It's a commonly accepted trope in contemporary American society that if you're going to eat animals, you should do them justice: Honor the fallen by eating only thoughtfully cooked, really well-conceived dead-animal dishes.

Ham Ji Park in Koreatown does just that with pork. I can't speak to the restaurant's sourcing, but once the restaurant has the pig parts in hand, it does its most excellent work with two dishes that use somewhat less-utilized parts of the animal.

The pork ribs are the first. They are slightly spicy, a little sweet and caramelized on the edges. They're also presented on a huge and sizzling platter with a full array of traditional banchan. (This is a place that's great to come to with a huge and pork-focused appetite, or a group of about four.)

Credit: Danny Liao

Credit: Danny Liao

The other must-order dish is the pork neck stew, known as gamjatang. There are whole potatoes in there, which can be eaten as is or mashed a bit into the broth, making it a thicker dish. And the tender meat is so rich that it instantly reminds you why the trash cuts are actually the best cuts.

It's still 45 degrees at night this week. Go get some ribs and stew.

3407 W. Sixth St., Koreatown. (213) 365-8773.

LA Weekly