Tuesday, June 17, 2008
No Longer Second to Shik Do Rak--CLOSED
Update: this place has since closed down and been remodeled but I have yet to try the renovated joint. RIP Hanyang.
It was truly serendipitously that we ran into Hanyang again, after having written it off when it first opened a while back. At the time, this Shik Do Rak wannabe was merely that. It sought to emulate ttukbossam, the rice paper and chadol barbecue of thinly sliced meat wrapped with some green onions and spices. But it wasn't impressive.
We headed to Hanyang in this day only because Shik Do Rak was too booked as it is undergoing renovation and has much less room during the Friday night rush. Alas, we were pleasantly surprised. The meat was tender and fresh; the banchan (side dishes) were solid; but most importantly, the green onion mixed with a fiery red sauce that you dab onto the meat before you wrap it in a thin rice paper was extremely flavorful and addictive.
What I liked about Hanyang was that it has a chopped romaine lettuce and red lettuce mix as well as an all-green onion mix that is tossed in a garlicky and vinegary red pepper sauce that complements the meat so well I couldn't stop stuffing my wrap with this green and red mixture. The vinegar gave it a refreshing touch so the fat from the meat wasn't too heavy on the palate. Like Morangak, the ttukbossam (moniker for this kind of rice wrapper with meat) place I like in Garden Grove, it had the pickled radishes -- large round slices of radishes pickled in a slightly sweet vinegar sauce. The radishes are big enough to double as wrappers to mix things up a bit.
The only downside was the rice wrappers were too thick and stuck to each other too much so it was cumbersome to peel them off.
It helps to have solid kimchi, the signature spicy fermented dish and other side dishes such as potato salad and the rustic oogeoji namul, a dark brown leafy vegetable seasoned with garlic, salt and sesame oil that tastes just like the countryside. The mushrooms and sweet potatoes on the grill were a nice touch. The prices weren't bad either. It wasn't as cheap as Shik Do Rak but came close. All that meat and side dishes followed by a meal of rice, savory egg custard and fermented soybean stew for about $30? This could feed a family of five.
3429 West 8th Street
Los Angeles CA 90005