Yes, I’m still on my Korean barbecue fix to eat and learn about Korean cuisine. Last month I dined at San Ha Jang Restaurant in Los Angeles’s Koreatown with a dining group that I belong to. It was a good thing that I went with them, because I would not have tried a variety of different dishes while dining on my own at a Korean restaurant. After all, Asian restaurants are known for serving way too much food.
From what I heard, San Ha Jang Restaurant is the only Korean restaurant in Koreatown that serves duck as a part of the traditional Korean Barbecue menu. I like that duck is served as an alternative, because poultry is usually the second fiddle on any Korean BBQ restaurant menu. Besides, a variety is a good thing.
Dinner started with lots of delicious banchan; those traditional Korean side dishes that are served as the first course. We then moved on to a cold spicy noodle dish, which usually is the preferred dish to eat during the hot summer months. Next, we ventured into grilling slices of yummy Black Pork Belly and Rib Eye steak so we don’t miss them. We also ordered a few other Korean dishes, but they were forgettable. Then, the duck arrived!
I was a little confused as to why the owners would call frozen slices of duck “roasted”. It’s not roasted, but frozen. It’s so funny how the interpretation of the English language is different. Anyway, frozen or fresh duck? I actually preferred the fresh duck as it tasted the best. It had a much more gamey flavor and a softer texture to chew on. It also tasted the best with all the spicy Korean dipping sauces.
After some 7 courses of food, the finale was the Duck Fried Rice. Our server took the leftover kimchi, scraps of the cooked fresh duck and garlic, threw in a handful of green scallions and onion, and dumped 5-grain rice into the grill. Next she drizzled luscious duck fat over the rice and cooked it ever so attentively until it was crisped. OMG! The end result is the most fragrant, scrumptious rice ever! San Ha Jang’s Duck Fried Rice is a delicacy and, for obvious reasons, it’s not recommended for a health-conscious diner.
My ethnic dining experience at San Ha Jang Restaurant ended with a positive note. The duck Korean barbecue experience was a good one. The banchans were plentiful and the other traditional dishes were just okay. I do suggest that you order San Ha Jang’s Duck Fried Rice. It’s incredibly good and definitely much better than what I had eaten many times at a swanky restaurant in the off skirts of Beverly Hills called Jar that also serves a superior quality Duck Fried Rice on their menu. Not convinced? Well, check out the restaurant yourself. Otherwise, here’s my Tasty Chronicles video clip on San Ha Jang Restaurant’s “Duck Fried Rice” that may make you drool. http://youtu.be/iBjfM2MpNHs
San Ha Jang Restaurant
4032 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
$$ – $$$