Braised Short Ribs at Seongbukdong
Galbi jjim at Seongbukdong
When talking about braised meat, phrases like "melt in your mouth" and "so tender I could cut it with my spoon" shouldn't mean anything. Because of course it does and of course you could. All that's needed to make tender, melting beef/chicken/pork/goat/lamb/octopus is to leave fat and connective tissue-laden meat in simmering liquid for a long time. Presto.
But at Koreatown's Seongbukdong?
Here, galbi jjim -- braised short rib -- hits unbelievable highs of soy and beef. The ingredient list is surely huge but remains hidden; in the white bowl lies only chunks of short ribs, to be cut with a pair of scissors by your server, and some remaining braising liquid. So while green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine derivatives are sure bets, the others -- kiwi? Asian pear? dates? -- are unknown, anonymously giving depth to a deceptively simple bowl of meat.
Seongbukdon's panchan and braised mackerel are fantastic, and its servers bound about its rooms with the type of speed and force reserved for Category 4 hurricanes. But there's a reason all of your Korean friends make mention of that restaurant with short rib better -- yes, better -- than the homeland. Seonbukdong takes braising beyond such earthly realms.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Los Angeles dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.
More Food & Drink News
- Chef Michael Cimarusti Launches Dock to Dish, California's First Restaurant-Supported...
- Walk Through Greenspan's Grilled Cheese to Get to an Adorably Odd New Restaurant
- What to Taste and Do at L.A. Times' the Taste
- This Indian Restaurant Row Has Mumbai Snacks and Solid Pakistani Meals at a Best Western