I would like to deeply apologize, to all the ZenKimchi followers, for my long absence. I’ll be more diligent in posting more often.
One of the representative Korean foods is 삼겹살 (samgyupsal), uncured pork belly, or the Korean bacon. As a matter of fact, samgyupsal’s popularity among Koreans would rival kimchi and ramyeon (instant ramen). Being that popular, it’s no suprise that there are more Korean BBQ restaurants than there are 7-Eleven stores in the Los Angeles Koreatown Area. But, one of them truly stands out – the Palsaik Korean BBQ.
The inside decor is very modern and somewhat industrial. This is a very welcome change from most Korean restaurant decor, which sort of looks like a hodge-podge of different themes and/or tries to mimic the old hanok or jumak look.
The name literally means ‘8-colors’. The 8 colors are represented by marinating their samgyupsal in 8 kinds of marinades – original (no marinade), garlic, curry, wine, herbs, doenjang, gochujang, and ginseng!
The ‘Palsaik set’ is $49.99 and is a full meal for 4 adults. The set includes the 8 color samgyupsal (8 strips of thick cut Korean bacon), lettuce for wraps, rice, spicy seafood soup, mushrooms, salad, and other vegetables.
Sesame leaves, lettuce, salad, mushrooms (for grilling), and ssamjang (lettuce wrap sauce).
The friendly staff will come to your table and start the grilling process for you. Notice the slanted grill, so that the fat from the samgyupsal drips down into the bean sprouts and kimchi!
The first four strips of the samgyupsal grilling away, while the diners drool in anticipation… Is there anything better than samgyupsal and kimchi?
The beautiful Spicy Seafood Soup to complete your meal. Flavor was wonderful and clean without being too harsh with garlic or peppers. The seafood was very fresh and they didn’t skimp on the serving.
The wall decorations explaining the each flavor of the palsaik marinade and their medicinal effects.
My personal favorite flavors were curry and doenjang, but all 8 flavors found a champion in our table of 6 people.
Overall, my impressions of this restaurant is very favorable. This is one of the few establishments that are redefining the neo-Korean food movement in the US. The Korean restaurants in America were mostly owned and operated by middle aged immigrants who tried to operate their businesses on small budgets, resulting in some weird restaurant decor and/or half-hearted food presentation – think typical Chinese restaurants. Only in the last couple of years, the younger restaurateurs are putting more emphasis on not only the quality of the food (by removing MSG from their recipes and offering organic foods), but these neo-Korean restaurants are properly presenting their dishes in a more modern fashion.
I highly recommend this place for just about any occasion. With about $50, you will have 4 very satisfied people and something to talk about for a few days. And don’t forget to order some makgeoli!
Palsaik Korean BBQ Restaurant
863 South Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005