The essence of Koreatown’s food and dining scene emerges in strip malls: small- and medium-sized lots packed with restaurants serving everything from noodles and steaming hot bowls of soup to refreshing patbingsoo shaved ice. It’s said that LA’s best food always comes from these places, and this week, K-Town host Matthew Kang joins the one and only beef aficionado Nick Solares, host of The Meat Show, at Sun Nong Dan. Together, they eat one of the most epic meals in Koreatown: a massive cauldron of spicy braised short ribs, or galbi jjim.
This dish was traditionally reserved for royalty because of beef’s expense, but now it’s become an everyday luxury, served in fancier Korean restaurants and at virtually every Korean wedding. What makes this dish so wonderful? It’s the way the short ribs — a flavorful cut of beef that’s best when braised — are cooked and then finished off with Korean chili peppers and a savory sauce. As Kang says, “This is the ultimate dish to bring out [to say], ‘I love you and I want you to have the best.’”