You know how excited I was about Seoul Sausage’s opening last week? I went on opening week (which I never do). And you know how much I liked it? I went again the very next day. Yeah, it’s pretty damn good.
I actually went to lunch early last Thursday, to beat the crowds at Tsujita. But in beating the crowds and eating relatively fast, I got out of the restaurant a little after noon and walked right by Seoul Sausage as they were opening up. I had already planned on trying it the very next day with coworker Han, but the line wasn’t bad at all, so I figured I’d covertly take a second lunch. Got a galbi sausage and a Lil’ Osaka rice ball, and took it back to work to see what the fuss was all about. After all, these are the guys who had just won the Great Food Truck Race show on the Food Network (I’ve never watched the show, but I know plenty of people who do), and are always a hit at local food festivals.
Let’s start with the galbi sausage. Like I told some people immediately after trying it, it tasted exactly like…galbi. That’s a pretty amazing feat. For some reason, I was afraid that all these sausages would be just plain ol’ sausages with various Korean/Asian toppings and condiments (like an Asian version of Dog Haus), and man was I ever glad to be proven wrong and then some. It was as if galbi went through the meat grinder and into a casing, which is what I’m sure it basically is. Wanted a little more char on the meat (my usual preference for cased meats finished on the grill), but all the intended flavors were on point. The “bun” was basically a mini baguette/French roll, but was soft and not dense at all as to not distract from the sausage – impressive. The Lil’ Osaka was basically a love child of an Italian arancini (fried rice ball) and a Japanese curry croquette. Very nice.
So I did return the very next day with coworker Han, and this time I ordered the other sausage, the spicy pork, the Flaming rice ball, and a special: Da KFC (Korean fried chicken). Galbi poutine is technically on the board as a special as well, but it wasn’t available that day (nor was it available the previous day). Anyways, effort to try entire menu was accomplished in two visits. The spicy pork was basically a take on pork bulgogi in cased form, but less on the spicy side and more on the sweet side (but not as sweet as the galbi one). I liked this one better; had a better balance of flavors, was juicier, and had more char from the grill – and I already liked the galbi one quite a bit. Also, the slaw was a nice complement. The Flaming ball is their more famous variation of their two rice balls, with kimchi and cheese flavors. I liked it, though it brought back some memories of elementary school when I used to drench my Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in nacho cheese. The KFC was basically cut-up pieces of fried chicken cutlets (fried like the pork cutlets you’d find at Taiwanese restaurants – so sweet potato flour maybe?) tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce like standard KFC wings, and topped with some diced pickled radish and a nice square of Jalapeno cornbread. Not as exciting as the other menu items, but still delicious (or as Robyn would say, “the shizz”).
I can never have enough lunch options, because quite frankly there aren’t that many, but this rookie has already found playing time in the rotation. In fact, it’s in the starting lineup.
Lil’ Osaka Ball ($3) – shoga sriracha mayo
Galbi Sausage ($7) – kimchi relish & garlic jalapeno aioli
Da KFC ($8) – Korean fried chicken
Flaming Ball ($3) – DMZ sauce
Spicy Pork Sausage ($7) – apple cabbage slaw
Chris Hei grade: N/A (no official grade < 1 month of opening, but already one of my go-to lunch options after opening week)
Seoul Sausage Company
11313 Mississippi Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005