On a muggy summer evening, five pork-crazed foodies went searching for a challenge. On the prowl for some serious eats, they met at Palsaik Samgyupsal in KTown. Not to be outdone by the Vietnamese tradition of bo 7 mon, this BBQ joint touted pork eight ways.
Sam was the translator and Krista was the pork-cutter. Natassia was tipsy from a prior engagement and Lindsay was nursing a wicked cold. And Esther, well, she had always claimed that she wasn’t the biggest eater. This is a lie. She can hang.
There was Hite Beer, some super-flavorful seafood soup, and an array of banchan. But mostly there was pork. Lots of pork.
After making their way through 8 different flavors of belly, Sam thought it a good idea to order more. “More” being two giant platters piled high with piggy, which, when it arrived, prompted the table to unanimously grumble, “Uh oh…”
The waitress assured them it would be fabulous. She also brought the restaurant’s new smoked pork speciality that they were about to put on the menu. “On the house,” she said.
She asked if they were Yelpers.
They laughed. Fucking Yelpers.
Occasionally said waitress would stop by to scrape caramelized bits of belly off the grill, which was propped up like a Foreman. As the group talked media gossip, slicks of fat slid down into a vat below the table, like Splash Mountain for swine.
The waitress used a square-cut radish skewered by a lollipop stick to clean off the crackly bits that had stuck to the searing hot surface (quite effective!). Periodically she’d remind Krista not to cut the pork herself. (Silly white girl, don’t play with scissors!)
Instruction was big here. In fact, the menus had explicit instructions in fabulously broken English about how to enjoy your pork. And how each flavor of pork was good for something, like digestion or stress. The digestion part was obviously falsified, as the group found about 3/4 of the way through the meal. They were stuffed.
Everyone but Sam and Krista tapped out. Sam is hardcore, so he needed no encouragement. Krista, on the other hand, only stayed afloat due to the waitress introducing her to a technique she hadn’t been employing: using the round slivers of pickled radish as a sort of taco shell.
With a few slices with the diakon as the vessel, she was back in the game. The acid cut the fat perfectly. Her extra life kicked in. Then she discovered the shiso leaf and the raw garlic; paired with the curry pork it was a perfect trifecta.
They rolled out, and agreed to meet again. Soon.863 S Western Ave., Koreatown; (213) 365-1750