Korean barbecue might be the most feverishly debated food topic in Los Angeles, along with dumplings, noodles, sushi, and coffee. With the largest Koreatown in America, the City of Angels has been blessed with the best Korean barbecue in America.
Hanjip, opening on November 1, is a major step toward taking the Korean barbecue out of Ktown and farther across the city. Sure, there's Genwa on La Cienega and Mid-Wilshire, plus a slew of pretty fantastic barbecue joints in Orange County and San Gabriel Valley, but second generation chef Chris Oh wants to improve the format from top to bottom.
Consider the meat selection, which will be fully prime in the beef department. Marinated and plain boneless short rib helm the top of the menu, plus ribeye with foie gras butter (seriously), skirt steak, thin sliced brisket beloved at AYCE establishments (called chadolbaegi), and of course bulgogi. Pork offerings include belly, butt, jowl, and ribs, all of the Duroc variety.
Oh will have some variety cuts like large intestines (the one that true KBBQ fans adore), beef tongue, and lamb belly. The show-stoppers include a dry-aged tomahawk steak that'll be an Instagram favorite, plus a bone-in pork chop. If you ask nicely, you might even get access to the secret menu of chicken livers, cold braised pig's feet (jok bal), whole pig head (with kimchi'd oysters), and mentaiko fish egg rice. Chef touches even go down to the basics, with truffle salt on the table, whole roasted garlic, and a whole slate of banchan that would make a Korean grandmother swoon.
It's not just about dinner here, as lunch service features yookhwejang (spicy beef noodle soup), bibimbap, and soontofu. And there's smaller barbecue plates so that you won't go back to work with a food coma. Of course, a standard list of soju and beer to properly pair with your meal. Partners Stephane Bombet (Terrine, Viviane) and Francois Renaud (Terrine) hope to open another Hanjip some time next year in Downtown, with a location already locked down in Historic Core. Perhaps the biggest impact Hanjip will have is taking top-flight Korean barbecue out of Koreatown and into places like the Westside, Downtown, and beyond.
When it opens on November 1, Hanjip will serve 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily.
3829 Main Street
Culver City, CA 90232