clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jonathan Gold Agrees With David Chang: Ktown's Mapo Galbi Is Awesome

The longtime chicken specialist has its day in the spotlight.

Mapo Galbi
Mapo Galbi
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

This week, Jonathan Gold visits longtime Koreatown chicken specialist Mapo Galbi (not to be confused with the excellent Mapo Kkak Du Gee on 6th and Normandie). The chicken spot, which David Chang has remarked is one of his favorite places to eat in the entire universe, brings out the vintage Jonathan Gold, back when he was covering small joints in far flung spots around town. It's comical because Gold points out that sometimes Chang has lapses in taste (is he referring to Chang's love of crappy beer?), but overall has some pretty great things to say about Chang's favorite spot:

But what had I been missing? This: a sweet-hot mountain of chicken, cabbage melted down to translucent wisps, rice noodles that have become miraculously puddingy under a charred crust.

There is a second helping. Then a third. The chile sauce boils down to a thick, glossy puddle. The waitress comes by a split second before everything turns dark, stirs a bowl of rice into the smoking pan and pats the mass down. (She bats away your questing spoon.) She sprinkles the rice with shredded nori, the toasted seaweed you've seen at sushi bars. And finally she nods. The crunchy, half-burnt layer of rice at the bottom is widely considered the best part. And it is. [LAT]

Open 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily, it's an ideal late lunch spot in Koreatown.

The Elsewhere: Darin Dines still loves CUT in Beverly Hills, Eating LA mentions La Mill's menu refresh, including a straight Petit Trois copy of a boursin-infused omelette, MyLastBite tries the first class menu on American Airlines (in case you're flying out of LAX with that in mind), FoodGPS tries the preserved duck egg with ground pork at Sapp Coffee Shop, and LA Weekly checks out Bierbeisl Imbiss.

Mapo Galbi

3090 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006 (213) 487-2274