PLEASE be mindful of Pleasure Palate's Attendance and 3-Strikes Policies regarding cancellations with less than 24 hours notice and "No Shows." This event is being cross-posted with Gay Foodies.
A fellow member, Billy, suggested that I host an event at a Korean BBQ restaurant that specializes in serving 6 or 7 kinds of pork. After some researching, I believe he was talking about Palsaik Samgyupsal, which literally translates as "8 colors" and "bacon," and those 8 colors are reflected in the sliced pork belly being marinated in 8 different preparations: Original, Wine, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, and Red Pepper Paste. The 8 different marinated slices of pork belly is served on a long narrow tray, housing each slice in its own dish with each dish labeled by the flavor. The pork belly is served with standard banchan. Then let the grilling begin!
Each order of the marinated pork belly can easily be shared by 2 people.
In addition to the marinated pork belly, there is also a combination platter of non-marinated slices of different cuts of pork which one can order.
An array of side dishes including soups, noodle soups and dumplings are available for purchase a la carte to enhance the meal.
Renown food critic, Jonathan Gold, wrote in the LA Weekly back in July 2011:
"Strips of meat sizzle and dance on slanted metal griddles. The fat trickles down through an iron slot into inset receptacles, barely pausing on its journey to moisten bean sprouts and grilling onions. When the meat caramelizes on one side, you flip it over with a pair of tongs; when it is done, you snip it up and wrap crisp scraps in a leaf of the Korean herb ggaenip, use them to garnish a salad or roll them up in scarlet rounds of marinated daikon. You are eating a lot of vegetables with your sam- gyeopsal. There are no panchan, small side dishes, but there is a bowl of lettuce soup enriched with clams, octopus and fresh crab, a soup that gets thicker and spicier as the meal progresses.
The Tokyo X pork belly Park's brings in sometimes is probably a better quality of meat. But what separates Palsaik from places like Honey Pig and L.A. Toad is the variety of marinades. The basic unit of consumption here features eight thick slices of belly, each folded into its own neat containers, which are in turn lined up on long platters in strict order of pungency. (If you reverse the direction of the platter, a waitress will be there within seconds to turn it back around.) The mildest is unmarinated, then ginseng, wine and garlic. The second round includes pork marinated in herbs, curry, miso and the chile paste gochujang.
Between rounds, you will scrub the grill with a chunk of radish impaled on a stick, an oddball act of housekeeping that is even more pleasurable than it seems."
You can read the complete review here: http://www.laweekly.com/2011-07-28/eat-drink/jonathan-gold-reviews-palsaik-samgyeopsal/
You can also listen to a report on Palsaik by food critic Jonathan Gold on Evan Kleinman's show "Good Eats" on KCRW: http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/jg/jg110826pork_belly_as_health
Yelp reviewers give Palsaik an average rating of 4.50 Stars out of 5.00 from about 269 reviews. You can read those reviews here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/palsaik-samgyupsal-korean-bbq-los-angeles-2
It would be convenient if every 2 people share in one combination marinated pork belly platter, which runs about $50.00 each. Side dishes such as ramen, kimchi stew or cold noodles can be added at an additional cost. At the end of the meal, kimchi fried riced will be prepared at the table by the wait staff. You can take a look at their dinner menu on their website: http://palsaikbbq.com/
The anticipated cost of this dinner is about $40 to $60, depending on how much food you order, any beverages, plus tax and gratuity. I recommend that you bring at least $80 to $100 in CASH to settle your portion of the bill.
Since Palsaik is located within a strip mall, there should be ample parking in the mall's parking lot. You also have the option of street parking. Just be sure to read the street signs for any parking restrictions and if you need to still feed the meters when parked at a metered space.
We will meet inside the lobby of the restaurant about 5 to 10 minutes before our 7:00pm reservation. As always, please call or text me if you arrive before I do, or are running late, or are lost. I will email my number to all attendees the morning of the event.