Tuesday, June 30, 2009

nak won won over hodori

Nak Won Korean Restaurant
1001 S Vermont Ave Ste 103
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 388-8889

price: $$
verdict: tasty, try it!

at this particular strip mall, there's nak won, but two denny's style korean eateries. one is the infamous hodori fixture and then there's the next door competitor nak won. the formula is the same for both; be open 24 hours, have food pics on the walls, always, always serve galbi (korean bbq short ribs) because it's the shizz, banchan it up, quick service, and make it affordable. consequently, folks like me that don't have korean foodies to squirrel out better tasting korean food for them will go there because it's accessible and non threatening. well, that's how i ended up eating there anyways because i didn't know where to go and the last few places i've read off a fellow foodie's blog didn't stick in my head long enough to figure out where they may be located. next time, i will be better prepared!

the menu offers a lot of korean favorites.

but if you don't know what "yook gae jang" is and the english description isn't good enough for you to imagine what you'll be eating, then lucky for you, they have pictures for all you kll's (korean language learners) out there.

we started off with the typical banchan. depending on the korean joint of choice, the potato salad differs. this one is alright but i missed hodori's apple inspired one. you also have your spread of kimchee, radish kimchee, marinated bean sprouts, and this gelatinous savory "cake" of sorts with a soy sauce dressing. i'm assuming it's made of some type of bean. the entrees also come with a miso soup which was a good, clear, clean tasting broth (please don't destroy my dream and tell me it came from a dehydrated packet) which nicely accompanied the banchan as i waited for the meal.

we ordered bim bop to start. i really LOVE these rolled up korean styled california rolls! savory and compact. what a great way to eat on the run though i wasn't running anywhere at that point. i would have gladly stuffed a few in my bra to take home if there happened to be left overs.

of course there's the galbi, a must order at any korean restaurant says me. the sweet marinade on the steaming pile of meat made my stomach growl ferociously. the fat to meat ratio was just right and is far superior to what you get at hodori. though you don't get the thrill of cooking it yourself, it still allows for a satisfied belly.

the meal was well rounded with an order of yook gae jang (spicy beef soup). i love how the steam rose from the soup bowl like a rolling mist across a red swamp. the soup was spicy, but not killer and the beef was tender. glass noodles, green onions, and a broth scrambled egg made it a very delicious dish! i would definitely order this again.

hey, i'm not touting nak won as having the best tasting korean food ever, but not having a well developed palate for korean food due to kimchee deprivation till my college years, i say heck, it's pretty darn good for what you pay for. nak won is convienent and offers an array of dishes and is a better choice than hodori so if you are as clueless as i am about korean food, then i think you will enjoy nak won as well.


  1. rolling mist across a red swamp? love it! this shit looks good actually. as for the kim bap - it makes a great hollywood bowl picnic item. easy to eat, yummy, travels well, etc.

  2. right, rolling mist across a red swamp
    watch out jonathan mold!

    and bra-worthy sushi
    ya killin me heeya

  3. yutjangsah- so it IS kim bap. i thought it was but the menu printed it out as bim bop so i just said "#13 please."

    sinh- bra sushi and moldy soup is goot!


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