This week, Jonathan Gold heads to Koreatown to review Sun Nong Dan, the strip mall restaurant that is a specialist of sullungtang, a lovely beef broth soup "with a sturdy mineral spine and a sensation that you are getting healthier with each sip." However, the restaurant’s namesake dish is not the reason why "New York chef David Chang posts to the zillion followers of his Instagram feed or has been known to eat twice a day when he’s in town."
The reason is the short rib stew, or galbi jjim:
The galbi jjim at Sun Nong Dan is Hendrix shredding a Bob Dylan song or David Choe slapping paint onto a wall, all the sensations of the dish run through a distortion pedal and cranked up to 10. You’ll be getting the dish extra-spicy (although the waiter will try to talk you out of it), and the amount of garlic that will seep out of your pores afterward is almost surreal. The pot that it comes in is hot enough and thick enough to crisp the cylinders of rice noodles, tteok, put a light char on the meat and keep the scarlet braising sauce bubbling long enough to reduce to a thick, insanely flavorful sludge that both coats and saturates the turned carrots and potatoes. [LAT]
Beyond sullungtang and galbi jjim, the Times critic also recommends the spicy beef and leek soup.