night at Kang Suh on 32nd and Broadway which in my opinion is the best Korean BBQ restaurant here in da Big Apple.

Now for those of you who have not had the chance to eat Korean, it's not BBQ like as in KC BBQ ribs or burgers or anything remotely like that. Korean BBQ involves a grilling thinly sliced marinated rib-eye steak. The marinade consists of soy sauce, garlic, some sugar and pepper. I'm sure I'm missing some other secret ingredients but eating Bul-Go-Gi with some Kim-Chi chigae (Kim Chee soup) is just the best thing in the world, especially when it's chilly outside.

For the hotter summer days, indulge in some Naeng Myun (a simple buckwheat noodle soup served ice cold in a vinegar, mustard beef broth soup with sliced cucumbers, sliced Asian pear, a sliced hardboiled egg and slices of cooked beef.

Now I say Kang Suh was the best in NYC and frankly, it's not as good as it once used to be once the city laws were changed to prevent the restaurant from using real coal embers to grill off of. Now they use standard propane gas jets which most Korean restaurants have. But if you want the best, find a Korean joint that cooks over real, the one-Ring red hot coals...like the place in the picture above in LA.

Soot Bull Jeep is not a car dealership but a real hole in the wall, authentic Korean BBQ place in K-town, LA. It's a block off 8th and Vermont owntown on 3136 West 8th Street. Despite it's run down décor, this place is awesome but it comes at a price. A plate of Bul-Go-Gi will run you about 19 bucks and feeds about 1 1/2. But order 2 plates cause if you order just one, they won't let you grill at the table but rather they do it for you on a frying pan in the kitchen which is a major NO-NO. The beef gets all soft and runny that way and frankly, tastes horrible here and everywhere if you order it that way.

Do yourself a favor and always order the usual minimum of 2 beef dishes and get ready to have some great grilled beef and take the leftovers home for later. After you grill the meat, take some cool, fresh lettuce, drop a little ball of sticky Korean rice into it, some Bul-Go-Gi (or Kal-Bi which are marinated rib meat) and some pungent, slightly spicy bean paste on top, wrap up the lettuce over the top and stuff it in your mouth.

Go all out farmer style and take some Kim-Chee (spicy pickled cabbage) and throw that on the grill too. Or order the soup if you have a cold and want to blow yer sinuses open. Made properly, Kim-Chee soup is a nice opaque red, super spicy concoction that can also clean grease off your engine.

Man, now I'm hungry...(grumble)


Ale Dangerous said...

mmmmmm, bul go gi.......



If you ever make it to Savannah, Ga, There's a nice little Korean Resturaunt called Kim-Chi next to one of the local comic shops, sometimes my friends and I make up celebrations- excuses to hang with the boys out of the house- and pick up some Jim Lee and Frank Cho and slip into the restruant and have a nice time. June 3rd- 18th I should be on a NYC trip visiting DC, Marvel, and FM, I'll have to see if I can get away and check it out.

Sam Out-

Carlos Martinez said...


Thanks for the heads up on where to get some good eats in NYC.

I'm looking forward to seeing you and the wildstorm crew at the Big Apple Con.


Guerrilla Outfit said...

see you in the bigapplecon jim!!!

and me, I'm a vietnamese soup kinda man!!!

DC said...

Ohhhhh man. Jim, you know a place in NYC with some good ojingoh chigae? I used to devour those bowls, up to three times a day when I was attending school in Pittsburgh. Now that I'm back on the coast, I haven't found a place yet that carries it. I did find a 24 hour Korean restaurant down near DC this weekend that carried it. Awesome goodness.

DC said...

Oh... by the way, seems like you are here early for that BigAppleCon, guess there must be some business to attend to at DC's headquarters. Going to hit up the NY Auto Show this weekend?

Tempest said...

Soot Bull Jeep
3136 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

The Scene
On a Koreatown sidewalk, crowds wait for a seat in this dim, no-frills barbecue joint. Tables fitted with charcoal-fueled fire pits fill each room. Service is efficient--but the staff speaks little English, so the uninitiated might feel like they are traveling internationally without a guidebook.

The Food
This smoky spot offers remarkable barbecue. Order from a choice of meats--including beef, chicken and pork--which arrive at the table raw, ready for diners to throw onto the smoldering grill. Most cuts are marinated to perfection in sesame oil, garlic, sugar and Korean red peppers. Short ribs come on the bone or thinly sliced in achingly tender cuts. Spencer steak, chicken breast and shrimp are equally good, spiced hot with slow-burning piquancy. Served with ultra-spicy kimchi, slivered daikon and pepper-tinged green salad, the meal will sear your taste buds.

DROOOOOOOL :P~~~~~~~~~~

Only 12 miles away!!

I havnt had Korean out here in LA yet. Thanks for the tip!

hjcho said...

Hey Jim, New York Kom Tang, just down the street from Kan Suh, has real charcoal barbecue. It's across the street from the Korean grocery store on the south side of 32nd street between 5th and 6th. In my opinion, the best in town. They also have rockin' fried mandoo - they either changed suppliers or changed their recipe about a year ago and now you can't stop eating them - maybe they added heroin. Try it next time you're here for a big DC meeting of the minds!

icemanx62 said...

Bul-Go-Gi is the best stuff!

kampilanWil said...

Those sound awesome, Jim. I always loved kim-chi. I used to live on Guam and its kinda funny that even though Guam has a large Korean and Chinese Community I still never ate at any of the popular Korean BBQ places there. Always ate at the Chinese & Filipino places and local Chamorro(native Guam) fiestas. Used to have a popular "Kim Chi's" grocery store at one time.

Here in Las Vegas,there are a couple of great(from what I been told)Korean BBQ places but I've only been to one and that was for take out. Good eats tho'! Owner treated me well while I waited: gave huge portions on my "simple" take out orders. I'll have to check out if there are any places that actually charcoal BBQ their meats though.
Thai BBQ is a competitor to Korean BBQs here. They're both great eats as far as I'm concerned!

Never knew Korean cuisine included wraps though. I'm Filipino and fresh "lumpia" is the closest thing to a wrap that I know of in Filipino cuisine :)

nohoohboy said...

JIM! YOU ARE THE MAN! THIS IS MY FAVORITE GALBI PLACE! I live right by there and this is seriously my favorite since I went with my parents when I was 10. The meat is extremely flavorful and worth smelling like galbi after you walk out the store. If you want some good cheap galbi places, check out GOO EE Rim on 3977 W. 6th St. All you can eat for about 20 bucks. Now you're making me hungry!

Gelatomettista said...

hjcho--Sure enough I walked by there and indeed Kom Tang still uses the wood charcoals. So now I am wondering if Kang Suh switched cause a new ordinance made it more expensive to use real wood or what?! Funny thing is that I have tried nearly every Korean place on 32nd (and a few in Flushing) and Kom Tang was good but I thought Kang Suh was superior.

Right next door tho there is a noodle shop that maakes fresh noodles for their noodles with black bean sauce (Ja Jang Myun) which is pretty decent but there is a better place in San Diego which I will write up someday (imho).