>> [CLOSED] To Soc Chon 토속촌 | Eat the World Los Angeles

Thursday, 2 January 2020

[CLOSED] To Soc Chon 토속촌


📍 356 S. Western Avenue, Koreatown, Central Los Angeles.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This restaurant has closed.

What happens when you boil a pig's intestines and stuff it with cellophane noodles, barley, and pork blood? Well, you get soondae, of course. And now you know about the specialty of the house at Koreatown's To Soc Chon, a two year old member of its growing international family that also includes locations on the east coast and Chicago.

As almost the only customer in for a late lunch, the service seemed a little overbearing, but this could also have just been concern for the poor fellow who walked in on some unknown Korean food. The waitress made some good recommendations and far more was selected than could possibly be eaten. Even before those dishes arrived, a presentation of the following arrived:

In lieu of a full complement of banchan, a large plate of kimchi arrived with a small iceberg lettuce salad, as well as herbs and spices to use with the dishes. On the far left of the above photo were chives, and on the far right is crushed green pepper and red pepper paste. Finding the right mixtures of these in the soup is pretty fun. In the middle is a small pinch of salt and a bowl of salted shrimp that is good for dipping in pieces of pork and soondae (below).

Jung-sik refers to a course of food, and the soondae jungsik ($13.99, above and below 3 photos) is a course for one person that includes the appetizer plate above and the soup below. It is said to be a good hangover cure, and also is popular during the overnight hours with drinkers back home.

Unfortunately they close very early here in Los Angeles, but regardless the waitress will soon come and snip the pork into smaller pieces for you, perfect for dipping. The soondae itself (below) is slightly tinny as blood sausage can be, and seems very fresh.

The soup is very mild and filled with more pork and soondae. Add in portions of each spice to get the perfect taste to suit your mood. While it is definitely not the most complex or intense of flavoring, the soup is very warm and comforting. You can tell this would be a good food to be eating after a long night, especially during colder months.

Another good order when you can not decide between the two is dakdori tang ($11.99, below), a fiery soup with chicken, potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. After eating half of the other soup, the spices can get you choked up after shoving a mouthful in quickly. After acclimation the dish is beautiful, with moist pieces of chicken still on the bone and a very hearty stew.

The menu here is very limited although perhaps "specialized" is a better term. They also do larger casseroles for groups with many of the same ingredients. The menu is good value especially considering all the extras they bring you, and is the same day and night.


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