Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Taste test: Sa Rit Gol

Every foodie in L.A. probably tried Koreatown's Sa Rit Gol a million years ago, and musician Carl Stone even has a piece of music named after it. But given my near-legendary disinterest in Korean food, it took me a little longer to get there. A few weeks ago, I ran into my old roommate Chava at Chameau, and she suggested trying it for lunch. My favorite thing about Sa Rit Gol was the interior -- cozy little wooden booths which make the place look like a Korean country inn. There's no English sign in front, but I figured it was probably the older of the two places in the mini-mall. The other good thing was their panchan.

panchan (accompanying dishes of kimchee, etc.)
They bring you tons of little appetizer dishes even with the $7.95 lunch special, and they seemed tastier than the ones at Chosun Galbi. My favorite was sort of a pressed tofu in sesame oil -- anyone know what this is called? Chava had the tofu casserole, which is similar to the boiling cauldron of spicy tofu at 24-hour BCD Tofu House. I had the noodles with pork and black bean sauce. While they were beautifully presented, the beans were sweet and bland, like a Japanese dessert, and didn't provide any contrast with the wide noodles.

noodles with black bean sauce
I still find, however, that the more Korean food I try, the more noncommittal I remain. It just doesn't seem to have the type of flavors that get my palate excited. But I liked this place fine anyway -- the lunch specials are a good deal (free refills on the panchan, tea, etc.) and they also have a large dinner menu with some interesting seafood dishes and all the usual barbecued meats to cook at the table. The pork is supposed to be excellent, so I'll give it another try because it was such a cute place and people usually have fun doing the barbecuing at the table thing.
Sa Rit Gol
3189 W. Olympic
(213) 387-0909