Though it's only been open a couple weeks, Hanjip* is already proving to be one of the hottest tables in town. Bringing Korean BBQ out of K-Town, Hanjip is a must for BBQ lovers on the Westside, and for good reason. We're already big fans of restauranteur Stephane Bombet (his French restaurant, Terrine, is one of our favorite brunch spots), and partnering up with Chef Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage) seems like a strange but wonderful match made in foodie heaven. We came to dine on a weeknight and were pleasantly surprised to see the place bustling with people. The decor is markedly different than that of Terrine; instead of precious, beautiful details, the place is graphic, modern, and cool. And well, so was the food. Keep scrolling to see what we ordered.
As is typical with Korean BBQ, they started us off with a selection of small accoutrements, "Banchan," to hold us over while we waited on the meat. This included kimchi, potato salad, bean sprouts, fish cakes, an assortment of sauces, etc. It was all really good and a nice way to start off.
Perhaps my favorite of the night, the kimchi fried rice was fantastic. It had the soft, stickiness of a good fried rice, and the runny egg on top added to that even more. The spicy kimchi gave the dish a nice kick and a lot of flavor. We loved this and would come back in a second for more.
We decided to get the Beef Combo, as we thought this would give us a nice taste of a few things. The combo comes with Brisket, Boneless Short Rib, and a choice between Marinated Short Rib or Prime Ribeye, of which we picked the Ribeye.
All of the meat was really good. They clearly pick very high quality cuts, and the presentation was just beautiful. The Ribeye (on the left) was thick and juicy, while the boneless short rib (on the right) was really nice and tender.
The brisket was great too. It cooked quickly, and was fantastic when dipped in a bit of sauce. However, we felt that the meat in general could've used a bit more flavor. It could have just been the cuts we ordered, but they could've benefitted from a touch more seasoning or a marinade. When we sprinkled on a bit of salt and dipped them in some of the fantastic sauces they provided, it made a world of difference in terms of the flavor.
Overall, we really enjoyed the meal. Hanjip will only get hotter from here, and we can see why. With a cool space, a winning combination of experienced restauranteurs and a hot, rising Chef, and an option for Korean BBQ in Culver city, we're already predicting that westsiders will flock to this spot. With some incredibly interesting choices on the menu (Hamachi Collar, Uni Steamed Egg, and Bone Marrow Corn Cheese), we'll certainly be back soon for more.
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