We’ve all got our own go-to hangover cures. So where does Jonathan Gold go after a night of heavy drinking? To the original Ham Ji Park in Koreatown to sop up all the booze with some serious porky goodness.
If Ham Ji Park sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve been to the popular Sixth Street location or to the restaurant’s newest outpost in Buena Park. Long before either location started dishing up Korean comfort food, though, locals were getting their gamjatang and dwaeji galbi fixes on Pico Boulevard. From 11 AM until closing, the staff there simmers tender, meaty chunks of pork neck with spine bones to make milky, collagen-rich gamjatang broth. The broth is seasoned with generous amounts of gochugaru, the red chile pepper flakes which are at the heart of Korean cooking. The resulting boiling hot bubbly chowder of potatoes and falling-off-the-bone meat is deeply satisfying and will cure all that ails you.
Alongside the sputtering bowls of gamjatang, you’re likely to see sizzling platters of grilled-to-order dwaeji galbi at Ham Ji Park. The spicy pork spare ribs are special here because they are first marinated in kochujang and other seasonings. Then they are cooked over an open flame before being brought to your table atop a bed of onions. Who needs the hair of the dog when you’ve got dwaeji gable to nurse that hangover?
Recommendations: At Ham Ji Park, it’s really all about the gamjatang (pork neck stew) and the dwaeji galbi (pork spare ribs).
Location: 4135 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019 | (323) 733-8333