In this new season of K-Town, Eater LA editor and host Matthew Kang returns to his native Los Angeles, where the largest and most influential Koreatown resides in the heart of the city. The first place he visits is called Dha Rae Oak, and it’s remarkable because it features one of the most unique duck preparations in all of America.
To make its signature dish, Dha Rae Oak roasts a whole duck that’s stuffed with everything from glutinous rice and mung beans to nuts and seeds: Capping it off before the duck goes into a clay pot — and then the oven — is a bevy of aromatic Korean medicinal herbs like ginseng, to give it a rustic flair.
After trying the most perfect platter of Korean duck (“everything you need for this meal is encapsulated inside this duck,” Kang says), he goes for the restaurant’s second specialty, an onslaught of thinly sliced smoked duck that’s ready for the tabletop grill. The gently smoked duck gets a quick sear before getting wrapped with a pickled daikon radish, crunchy cabbage, and some mustard, for a pastrami sandwich-like experience.