So I first found out about this place thru my best friend and I thought i'd try this place out. Given that my family is really big on Sushi and Sashimi (especially Korean style) I didn't have too high expectations for Jeju Hwaluh. But nevertheless, it was food so I was definitely excited.
The below is all that comes in the Combo for 2 people with assorted sashimi. (You have the option for assorted sashimi or white fish sashimi only)
This is the usual start to a Korean style sashimi meal. It is a rice porridge called "Jook" and the Japanese call it "Congee". It is very thick and slightly salty. The base of the soup is usually made from chicken or turkey stock. Some people like to add soy sauce to this porridge to give it more of a little kick. I have found that depending on the restaurant, it may be necessary. This one in particular had great flavor and the saltiness was subtle but present. If you're trying this for the first time, definitely do not add soy sauce. Taste it first and if you feel it is too bland, add a little soy sauce.
Now on to my favorite part of Korean style meals, Banchan. Banchan is Korean for Side dishes. As many (or all) of you may know, if you go to a Korean restaurant, Banchan is a staple. Every Korean restaurant provides them in many variations depending on which restaurant it is, and what you have ordered.
This is a Squid and Vegetable side dish that is served chilled. It has julienned cucumber, white onion, chives, and squid topped wih sesame seed. The soup base is a mixture of water, red pepper paste, vinegar, and some sugar. It isn't too spicy although it looks like it is. So if you're still an amateur to spicy foods, you should be okay.
Starting top Left clockwise: Sea Snails, Chives, Steamed Squash , Seasoned Raw Tofu
Chives are seasoned with red pepper grounds and sesame oil with some soy sauce. I like to eat a couple after I eat a slice of Sashimi.
Steamed Squash has a sweet sauce poured on top which is liquid sugar. I'm not really a fan of sweet foods during a meal but some people love it.
This Raw Tofu was seasoned with Soy Sauce, red pepper grounds, and green onion. It is served cold.
Now on to the Sea Snails which need a little bit of work to get into...
This is a side dish that is very popular with this type of Sashimi meal. As you can see there are toothpicks provided along with the dish. There is a particular way for you to use the toothpick in order to pull the meat out of the shell. Here is a quick video (taken at a different restaurant) of how to pull the meat of of the shell.
There is a very thin round film that covers the hole of the shell. Use the toothpick to pick out the film and set aside. Now you will be able to see the meat that is inside the shell. Take the toothpick and poke the meat and while holding the shell with your left hand and toothpick in your right, turn each hand in opposite directions. The meat inside the shell is in a spiral shape so in order to not break the meat, you must pull it out in the shape it is in. Hope this helps and good luck! :)
Pictured on the left is a potato pancake. It is a little chewy in texture and tastes better with a little bit of soy sauce. (It's a little bland without the soy sauce. Just a little tip)
On the right is Pork Tonkatsu. It is a deep fried pork cutlet with sweet and tangy sauce. I didn't feel like this went well with anything else on the table so I only took a couple bites. Not my favorite. There is another place that is great for Pork Tonkatsu but I will save it for another post. :)
Pictured on the left: Fried garlic
Pictured on the right: Raw oysters with hot sauce and lemon juice with raw sea squirt on the side
Garlic goes well with anything. (in my opinion) But FRIED garlic?? The best way it can be prepared in my opinion. :) You can eat this along with any of the sashimi. Because it is cooked fully through, the taste is very mild. I must warn you, although the taste is mild, I would still suggest not to kiss anyone after eating these.
The raw oysters when I went on this particular day were big, but the actual flavor of the oyster was not sweet. The overall flavor was very fishy. But as you all know, a different day, a different oyster. For the sea squirt, if you are not familiar with eating this, chew very slowly. The outside of the sea squirt is very tough and usually is not meant to be eaten. I usually chew on the piece of sea squirt and then spit out the skin.
Now on to the good stuff....
This is their assorted sashimi platter. (Flounder, Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail, Uni, Abalone)
My favorites were the Abalone and Uni. Not the sweetest freshest Uni I had but very good compared to the rest out there. Make sure you ask for extra seaweed on the side for the Uni. It tastes much better wrapped in seaweed and dipped in soy sauce.
While they get you started on the sashimi, they start bringing out the second round of small plates.
This is a sushi roll which is a california room topped with raw scallops and vegetables, covered with eel sauce. If you like your sushi rolls sweet, you will like this. Or if you are like me and like the more simple rolls with less sauce, you might be okay after just a taste. You don't want to overpower your tastebuds with so much flavor and then go back to eating sashimi. It won't taste the same :(
This is cold soba noodle. The noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have a very light texture. The normal way this is served when ordering at a restaurant is with the soba noodles separately and a small bowl of the soup base for dipping the noodles. This is usually topped with ground radish and chopped green onion.
Here are some more small side dishes that come with the combo.
Grilled Mackerel... Tastes like any other grilled Mackerel hahaha. Always delicious. The texture of the fish is a little chewy but full in flavor. Lightly salted. Amazing.
This is a Korean dish called Agu Jjim (Monkfish stew). The main components of this stew is Monkfish and beansprouts. The Monkfish has a lot of bones so be careful when eating it. The texture of the Monkfish is very soft when chewing and falls off the bone fairly easily.
Random assortment of tempura which included fried oysters and potatoes. Interesting.. nothing special.
So when you go to a Korean Sashimi Restaurant, this is usually how the meal ends.
Pictured on the left is Nurungji (누룽지) which is made with boiling burnt rice in water. Although it sounds tasteless, when eaten with this spicy soup it is AMAZING. :) I also feel like it helps to wash down all the food you just ate.
On the right is a spicy seafood stew called Maeuntang (매운탕). In this particular soup at this restaurant, they add fish and crab. The soup is served in a scorching hot small clay pot so it's still boiling when it is served to you. These two dishes go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.
I know this seems like a lot and it is. But more than just going for dinner, go for the experience. It may be a longer dinner than usual but well worth it!!
Jeju Japanese Restaurant
4100 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Thank you for reading! Hope you Enjoy!
XOXO - Christine