The older Koreatown gets, the deeper the country’s roots grow in Los Angeles. We have now entered an era when barbecue, bibimbap and bossam are considered basics, and regional specialties are becoming more prevalent. For instance, JinSol Gukbap is a strip mall spot with art-lined walls and rust colored banquettes that specializes in the food of Busan.
Busan, South Korea’s second largest city after Seoul, is located on the Sea of Japan and faces Fukuoka, so of course seafood is prevalent, but apparently so is pork. JinSol Gukbap features boiled pork belly, noodles in the style of Jeju island, and best yet, Pork Soup w/Pork Slices, Intestines and Rice ($9.95). Cloudy broth comes bobbing with thin-shaved pork slices, crunchy strips of ear, supple pencil-thick small intestines, a shower of scallions and small slick of chile sauce. The broth is pretty mild to start, but JinSol Gukbap gives you the tools to amp up the flavor. Spoon on tiny fermented shrimp and ground sesame seeds, and toss in kimchi that’s folded with whole oysters if you really want to crank up the funk. As always, the ritual of building flavor at Korean restaurants is intriguing, and almost hypnotic.
A story from Euno Lee in Eater LA motivated my initial visit to JinSol Gukbap, and the food’s pronounced pork focus (and their marinated pork ribs) will inspire my return.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.