On a recent trip to LA, some friends invited us to visited a new-ish restaurant in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Gwang Yang is expansive, with a large dining room, as well as individual ones for private parties. However, new-ish might not be the correct term when it comes to describing Gwang Yang. The restaurant may be new in the United States, but it has a long history in Korea, spanning three generations. It is a name any Korean of my parents’ generation will be familiar with and its success is in the secret recipe which has been handed down the generations, now brought to California.
As with any Asian food, it is best eaten with many people because it is meant for sharing. There are six of us at the table this evening and we start off with some appetizers, including Kobe Yukhwoe (고베육회$29.99), a Kobe beef tartare using julienne strips of beef and Asian pear, mixed with a guchujang (Korean red pepper paste) seasoning. This dish is new to me, and although I love the flavors, it is the first time I’ve eaten raw beef in strips, so the texture takes a little getting used to.
Next is Yukjeon (육전 $29.99), described as meat pancakes but are really meat and egg crepes. I really loved this dish and it took me a while to realize (not until days later) that this is “meat jun”, something I used to eat a lot of when living in Hawaii. The ones here are a lot more sophisticated than the ones I would order from mom and pop restaurants in Honolulu, but nevertheless, I’m thrilled Gwang Yang has it. I have not found it at any of the Orange County Korean restaurants I frequent. At $30, it may sound rather pricey, but remember this is a really big platter, sufficient enough to feed a minimum of 8 as a shared appetizer.
Gwang Yang BBQ
3435 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010