Dae Bok: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011
The next time somebody attempts to tell you that Los Angeles is lacking in cosmopolitan pleasures, it is your civic duty, I think, to point out that the city is big enough and diverse enough to support a restaurant devoted to Korean blowfish stew. Just try finding that in London. There is an exquisite rite built around the eating of fugu in Japan, heightened by danger and flavored with death. Korean blowfish is the opposite: abundant, hearty and fairly reasonably priced, served as the centerpiece of an evening's drinking. It is pleasant to sit around a seething tabletop cauldron of bok jiri at the Korean blowfish specialty restaurant Dae Bok, sipping black-raspberry wine, spooning brick-red broth and vegetables into your bowl, fishing out meaty pieces of blowfish that slip right off the curious, V-shaped bones. Cooked as a jiri, or soupy stew, blowfish is a meaty, slippery fish that may remind you of succulent frog's legs. When you're almost finished, the waitress reappears to mix the dregs of the pot with rice, chopped vegetables and a little oil, and leaves it to fry into a crisp-bottomed porridge of joy. 2010 James M. Wood Blvd., Westlake. (213) 386-6660. Beer, wine and soju. Guarded lot parking. MC, V. Korean.
99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:
Church & State
Din Tai Fung
El Huarache Azteca
Euro Pane Bakery
Fab Hot Dogs
Good Girl Dinette
La Casita Mexicana
Lazy Ox Canteen
Meals by Genet
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
Night + Market
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Pollos a la Brasa
Sapp Coffee Shop
Son of a Gun
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Waterloo & City
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