A friend and I trekked over to Koreatown in Los Angeles to a restaurant called at Sun Nong Dan. We went there to dine on the crowd favorite; the flame-torched, cheesey Korean Short Ribs called Galbi Jjim. Rather than settle for the small order, we got the large one instead. Heck, why not. It was the tail-end of a long Labor Day weekend and we wanted something unlike the typical American hot dogs, burgers, and steaks that are usual staples for the summertime.
Wow! I’ve had many variations of the Galbi Jjim yet this version at Sun Nong Dan was exceptionally delicious. It was a balance of spicy and sweet. The braised beef fell off the bone. Inside the bubbling calderon were some potatoes, carrots, and the Korean Rice Cakes called Tteokbokki. The reddish colored sauce comes from the Korean Red Chili Powder (Gochugaru) and the Korean Red Chili Paste (Gochujang); the obvious spicy component of the dish. The spicy level is made-to-order. Just tell them what level when you place your order.
The highlight was the glorious peak of melted cheese. A mound of cheese was laid on top of the mountain short ribs and it was melted to an oozy goo with just a few oh-so-flamboyant waves of fire from a culinary torch. If you order this Galbi Jjim super spicy, I highly recommend that you splurge just a little for the cheese. It will mellow the spicy heat level to an almost numbing effect on your palate.
Just an hour earlier at this 24/7 Korean eatery was a sizeable crowd that one would normally see at food festivals in and around LA. The mix were Asian, mostly Korean college students and their Millennial counterparts. They, along with me and my Hipster friend, easily navigated the self-service Yelp Waitlist on the tablet just outside the doors of the restaurant. What a convenience to have Yelp send text message updates of how long the wait will be. It’s like some sort of countdown to all the good food one will soon be eating. I’m pretty sure Yelpers were more than happy to sign-in using the Yelp app from their cellphones. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as easy for those who were out of touch with today’s social media technology. Let’s just say that they were left puzzled, scratching their heads and wondering what to do.
From our prime “people watching” spot inside the restaurant, I noticed confused faces walking inside asking the restaurant staff for a table. One woman repeated herself three times asking for the next available table for six adults and a baby. The staff could only direct her to sign-in on the Yelp Waitlist and pointed her to the tablet outside. With a frown on her face, it was obvious that the using the Yelp Waitlist for a table reservation was unlike the old days. She didn’t want to bother with new technology and scooted out to dine next door perhaps. As for the rest of us, dining at Sun Nong Dan was definitely worth the long wait to eat. What a fun Korean food dining experience!
Thank you Mark Wiens for the dining recommendation in my own LA neighborhood. Good call.
Korean Cuisine. $$ – $$$. Cash and credit cards accepted. Valet parking. Limited street parking. Beer and wine.
Sun Nong Dan Restaurant
3470 W. 6th Street #7
Los Angeles, California
Love the food blog post? Well, you’ll also love watching the entire dining experience at Sun Nong Dan from my YouTube video below.