Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kobawoo House

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Los Angeles, CA. There is no neighborhood as culinarily fascinating to me as Koreatown.  Strip mall after strip mall of little restaurants, each specializing in something I've usually never heard of (pickled crab, tofu hotpot, blackbean noodles, beef bibimbap), every nook and cranny teeming with Koreans and foreigners alike, all crowded around tables of steaming meat, noodles and rice.

Korean food is great bar food; seemingly everything tastes better with a big bottle of Hite beer or soju (a potent yet mild cross between sake and vodka).  At Kobawoo House it's no different - the two specialties here are perfect for a long night out with friends, paired with icy beer steins and heavy shotglasses.

The bossam platter
Look around you... every table probably has a platter of bossam. It might just be the ORIGINAL Korean taco (take THAT, Kogi truck!): you wrap slices of steamed pork belly in long lettuce leaves or picked discs of radish, add in kimchi and spicy jalapenos, roll it up and enjoy.  It's filling but light - there's not a starch on the plate.  Throw some of the four banchan (Korean small appetizers, offered free at every table) into your taco - all of that salty, sour, spicy goodness goes great together.  Be forewarned: order the medium bossam. Unless, of course, you love pig's feet... in which case, go for the large.

Seafood pancake
Still hungry? Kobawoo also churns out great Korean pancakes.  Kimchi pancakes come on a hotplate in little griddled pairs, brown around the edges, a beautiful red-gold in the center. But the real spotlight-grabber is the seafood pancake: shrimp, scallops, oyster, squid and clam mixed with vegetables and a rich batter.  It can't rightfully be called a pancake; it's like a deliciously doughy frittata. Sliced like a pizza, it's more than enough for a table to share. Dip your slice in a sweet, onion-studded soy sauce, take another shot of soju, and smile... knowing that one more of Koreatown's foodie secrets has been revealed to you.

Kobawoo House
698 S Vermont Ave
Ste 109

Los Angeles, CA 90005
No website

Kampai!

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