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Soban: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013 

Thursday, Feb 28 2013
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Soban is the type of place that could be easily overlooked. It's a minimalist but cozy mom-and-pop restaurant, the kind with old, lacquered wood tables and weathered pictures of soups and stews on the wall. It's not until the meal begins that you start getting hints that you're eating somewhere special. The banchan dishes are plentiful and intricate in their preparation, the doenjang (fermented soybean paste) and soy sauce are homemade in clay pots, and the galbi jjim, or braised short rib, is deeply complex, flavored with orange zest, ginger and sesame oil. The whole raw crab marinated in herb-infused soy sauce, though rather messy to eat, is absolutely stellar. The final touch is a cup of sikhye, a sweet, boiled rice drink as comforting as a glass of warm milk. 4001 W. Olympic Blvd., Koreatown; (323) 936-9106, sobanusa.com. Daily, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Entrees $12-$28. Beer and wine.

 

Besha Rodell's Introduction

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN
  • PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN

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The 99 Essential Restaurants List:

A-Frame
Alma
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Attari Sandwich Shop
Bäco Mercat
Bar Amá
The Bazaar
Bestia
BierBeisl
Bludso's
Cacao Mexicatessen
Canelé
La Casita Mexicana
Cemitas Poblanas Elviritas
Chichen Itza
Chung King
Cole's
Coni'Seafood
Cube Cafe & Marketplace
Din Tai Fung
Eva
Father's Office
Fred 62
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Go's Mart
Il Grano
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Hatfield's
Ha Tien Quan
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hayat's Kitchen
El Huarache Azteca
Huckleberry
The Hungry Cat
ink.
Jar
Jitlada
JTYH Heavy Noodle II
Kang Ho Dong Baekjong
Kiriko
Kiyokawa
Kogi Truck
Krua Siri
L&E Oyster Bar
Langer's
Little Dom's
Lucques
Ludo Truck
Lukshon
Mariscos Jalisco
Matsuhisa
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Milo and Olive
Mo-Chica
Musso & Frank
Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa
Nickel Diner
Night + Market
Oinkster
Osteria Mozza
Pann's
Pa-Ord Noodle
El Parian
Park's BBQ
Philippe the Original
Picca
Pink's
Pizzeria Mozza
Playa
Pollo a la Brasa
Providence
R&R Soul Food
Ración
Red Medicine
Ricky's Fish Tacos
Rivera
Rocio's Moles de los Dioses
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Savoy Kitchen
Sea Harbour
Shanghai No. 1 Village Seafood
Soban
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
The Spice Table
Superba Snack Bar
Tacos Leo
The Tasting Kitchen
Tavern
Tsujita LA
Vincenti Ristorante
Wurstküche
Zam Zam Market

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