Hello Kang Ho Dong Baekjong!

Hello Kang Ho Dong Baekjong!

The popular Seoul based Korean BBQ chain has opened up another branch in Southern California! Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong now has a  location in Torrance, California.

The restaurant is named after the owner of the restaurant who is no other than comedian and former wrestler Kang Ho Dong. Walking in, one is greeted with a large cutout of the owner.

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Aside from the cutout, the ode to the comedian/wrestler can be seen in various funny and unique cartoons of Kang Ho Dong.

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The second part of the restaurant name “Baekjeong” comes from the Korean word for “butcher.” This is perhaps to allude to the meat that they serve.

Here at the newly opened Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, one has the choice of a meat combo or pork combo. Regardless of which one you choose, you must come hungry!

Just like other Korean BBQ spots, this place comes with banchan. Among the Kang Ho Dong banchan that is offered is Baekjeong lettuce and veggie salad, kimchijeon (Korean pancake),  kimchi, gamma jorim (Korean braised potatoes), seaweed and radishes.

Free with the combo offerings is steamed egg, corn and cheese and onion. The steamed egg and corn cheese are already placed at the table.  It is off to the side of the gas and charcoal fired grill setup that they have here. These items cook along side with the meat.

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When the steamed egg is fully cooked, it is awesome. It’s very fluffy. The corn and cheese were also great and one of my favorite sides of the night. I love the melted cheese along the sweet corn.

The combo offerings also come with choice of beef brisket soybean paste stew or kimchi stew.

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I tried the beef brisket soybean paste stew and found that it was nice mix of tofu, beef strips, clams as well as jalapeño.

The cooking of the meat here is done by the staff of Kang Ho Dong Baekjong.

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I chose to get the pork combo which came with premium seared pork belly, premium pork jowl and marinated pork collar.

Once the meat is fully cooked, the staff will let you know.

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The servers will cut the meat into bite sized pieces and place them on the outer part of the grill to keep them warm but slow the cooking.

The meat can be enjoyed with a special dipping sauce that consists of wasabi, onion, jalapeño soy sauce and rice wine.

All the meat along with the banchan will be sure to make you full and content! You will be leaving Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong with a happy tummy and happy smile.

For more smiles, please my Yelp review on the newly opened Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong in Torrance.

 

Hello Myung In Dumplings!

Hello Myung In Dumplings!

If Myung In Dumplings sounds familiar it’s because the K-town restaurant was featured by Anthony Bourdain is show “Parts Unknown” 😊. Since it’s feature on the show, numerous foodies have flocked to the restaurant in K-town. It was even part of LA Weekly’s “99 Most Essential Restuarants of 2014.” Because of it’s popularity the restaurant has opened up a branch in Garden Grove, California and just recently in Torrance, California. I recently had a chance to check out the newest branch.

Similar to other Korean restuarants, Myung In provides complimentary banchan with their dishes. On my trip here, I got to check out two sides. The first banchan I got was a nice and spicy side dish with pickled daikon, cucumber and jalapeños.

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The other complimentary side dish I tried was the traditonal Korean favorite kimchi.

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I found both banchan to be very flavorful but the pickled daikon was my personal favorite. It had a spicy kick that was a perfect match with the main entrees I got to try.

The first main item I got to try was the Dumpling beef soup. This soup was packed with flavor and packed with ingredients. It came with eight dumplings and glass noodles. With it’s warm broth and fresh dumplings, this soup was so heartwarming for the cold day.

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I also got to try another soup via the Beef short rib soup or Gal bee tang. Similar to the dumpling soup, this also had glass noodles. There are no dumplings in this soup however. This soup came instead with three pieces of beef short rib. This is also a good soup for chilly times. The broth is same flavorful broth in the dumpling soup and the beef short rib enhances the flavor even more

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Last but definitely not the least was the King steam dumplings that I got to try. True to it’s name, these dumplings are “King.” It’s huge in size and filled with plenty of pork and vegetables. I was actually pleasantly surpised at how much meat was packed in these dumplings. They are like Chinese steamed buns or Filipino siopao but I found the main wrapper to be so much softer.

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Overall, I enjoyed trying out Myung In Dumplings. Everything is made fresh and I found it all to be so fulfilling. I can’t wait to try out other items here and it makes me smile just thinking about future dumpling tastings.

For more smiles, please see my recent Yelp review on Myung In Dumplings

Hello Shilla Restaurant!

Hello Shilla Restaurant!

Earlier this Fall, I had the privilege of attending the Society of Women Engineers Conference and from that trip, I met a lot of good people who became my friends. Since then, we’ve tried to hit up various restaurants to get together and to catch up post SWE Conference. The most recent of these places that we chose to get together at is Shilla Restaurant. It’s a restaurant in Gardena, California that specializes in various types of Korean food.

To start off the meal, we were presented with a warm cup of Korean tea and their house soup. The house soup is a spicy soup with bean sprouts and tofu. It reminded me a lot of kimchi but in soup like form. It’s perfect for those cold Winter days. It has just the right spicy kick that will open up your tastebuds for the meal to come.

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Up next for us here was the various banchan. We received kimchi, pickled cucumbers, tofu and eggplant. Later on we also got a salted egg soufflé. Out of all the banchan my favorites were the eggplant the egg soufflé. The egg soufflé in particular was awesome because it was served really hot and was so fluffy. It really went well with the white rice.

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For the main course, I tried the Marinated bbq rib eye steak charboiled lunch box. The rib eye steak came with salad, rice, cold noodles and egg tempura.
The bbq rib eye steak was quite a treat. They served a rather large portion of very tender and lean meat. The marinade was slightly sweet and gave very good flavor to the meat. I also liked cold noodles or nangmyun that was served on the side. The silky and long noodles seemed to just melt in the mouth. Lastly the egg tempura was good but was a little on the cold side.

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I enjoyed my lunch here with my engineering girls and found it a very good place to sample out a variety of Korean food. From the hot soup to the various banchan to the lunch box that came with different sides, I got quite a taste of Korean food delights. Good food and good friends always make this Hello Kitty Foodie smile.

For my smiles, please read my recent Yelp review on Shilla Restaurant.

Hello Da Maat!

Hello Da Maat!

Brr! It’s cold but I feel all warm and fuzzy thanks to Da Maat!

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On a local quest for some hot soup during a rainy day, I found myself at Da Maat. Da Maat is a Korean restaurant in the South Bay specializing in tofu and Korean BBQ.

Upon entry, I was instantly pleased with the very neat and cozy little Korean eatery. To the left of the restaurant are picturesque paintings that look like windows and to the right of the restaurant are displays of various different bowls. I could not help but notice a pink bowl with a Hello Kitty like design (hmm wonder why I noticed that one ;). The display of bowls fitted the restaurant well especially since the majority of the menu is dedicated to various Korean soups.

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My meal here started with some complimentary tea. I love a good cup of tea during cold days and the warm cup of tea here did not disappoint. The warmth that it instantly brought was just an indication of more heartwarming eats coming our way.

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The server served the banchan next. There were seven little Korean side dishes served. There was oi muchim (spicy cucumber), goguma mattang (sweet potato in caramelized sauce), namul broccoli , sukjunamul (mung bean sprouts), Korean coleslaw, yangbaechu moochim (spicy shredded cabbage) and kimchi.

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My friend and I both decided to get soups from the soft tofu soup menu section. The soft tofu soup comes with egg that will get cracked and dropped into the soup that is served in a little black pot.

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The soft tofu soup also comes with white rice in a dolsot or Korean stone pot

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For the soft tofu soup, diners can choose their spice level from white, mild, medium, spicy and extra spicy. There are several types of tofu soup here.

My friend chose to get the seafood soon tofu with a white spice level or basically no spice.

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I chose to get the vegetable dumpling soon tofu with a mild spice level.

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My Korean vegetarian soup had plenty of plenty of soft tofu and three hearty vegetable dumplings.

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The soft tofu soups were served piping hot and were simply so comforting. The slightly spicy broth was very heartwarming and the perfect food for this rainy day. The soup along with the traditional banchan, stone pot rice and the cup of tea brought warmth to me and put a smile on my face.

It’s maybe raining outside but hello kitty foodie is all warm and fuzzy (and all smiles too :).

For more smiles, please read my recent Yelp review on Da Maat.