We ate at Honey Pig around 9pm this past Friday night. It was completely empty which I was shocked by, but it might have had something to do with the Korean Olympic speed skating team competing exactly at that hour. I'm guessing the bars in Koreatown were probably rockin'.
Some of you might not be familiar with samgyupshal. The grill at Honey Pig is a large convex dome. They spread a couple types of banchan around the outside edge of it (kimchi and kongnamul) and grill whatever meat you order on the height of the dome, so all the fat trickles into the hot/fried banchan around the edge. Pretty awesome. Check out a pic here. We discovered that they don't make the fried rice and give you the soup at the end unless you specifically request it. Or they might have overheard our English and hoped we wouldn't know what we were doing enough to expect it. Honey Pig was suggested to us by a couple different people. Although it wasn't bad, the place was too clean for us. Not hole-in-the-wall enough, I guess.
But those hole-in-the-wall desires were fulfilled on Saturday when we went to Chunju Han-il Kwan for budaejjigae (basically a huge stew of kimchi, vegetables, rice cake, spam, and hot dogs). It was AWESOME! I had budaejjigae once in New York, and it cost about $25 for the pot, which I assumed was an inflated New York City price. But it was still $25 in LA--isn't that a bit steep for a pot of kimchi, hot dogs, and spam?? C'mon, this is supposed to be peasant food! Oh, and the buchaejun there was also a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Despite the cost--I think I'll be going back there. Honey Pig, probably not.