I had, after much study, selected a Korean restaurant from Yelp for my most recent My Thursday Lunch, but as luck (good or bad) would have it, they were closed.  So I decided to keep on traveling down that lonesome highway — well, Wilshire Boulevard, which is neither a highway nor lonesome — and I ended up going back to what is becoming my favorite Korean BBQ restaurant in LA, ChungDam Korean BBQ.


ChungDam1The first thing that strikes you when you walk into ChungDam is just how beautiful it is.  The copper/brass hoods for the venting of smoke are absolutely gorgeous.  Everything in the place speaks of quality and taste.

And speaking of taste, that’s what I went there for.  But what to order?  Everything here is wonderful.  How to choose?  It was when I saw the waitress walking by with a bulgogi ssambap (marinated beef served with onions and scallions) — well, when I smelled her walking by with it — that I knew what I had to order.  The panchan is really wonderful at the ChungDam, kimchi, mushrooms, seaweed, cucumbers, bean sprouts — nothing especially unusual, but all prepared very nicely.  The ChungDam has increased the kinds of greens they bring you in which to wrap the bulgogi – a welcome change!   The bulgogi was so nice; tender, lean and delicious!

The wait staff are really charming, so accommodating.  They speak perfect English and make you feel welcome even if you are the only Asian-challenged person in the place.
ChungDam MenuThe cost of the dinner goes up quite a bit, but for lunch, it’s affordable.  The bibimbap is only $8.99 and is excellent and most lunch items are $8.99 or $10.99.

As usual on Fridays, my poor workmates have to suffer, smelling my leftover Thursday lunch heating up in the microwave.  Alas, if I were rich, I’d bring them all in some.  But then again, if I were rich, I wouldn’t be working at UCLA.   Or better said, if I’m working at UCLA, I’ll never get rich. 🙂

ChungDam Korean BBQ
808 S. Western Ave.  #207
Los Angeles, CA 90005

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