Boasting one of the largest Korean populations in the US, Los Angeles is stacked with hundreds of mouthwatering Korean meat meccas, each with its own distinct style and flair. Many were rubbish, a few were quite outstanding, and then there’s Daedo that came to show the how it is done in motherland.
Eating out at a Korean BBQ restaurant is a gastronomic rite of passage in LA with so many choices within 7 sq.km. Founded in 1964, Daedo Sikdang boasts five South Korea locations that serve over 650,000 servings of ribeye a year. The sophisticated Seoul import opened its first US outpost in Los Angeles in a tastefully appointed space with a bar serving soju- and rice-wine-based cocktails (pro-tip: you’ll need one while waiting for a coveted table.)
Superior ingredients—from CAB Prime beef that passes nine more quality standards than USDA Prime to radish kimchi and soybean paste flown in from South Korea—make the elevated price points worthwhile.
Back to the table, meals are set with different flavorings, from a sweet soy dip to a spicier, briny pickled shrimp sauce to roasted sea salt. A deeply umami soybean paste from Chiri mountain in Korea that involves fermenting nine veggies over a week-long period, plus diced kkakdugi round out the sauces, which are supposed to supplement the seared ribeye pieces.
Pamuchim, also called pajeori, is a seasoned scallion side dish that’s highly popular with grilled meat dishes. Unlike those you get from supermarkets, these are house made and very refreshing.
The kakkdugi, or fermented Korean radish cubes, are actually flown in from South Korea, along with a number of ingredients that are kept in continued fermentation and storage so that they either retain freshness or continue to develop in flavour.
If you are expecting banchan like the rest of the KBBQ joints, you would be disappointed. Only cabbage 양배추 yangbaechu is served with fermented bean paste called ssamjang similar to miso and a sweet and savoury onion marmalade.
While every sliver of unnecessary fat is trimmed off Daedo’s grade-A meat before it’s cooked on cast-iron grills coated in fat from the cow’s kidney. And there’s the sliced garlic that would accompany the beef later that gently roasted away with the beef tallow.
The Classic Korean Cut 대도 대패등심
thinly sliced certified Angus beef prime which you can enjoy melting texture with the perfect marbling
The waiter took out a digital thermometer to measure the surface temperature of the cast iron to make sure it reached the desired heat. Then he simply placed a finely sliced plate of sirloin (226g/8oz) onto the smoking hot plate. As if the temperature was not hot enough, he took out a blowtorch and added an open flame on the top of the daepaedeungsim, or literally translated as planar sirloin.
I was disappointed that I did not have that photo opportunity of the beautiful marbled thinly sliced sirloin. It was slight burnt on the surface but remained juicy overall.
Daedo Cut 대도 등심
three cuts of certified Angus beef prime ribeye – roll, cap and strip
While the marbling was no way close to hanwoo, and any respectable KBBQ will not serve wagyu, so CAB Prime was the next best thing. Three different cuts of the ribeye were served, just like how they do it in Seoul. But there’s only 226g of these incredible good beef that has been aged in a proprietary method in-house.
The aldeungsim 알등심 ribeye roll is the sirloin cut of the steak. Most Western steakhouse will serve the sirloin with the cap on, but in KBBQ this is a different cut that emphasise on the flavour and texture from the marbling.
Cooked to medium to medium rare, I hoped it could be slightly less done as it quickly dried out over the stainer placed on the cast iron pan.
Saewoosal 새우살, which literally means “shrimp meat” in Korean, gets its name from its bent shape, which resembles a shrimp, and is a part of the rib eye that is classified more precisely in Korea.
It was late in the evening (we arrived at 9pm) and perhaps we were the last table that they were serving apparently. But I was taken aback that they did not ask what’s the doneness we wanted for the beef. Although the result was fabulous, I would prefer a little asking. Again this was the first time in LA that we had a server at our table ala KBBQ in Korea-style. So I didn’t know what to expect. They didn’t ask me in Korea as well, but that’s because I don’t speak the language.
Daedo Bulgogi 대도 명품 불고기 한 접시
thinly sliced upper portion of ribeye, marinated with a special sauce
Prepared at a back kitchen was a butane flame-seared quick grilled bulgogi 불고기 with a mild soy marinade, served on a bed of pickled onions and topped with crispy garlic chips and chopped scallions. This dish will go very well with plain steamed rice. And again there’s no banchan accompanying the bulgogi, so I was kind of disappointed.
Daedo Yukaejang 대도 명품 육개장
rich and spicy beef soup with seasonal vegetables
Other courses include an excellent yukgaejang, or spicy beef soup with brisket, fernbrake, bean sprouts, and vermicelli; it came with steamed rice and some freshly prepared turnip green kimchi.
Doenjang Porridge 된장죽
Exclusive to Daedo, this signature dish allows you to enjoy the deep and rich flavour of doenjang or fermented soybean paste made at the most beautiful Mt. Jirisan, Korea.
There were options to revved up the porridge with bits of beef, but at this point in the supper we wanted just a comforting bowl of doenjang porridge. It was served with strips of zucchini and kimchi.
The only dessert is a very refreshing milk-based soft serve with a crispy rice cracker. This is one of the best soft-serve milk ice cream I have ever tasted, very creamy and milky.
I had to say I was looking forward to the banchan but their banchan selection was non-existent compared to other KBBQ in the area. I never thought there’s only the kkakdugi and pajeori. For a Korean barbecue restaurant, there really wasn’t much meat to choose from, as beef is the only protein available for the grill and there were limited choices for cuts too.
However, this is one of the more spacious and well-kept clean bougie KBBQ places I’ve seen. High ceilings and well lit. Because of the amount of space, the KBBQ smell didn’t stick to you as much and the place didn’t reek of KBBQ.
The food was good but the service wasn’t good enough because only one guy served and cooked for 3 tables; the pan was burning and smokey, we had to wait until he came back to the table and waited till the pan cool down for cooking. We had to flag down staff multiple times for the same requests since they kept forgetting.
4001 West 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tel : +1 (213) 322-2559
@daedo1964_usa #daedo #daedosikdang #daedo1964 #daedolosangeles #losangeles #ktown #koreanfood #kbbq