Restaurant: Dha Rae Oak
Location: 1108 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006. (323) 733-2474
Date: July 20, 2018
Cuisine: Korean BBQ / Duck
Rating: The pastrami duck was awesome, others so-so
Los Angeles’ Korea Town is a gold mine of interesting Korean restaurants.
And I’ve wanted to try Dha Rae Oak and its famed “stuffed duck” for years. And so even though I returned from China only 20 hours ago I head out to meet the guys.
A very unassuming frontage on Western.
The inside is a bit nicer, with the BBQ grills and hoods all over.
Pickled mustard green or something.
Yarom’s hedonist meetup page actually drew in someone new and young and female. She’s unlikely to want to hang out with us old fat guys again despite our scintillating conversation!
Salad. Very zesty dressing and nice texture. Sadly, this might have been my second favorite dish.
Dips for the meat. Spicy oil and mustard.
Plate o’ meat ready for grilling. Most of this is beef. Most of this was very dry, seemed over cooked and bland on the grill. Nowhere near as good as the usually heavily marinated KBBQ.
Pork belly or bacon. This was one of the better regular grilled meats.
Frozen sliced duck. Decent, but a touch dry.
Big sheets of short rib. This was pretty decent too.
Purple bean rice.
Skewers (from some other table).
Pastrami duck. This was by a factor of 3X the dish of the night. Smoked pastrami/corn beef like duck.
That is then lightly grilled to sizzle up the fat. Really excellent and takes the cold smoked duck (which is also good) up to 11.
Famous clay pot stuffed duck. The inside is stuffed with all sorts of Korean grains and seasonings. But it isn’t that strong and the meat itself was a touch dry. It was nice, but nothing amazing.
Pickled vegetable noodle soup.
This was okay too, with a little bit of heat, but I’ve had much better noodle soups.
Overall, I was kinda disappointed in Dha Rae Oak. I had thought the stuffed duck would be amazing. Instead it was the smoked duck that was the real winner. And that would have been totally fine if the bulk of the other dishes had been tasty, but a lot of the meats were under-seasoned.
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