Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Dumplings in Koreatown
As I mentioned, my office has moved from Culver City to Koreatown. While this is good for my tastebuds, and not too hard on my pocketbook, I'm imagining it will have an impact on both my waistline (Korean BBQ ain't lo-cal) and my work productivity (nor is it take-out).
My first favorite isn't BBQ though, it's dumplings. Authentic Korean Dumplings to be precise (the restaurant may have another name, but my Korean needs work). The first time I came here I ignored the logical voice in my head that said "Its name includes 'dumplings' therefore that's what you should order." Instead, I looked around and saw that nearly everyone was slurping a big bowl of hearty black bean sauce noodles. Mistake. These were boring and flavorless, I made it about 1/3 of the way through my huge bowl before giving up.
For round 2, I went with my gut and ordered the dumplings. They were filled with pork and green onions. It wasn't until I was paying and talking to the waitress that I realized you have a choice of fillings--kimchee and pork, pork and beef, or all vegetables--this may actually be on the menu, but I was ordering by pointing to the pictures, and there was only one dumpling photo.
I only made it through 1/2 my dumplings, not because I didn't love them, but because of their monster size. I marvelled at the businessman next to me who put away a whole plate of dumplings AND a bowl of noodles in about 10 minutes. The spicy red pepper and jalepeno-flecked dipping sauce for the pork packets was surprising. It tasted mildly spicy when it first hit my tongue, but about 5 minutes after chowing down, I realized my lips were on fire--but in a good way. Especially since it's only about $5 for six huge dumplings, I'll definitely head back for the other dumpling flavors soon.
Authentic Korean Dumpling
corner of Irolo and 7th St, one block south of Wilshire
Los Angeles, CA