If you are not familiar with Korean television personalities, hearing the name Kang Ho Dong will probably spring a question mark in your head. As a pro-wrestler turned comedian and television host, his tumultuous laugh not only caught the attention of Korean viewers, but also the attention of many Americans. But it is not through his comical whips and laughter that caught the attention of Americans, but through food. Kang Ho Dong is not only a television personality, but also is a restaurateur.
With several restaurants in South Korea, the opening of yet another restaurant, but this time in California, only seemed plausible. Located in the heart of Koreatown, Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is not only the place to get the best Korean food in town, but it also the toughest place to get into. From the moment it opens at 11:30am for lunch, there is already a line of people waiting to get a table. But once inside, it is like entering a restaurant in Seoul.
With stainless steal chopsticks and a generous amount of ‘banchan’ (which translates to ‘side dishes’), the selection of different types of meat may be small but abundant. From pork and beef to barbecue yourself on your very own table grill, to individual meals from stews and noodles, there is nothing short of tempting at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong.
Although you are supposed to be grilling your own pork and beef, the waiters actually do the work for you. But in retrospect this is actually quite preferred since not only do they carefully flip the meat, but they cut it into small sizes so that everyone at the table can easily grab his or her own amount. And if allergic to anything on the table, don’t worry, the staff regularly changes the grill platter and tongs so as not to contaminate the rest of the food.
With flavorful smells wafting into your nostrils, remarkable tastes from the banchan and meat, you will most definitely be leaving with a full stomach, but also singing to K-Pop music, or rather pretending to know the lyrics to the music that was playing over the speakers, but you will also leave with a better understanding of Korean food. With a satisfied grin, jotting down your next visit will be done even before leaving the restaurant. So to this we say Gomabseubnida, Kang Ho Dong.