Tag Archives: kimchi

Pork Marathon #1

Four pork-centric restaurants in Koreatown, with food-obsessed friends on a Sunday afternoon… ABSOLUTE PIG HEAVEN.

Photos from PORK MARATHON #1!

Stop One (2pm): Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ (maps, addresses & more info at end)

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Palsaik (pronounced “pahl-sehk”) is a Korean BBQ restaurant that specializes in samgyeopsal aka PORK BELLY!

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
The restaurant offers “eight colorful flavors of pork” — wine, original (unmarinated), ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste, and the chile paste gochujang.

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Palsaik’s Pork Belly on the table grill.

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Haemul Jjigae (seafood soup) arrives (each dish cooked at the table).

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Haemul Jjigae… the broth was beautiful.

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Loved the pickled radish (to cut the fat… and there was lots of glorious fat!)

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
SEE, it’s printed on the menu so it must be TRUE! Pork is GOOD for me! 

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Aftermath of Pork Marathon Stop 1.

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Palsaik’s front window.

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Christine, our lovely tour guide (and dear friend) dancing with the animatronic pig in front of Palsaik!

Pork Marathon, Stop 1
Palsaik’s adorable sign!

The $39.99 set menu includes all eight flavors of pork, as well as seafood miso stew, mushrooms, and lettuce wrap. More info including Palsaik’s Menu & prices here.

Please read Jonathan Gold’s LA Weekly Palsaik Review & browse Anne Fishbein’s gorgeous photos here.

Stop Two (3:30pm): Baek Ha Chong

Pork Marathon, Stop 2
Baek Ha Chong  is known for their Bossam (steamed pork), Daeji Galbi (pork ribs) and Kimchi Chigae (casserole).

Pork Marathon, Stop 2
Steamed Pork (I topped mine with kimchi, tons of raw garlic & ate it wrapped in vegetable leaves).

Pork Marathon, Stop 2
Spicy Pork Ribs at Baek Ha Chong.

Pork Marathon, Stop 2
Baek Ha Chong Interior.

Pork Marathon, Stop 2
Exterior of Baek Ha Chong.

Check out more Baek Ha Chong photos by Guzzle & Nosh here.

Stop Three (4:30pm) : Honey Pig Korean Barbecue

Pork Marathon, Stop 3
Another animatronic piggy in front of Honey Pig (I swear it wasn’t there on my last visit!)

Pork Marathon, Stop 3
At Honey Pig, the pork belly is cooked in the center of the table on iron, dome-shaped grills.

Pork Marathon, Stop 3
Were we sick of pork at this point? HECK NO.

After grilling the pork, veg and kimchi the server will bring rice (and more veg) to SOAK up all the juices. SO GOOD.

Awesome Lighters from Honey Pig
Honey Pig gives out these adorable pig lighters… make sure you ask for one after paying the bill! (Guess WHERE you stick the butane to refill it?)

Many photos of previous visits to Honey Pig here.

Stop Four (6pm): DGM – Dwit Gol Mok

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
DGM – Dwit Gol Mok is Korean for “back alley”, and it literally LOOKS like an old, alley INSIDE. It’s difficult to find (we entered through the back entrance), but worth the effort. I loved the street-food ambience and quirky decor because it reminded me of my childhood in Okinawa.

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
Fried Pork at DGM (our final pork dish of the day).

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
Haemul Pajeon (Seafood Pancake).

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
Menu at Dwit Gol Mok is in Korean. Luckily we had Korean-speaking Christine guiding us through the day!

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
Kooksoondang Draft Makkoli (Korean rice wine) at Dwit Gol Mok.

Pork Marathon, Stop 4
“Cheese Corn” at Dwit Gol Mok. After all the salty, porky goodness I was happy to tuck into this sweet, sizzling dish. Great for soaking up the Makkoli too.

Check out GastronomyBlog’s beautiful photos of DGM (with more info) here.

The next time I go to Dwit Gol Mok, I’ll have my iPad ready with a photos from blog posts (so I can point out a few more dishes to try)! 

Dining date: 11/6/11

Many, many thanks to Christine & Julian Fang for organizing this EPIC PORK FEST!

CHEERS to everyone else who joined in the fun throughout the day: Peter (of course), Jill, Elina, Neil, Leilani, Caleb, Evelina, Sandra, Wes, Jin and H.C.

CANNOT wait for the next one!!

All Pork Marathon Photos on Flickr

Pork Marathon, Stop 1Restaurant Addresses & Info:
Stop 1: Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ
863 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90005

(213) 365-1750
Follow @PalsaikBBQ on Twitter
More photos on Flickr 

Stop 2: Baek Ha Chong
3929 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 935-5554

Stop 3: Honey Pig
3400 W 8th St Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 380-0256
More photos on Flickr 

Stop 4: DGM – Dwit Gol Mok
3275 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 382-8432
More Photos on Flickr

Follow @PorkMarathon on Twitter


Filed under Eating Out

Animal [10]

I was a little worried about taking our friends, Ron and Diane, to Animal over the weekend. Ever since my first visit to the restaurant last summer, I’d been raving, ranting and downright praising the food heavens for bringing us Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Not only because everything they cook is delicious and adventurous (link to previous posts & photos below), but also the profound sentimentality I feel when I eat it. The food at Animal reminds me of my dad’s cooking and since he lives far away in Scotland, a meal at Animal makes me feel closer to him. A little silly I know, but that’s the magic of food and memories.

For our dinner last Saturday, our server was someone new (to us). Joshua was sweet and very helpful, especially when we were deciding which wine would go with our various dishes. After we tasted a couple of different glasses, we selected the La Salette Valpolicella (Italy) 2006, $54. The new manager, Asher, was also very gracious and made sure I went back to see the guys in the kitchen (I missed them!). Jon (chef & co-owner) came out to say hi to Peter and meet our friends, then had to get back on the line for the busy dinner service.

After Joshua took our orders, I was still a little concerned about Ron and Diane. They’ve eaten in the best foodie towns in the world… from Le Bernardin in New York, to the freshest sashimi in Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. Would Animal be good enough for them? Maybe I overhyped it. Maybe the food wouldn’t be “refined” enough for them.

I need not have fretted of course because, just like me… they LOVED every bite. 

What we ate:

Fried Chicken Livers at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Fried Chicken Livers w/ Jalapeno Slaw $7

Pork Belly at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Pork Belly, Kimchi, Peanuts, Chili, Soy Sauce & Scallions $11

Rabbit Ravioli at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Rabbit & Kale Ravioli w/ Truffle Butter & Parmesan $22. (This dish forced me to have bad table manners because after finishing the ravioli, I couldn’t stop dipping my finger into the truffle butter sauce!)

Flatiron Steak at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Flatiron Steak w/ Mash, Foie Gras Sauce, & Roasted Cipollini Onions $28

Mexican Shrimp at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Mexican Shrimp, Fennel, Olives, Tomato, Borlotti Beans & Green Garlic $26

Duck Breast at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Duck breast with parsnip, apples, bacon, butternut squash & red wine $25

Desserts at Animal, MyLastBite.com
Bacon Chocolate Crunch Bar w/ S&P Anglaise $8, Tres Leches Cake $7, Joe’s Doughnuts w/ Apple & Caramel $8

Donuts at Animal, MyLastBite.com
A close up of
Joe’s Doughnuts w/ Apple & Caramel $8 (As Bourdain would say…”these are purely EVIL… but in a GOOD way”)

We also ordered: Crispy Hominy with lime $5 (Ron said he loved it, and he could imagine movie theaters selling fried hominy by the bucket!)
Melted Petit Basque with Chorizo and Garlic Bread $11

Dining Date: 2/7/09

<- Visits 8 & 9

– > Visit 11

Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225

Mentioned Above:

Tsukiji Fish Market

Le Bernardin

La Salette Wines


Eater L.A.

With my dad in Scotland


Animal on Urbanspoon


Filed under Eating Out

Ten Minutes To Midnight

My husband Peter and I had reservations at Animal for New Year’s Eve dinner. We’ve been “regulars” for the past six months and there was nowhere we would rather be at years end, than at our favorite eatery celebrating the outstanding food of our friends Vinny and Jon.

So when I came down with a wicked head-cold a few days before, I was a tiny bit distressed. What if I had to stay home and miss out on the Flat Iron Steak with PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) Fondue? Who would be eating the portion of my beloved Foie Gras, Biscuit and Maple Sausage Gravy? And what about the totally addictive “crisp, assertively salted” Fried Hominy that Jonathan Gold recently raved about in L.A. Weekly?

On the morning of the 31st, I still felt pretty lousy and looked even worse. There was no way I would be going out to celebrate. Peter really didn’t want to sit home watching me pout and gulp Nyquil, so he called a friend and kept the reservation. Doing my best to be unselfish, I told Peter that I was happy his buddy Julian would be his New Year’s Eve date. But honestly, I wasn’t happy… I was selfishly miserable.

I tried going to bed early, but the Nyquil wasn’t making me sleepy like it usually did, so I sat at my computer watching the clock. Then I started “timing” Peter’s delectable dinner. “He’s been there a half an hour, so he’s licking his fingers from devouring a bowl of the Fried Hominy with Lime”… “Forty-five minutes in, that means he’s biting into the Pork Belly and Kimchi”… “I wonder if he’s ordering the Quail Fry with Grits, or the Stewed Rabbit with Turnips”?

It was pathetic and I actually worked myself up into a ridiculous, jealous state. I can blame most of this on lack of sleep and continuous sips of Nyquil, but the truth is… I felt like Peter was CHEATING on me! Not with a hot, young girl he met at the bar, but with Animal’s hot, gut-pleasing plate of Poutine (french fries) covered with Oxtail Gravy and Cheddar. How could Peter be so uncaring? How could he even step into Animal Restaurant without me??

At ten minutes to midnight I heard Peter’s car pull up the driveway. This was several hours after I assumed he had finished his dessert (the now famous Bacon, Chocolate Crunch Bar). I was ready for a battle, but didn’t jump up and yell at him like I wanted to. What was I going to say?… “You ate Animal’s house-cured, crispy Pork Belly WITHOUT me, so now you’re sleeping on the couch!”?

With just a hint of sarcasm I blurted out “How was dinner?”. Before Peter said a word, he handed me a bag. “Oh golly, THANKS…. scrappy leftovers” I thought. When I looked in the bag I just smiled. My wonderful and caring husband had brought me my very favorite dish from my very favorite restaurant…. the Foie Gras on a Biscuit with Maple Sausage Gravy. It was perfect and it was officially “MyLastBite” of 2008.
Foie Gras To Go! MyLastBite.com

Foie Gras To Go (plated)! MyLastBite.com

My Dinners at Animal (with photos)

Animal Restaurant
435 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 782-9225


Filed under Eating Out, Food Stories (written by me)