Chin-Go-Gae: Getting Your Korean Goat [CLOSED]

Korean Food Los Angeles

Chin-Go-Gae specializes in Korean goat dishes in a low-profile strip mall.

Since we’d been to Chin-Go-Gae, one member of our 4-person eating group – Krystal – dubbed this EATZ meal REPEATZ.

The Chin-Go-Gae menu sits in a plastic stand on the table and features eight dishes total, making for an easy decision. Last time, we ordered both goat dishes on the menu. I remember preferring Yeum So Moo Chim ($14.50). It featured big chunks of tender grilled goat meat, stir-fried with spinach, drizzled with sesame seeds.

It was a strange experience. A reporter from the Korea Daily newspaper thought it was incredibly strange that white people were eating Korean goat. He was eating with his editor and they decided to do a story on us. Andy Chung, the reporter, took multiple photos of us, making sure we held up our thumbs. He also hunched by the table and interviewed us for like 20 minutes. It was super-intrusive. And I was bothered by it.

A parade of banchan surrounded the table-top grill: strips of chili-soaked jellyfish, crunchy chunks of zucchini in chili sauce, spicy kimchi, and strips of a brown, chewy, chili soaked vegetable sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I’m all about variety, so I wasn’t thrilled when Tamara ordered four servings of Yeum So Tang ($14) for the table, and nothing else. She also ordered extra broth and greens, whose bitterness masked the unmistakably goat-y flavor I’ve grown to know and love. Thankfully, the soup featured an orange broth filled with chunks of tender goat meat, spinach-like leaves, garlic, and sesame. Meaning it was still good food.

Korean Food Los Angeles

The goat stew’s flavor peaked after the greens cooked down. This Yeum So Tang was good, but not the transformative experience it was last time. I felt like I was overloading on bitter greens.

Korean Food Los Angeles

When we were nearly done with the soup, the waitress came by and held up two fingers: “Two?” We looked at each other. “Yes.” She brought out three huge mounds of steamed white rice and tossed them into a fresh pan. Then she added a huge mound of seaweed and spinach chips and poured on remaining broth, spinach, garlic and goat chunks.

Korean Food Los Angeles

Our waitress stir-fried rice and greens with goat-infused broth. The rice quickly got crusty in the pan and absorbed nutrients from the meat, broth and vegetables. It tasted sensational.

Last time, our waitress instructed us to stir up a sauce of chile, sesame oil and black pepper, which we all dipped with goat and fed into the soup’s orange broth. Great idea.

Korean Drinks Los Angeles

The group includes a lot of drinkers, and they gave into the paper placemats advertising “grape wine.” We got a bottle ($15), and it tasted like sweet Jewish wine. There was also a bottle of cranberry (or was it strawberry) wine ($15) that was no better. The others got a bottle of soju ($10), but I skipped that action. The drinking experience could have been better.

Before tip, the bill came to less than $60, including liquor. Considering how much we ate, and the quality of the food we ate, it was an incredible bargain.

With the bill, we were each given a stick of watermelon gum, which seems to be the standard parting gift at any Korean restaurant in town.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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