Pig feet are rarely as accessible as they were during Friday’s lunch with Midtown Lunch LA founder Zach Brooks at Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal, a restaurant hidden in plain sight, in the farthest reaches of a Koreatown strip mall and unearthed by Linda Burum in the LA Times. My most recent pig foot encounter, at Bar El Sella in Mexico City, had me convinced that I may have met my porcine match. Thankfully, Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal convinced me otherwise.
According to Burum, Kyung Soon Lee has been presiding over the Seoul original for decades, and five years ago, she helped family members expand to Los Angeles. Given that many years of specializing in jokbal, which loosely translates into English as “boiled pig feet w/special sauce,” it came as little surprise that they have a firm handle on pigcraft.
Jokbal costs only $9.99 at lunch. Otherwise, it’s available as a super sized dinner special for $24.99 (small) or $30.99 (large). The meaty sheets of sliced pig’s feet kind of reminded me the type of cold dishes you’d find in “appetizer” cases at Sichuan restaurants like Yunnan Garden. Each firm slice contained collagen and darker skin that didn’t put up nearly the fight I’d come to expect from pig’s feet. They also served the slices with bones that touted residual meat, which quickly became our chew toys. Our order came with a dish of pungent chile sauce that was supercharged with tiny fermented shrimp, which was great for dipping. We also received a salty but kind of addictive tofu, vegetable and ground bean soup, a bowl of rice and several dishes of premium house-made panchan. Great value.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.