Gone to Pot
At POT, Roy Choi's restaurant inside The Line Hotel in Koreatown, young couples huddle around bubbling gojuchang-laced hot pots wearing floral print aprons (provided by the establishment, natch) over their leather jackets.
Waiters--also dressed in floral prints--pour tumblers of chilled barley tea instead of water and slip you a little partitioned dish of banchan, a trio of marinated bean sprouts, cucumber kimchi and pickled sesame leaf stems. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Boyz II Men bump on the stereo overhead. You can order a glass of Gamay wine or a pint of Negra Modelo to go with the crispy, turntable-sized potato pancake known as pajeon ($10).
This is not Korean fusion: This is funky, uncompromising Korean food with a nose-clearing dose of Kogi attitude mixed in.
You'll probably over-order. Go for the Boot Knocker ($11) a spicy, herb-topped stew stocked with tofu, hot dogs, Spam, and instant ramen noodles. Get the Old School ($17), marinated bulgogi stew with glass noodles and ground sesame, too. Get the grilled squid rings with squishy rice cakes ($12). Get the Slurp Me ($17), Choi's riff on ganjang-gejang--a bowl of bisected raw blue crabs steeped in soy sauce until their innards soften and cure. It's utterly bizarre, strongly assertive and fantastic with spoonfuls of rice.
There is one way to do POT, it seems, and that is to simply dive in.
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