The best kalbi I’ve ever had ever.

I love pork.  And, I love Korean food.  So, when an old friend suggested we get “some Korean pork goodness?“, you know I was on board.

We were all set to check out Don Dae Gam, the “pork-intensive sister to Park’s BBQ (the place to go for quality K-BBQ in LA).  Unfortunately, Yelp misled us and instead of opening at 2pm, it wasn’t open until 5pm.

Well, our grumbling tummies weren’t having that, so we took it as a sign from above to go to the original Park’s instead.

Beef kalbi, banchan, and soju at Park's BBQ.

I’ve been wanting to go to Park’s BBQ since I first moved to LA.  Multiple people have recommended it, it’s all over the food blogs, and it’s another one on Jonathan Gold’s list (we’re doing pretty good, right?).

We didn’t get the Wagyu (“American Kobe”) that’s around $70 a serving.  I just can’t imagine that it’s worth the price, but I’m open to hearing what others think.  If it’s actually 2+ times tastier than the kalbi, then I might have to avoid it for fear it would ruin all food for me forever.  I just can’t even contemplate such deliciousness because the kalbi was quite possibly the best kalbi I’ve ever had ever.

You know you're in for a treat when they start by greasing the grill with a giant hunk of fat.

I really can’t remember another time that compares.  For streetcred’s sake, I’d like to say I’ve had better in Korea, but honestly no one occasion sticks out.

Is it expensive?  Yes.  A single serving will cost you around $30, almost twice that of other places.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  You can definitely taste the difference in the meat.  It’s tender, flavorful even without a marinade, and has the perfect amount of fatty goodness.  I would definitely treat myself to this perfect KBBQ every so often.

Seriously, I'm drooling right now.

We also ordered a serving of the samgyupsal (Korean pork belly), but it was nothing to write home about, and I probably wouldn’t order it again.  But, it’s possible we left it on the grill too long.

I can’t thank my friend enough for taking me there.  I haven’t seen him in years and it was really great catching up over amazing food.  He’s an LA native, so had tons of restaurant recommendations that I’m now dying to try.  On the short list is (1) Back to Don Dae Gam for Korean pork belly; (2) Dragon Restaurant for Korean-Chinese food like jja jang myun and tang soo yook; (3) apparently any restaurant in Thai Town for authentic Thai; and (4) Vintage Enoteca for Spanish tapas.

Yay for living in a city with yummy food again!  DC seriously has one Korean restaurant (two locations) in the entire District (although there are some decent places in Maryland and Virginia).  One!  And, it’s not even that good.  I love how I can now get cheap and tasty Korean food at a food court that’s better.

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