Destination: Eun Daegu Jorim (Braised Black Cod). Rumor has it that Jun Won offers one of the best of this beloved dish of mine, surely I cannot bypass this temptation to try.
If I had not done my research and looked up a photo of the restaurant, it would have be easy to miss the place, since the sign is only in Korean. Rarely had I encountered so much available parking spaces for a Korean restaurant in that area, I was thankfully relieved not to have to deal with valet.
The place is small, intimate and felt very welcoming and homey. The waiting staff were exceptionally jovial. Famished from having played for over 2 1/2 hours of badminton, I hurriedly ordered the two dishes I came here for: Spicy Pork with Kimchee, Brasied Black Cod.
After a few bites of the pork with kimchee, I realized that I have just found my all time 2nd favorite Korean dish after the Braised Black Cod. The flavors of this pork dish were outrageously deep, robust, pungent. The Kimchee was nothing less than remarkable – reminiscent somehow of a full bodied, well-aged wine. One could almost taste the amount of time that the fermentation took to achieve such an unparalleled depth of richness in flavor.
Almost every table had ordered the braised cod. I would say that the dish had met my expectation. Actually, the black cod itself is such a succulent, luscious fish that it would be difficult to mess it up. The velvety, buttery texture of the fish, went well with the mildly piquant, savory sauce – wish there were more than just the three pieces on the plate.
While the presentation of both of the dishes looked similar, piles of nondescript goodness under an abundance of green onions and covered with a dark orangey, brownish sauce, the tastes were distinct from each other.
A small bowl of cold seaweed soup was suddenly presented in front of me. While I had plenty of warm seaweed soup before, this was the first time having a cold one. The faintly vinegary coolness of the broth along with heaps of soft silky seaweed was incredibly refreshing after the aggressive, bold flavors – it was like that of a sea breeze on a humid, muggy afternoon.
Beyond stuffed, after finishing off the outstanding assortment of banchan, and everything else from the plates, with two bowls of rice, I was ready for my next conquest.
Jun Won: 3100 W. 8th St. Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90005 Phone: 213-383-8833