Koreatown is one of the most densely populated and diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles and is home to hundreds of Korean restaurants, ranging from small hole-in-the-wall shops to giant banquet halls. If you want great Korean food in LA, you’d generally be wasting your time looking for it outside of Koreatown. But one relatively new Korean barbecue restaurant dares to be just as good as the better KBBQ joints in K-Town, and in Culver City no less.
Hanjip is the passion project of chef Chris Oh of Seoul Sausage fame, partnering with respected restaurateurs Stephane Bombet and Francois Renaud, both also partners in Terrine and Viviane, among other properties. It has the traditional popular selection of meat, from galbi (short ribs) and bulgogi (marinated sliced ribeye), to samgyupsal (pork belly) and–my favorite–hangjungsal (pork jowl/neck/collar). It also has some interesting sides, like uni steamed egg, bone marrow corn cheese, and a soju cocktail served out of a hollowed out cut watermelon with Pop Rocks and Fruity Pebbles.
I’ve been to Hanjip twice for dinner and once for lunch since it opened last November, and I’ve been thoroughly impressed with it. To start, the banchan is diverse and excellent, as are the side dishes. While I’ve yet to try the uni steamed egg, the kimchi fried rice is tasty, and the seafood pancake is sizable and fantastic!
The meat is top-notch, and comparably priced to comparable K-town restaurants. Of course you can get a pork combo or a beef combo, with an assortment of cuts. But if you’re feeling particularly baller, order the $150 tomahawk steak, a 48 oz. bone-in ribeye, seared table-side, finished in the kitchen oven, and served with foie gras butter. It will feed a full table of adults!
To top it off, Hanjip has great lunch combos: select a bowl from a variety of choices (tuna poke, chicken katsu, sundubu, etc.) and a cut of beef or pork (one slice), and pay just $15. Best part is you get the full banchan along with it, and it’s perfect for solo diners, which is not something you can say about most Korean BBQ place.
(I know the captions say this was for dineLA, but they extended the lunch combo permanently after dineLA end in February.)
I have several dishes on my radar for my next dinner visit to Hanjip, including the beef tongue, baby octopus, bossam, and that uni steamed egg! (BTW, they take reservations, another rarity for a Korean restaurant.) Hanjip will be at Taste of the Nation LA this year (see link for promo code) and will be opening a second location in DTLA’s Historic Core later this year!