Roy Choi’s POT at The Line Hotel
POT at The Line Hotel is the most Korean of Korean-American chef, pioneer, and entrepreneur Roy Choi‘s restaurants. I’ve been a few times when they first opened, and I loved how bold yet accessible their dishes are, but I hadn’t been back recently. A few weeks ago, when my sister’s family was in town, we needed a dinner spot that could fit our large party, and on short notice, as my brother-in-law had attend an event back at their hotel later in the evening.
We were all craving Korean, but lines at the popular Koreatown places can run long, and many don’t take reservations. Remembering that POT recently partnered with Reserve, I requested a table, and with a little lead time, the concierge app was able to get us a table at POT that night!
We started off with some banchan, complimentary house appetizers, which consisted of three different kimchi vegetables: garlic chives, bean sprouts, sliced daikon radish. The latter two are fairly ubiquitous, but I don’t see much of the former, but the aromatic and verdant buchu made very good kimchi! Keeping it light and cool (for the time being), we also ordered a Poke Me (yellow fin tuna, edamame, sea beans, maui onions, smoked sesame, shoyu vinaigrette). There’s a lot going on in this dish, and I did like the sea beans, but the fish kinda got lost a little in the mix.
Ramping up a bit in intensity, but not in temperature, we got the You OK, Guey? (beef tartare, pears, pine nuts, egg, rice chips) and a salad with the snicker-inducing moniker Roger Wants Moore Octopussy (charred baby octopus, celery, mizuna). As with the poke, the beef tartare had a lot going on, but this time the beef remained center stage, even after all the ingredients were mixed together. Really enjoyed the pine nuts in the tartare. The salad was also delicious, with generous amounts of baby octopus, and a sweet spicy dressing. I’m a sucker for mizuna, so I really enjoyed this dish!
Moving into hot and heavy territory, we got the Noodle of the Day, a spicy ramyeon, the Korean version of Japanese instant ramen, with pork belly and a poached egg. I grew up eating all kinds of instant noodles, including Nongshim ramyeon, and I’ve definitely thrown some pork belly and eggs into the pot, so this was very nostalgic for me. We also got the BBQ Galbi, a very generous portion of thick, delicious, bone-in short ribs, sizzling on a cast iron plate. With it came some shears to cut our meat, so we still had some KBBQish action even without grills on the tables.
Speaking of what’s on the table, our last dish of the meal utilized the induction burners at the center of each table in the place, used to heat the eponymous pots that POT serves. After some debate, we decided on the Old School (marinated ribeye bulgogi, noodles, kimchi, scallion, sesame), opting for the “medium” price tier for our table. The pot was replete with tender shaved steak and glass noodles. The bright red color, not always an indication of spiciness, did in this case signify a good level of heat!
We did not realize how full we had gotten from our previous dishes, nor did we anticipate how large even a “medium” was, so we actually took most of this home. Yay, leftovers! We were so full, in fact, that we had to cancel our plan to walk over to nearby Honeymee for dessert, to the chagrin of the kids at the table.
Pro Tip: If only having one or two starters/sides, a “medium” should be good for 3-4 people. Ordering more dishes with it, and the “medium” could easily feed 6+ people! [Update: The new menu only lists one size for the pots, and based on pricing, it’s probably equivalent to the “medium” from the previous menu, so my advice is unchanged. A party of two should probably be fairly hungry if they want to have anything other than a pot.]
While I had been to POT before, it was the first time for my family and my sister’s family, and we all left satiated and impressed with our meal. My kids were already talking about coming back for more BBQ Galbi!
My thanks to Reserve for getting us our table that night. I’ve mentioned Reserve before, most recently when they partnered with another Roy Choi restaurant, A-Frame, to do a “BeerBowl” event on Father’s Day. If you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, or Chicago, and you like dining at amazing restaurants, check them out! Use promo code E18KGX for a $10 credit!
POT has actually been closed all this week, with few details until yesterday, when Roy tweeted some the changes coming to the restaurant, including a raw bar, soju bar, and a new barbecue duck dish. Sounds like a whole new menu is coming, but I hope they keep a few things on the menu, especially the Roger Wants Moore Octopussy! ;-) I guess we’ll see—looking forward to trying the new items in the future!
Update: The new menu is up on their website! Looks like most of what we had are still available, with the exception of the BBQ Galbi and the Roger Wants Moore Octopussy. :-( The You OK, Guey? has been renamed to just Beef Tartare. A quasi-replacement for the galbi is a new Braised Beef Short Rib Ssam dish. There is indeed a raw bar, but the number of eponymous pots have been reduced to two choices. Still, the menu has enough variety to satisfy most people!
POT at The Line Hotel
3515 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010