Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Goat, It's What's For Dinner: Chin Go Gae, Korea Town

One goat lover spoke to another and in a matter of time - let's call it a LA minute -  a group of goat-curious and hard core goat aficionados joined forces for a goat meat affair. I am part of the hard core goat aficionados group, having feasted on roasted goat in Greece multiple times, thus igniting my passion for gamey farm animals. But black Korean goat stew was something else. My friend and fellow goat meat lover, Katrina, had scouted out this place for some time. When she called to secure the ressies the Korean lady on the other side of the phone asked her if she had meant to call the Chinese place. Nope, we don't want no stinkin' moo shu pork, we want Korean goat, lady!

Katrina and I ducked in early, to confirm the ressies and, voilà, the KGS (new acronym I just invented for Korean Goat Stew) staff  had our station rearing and ready to go.

As we waited for the rest of the goat group to join us, we sipped delicious barley tea. This was a first for me, never having barley tea in my life. It was nutty with a slightly smokey note. After the first sip, I was ready to order beer, but after the second and third sip, the tea kind of grew on me. By the end of the night I was pounding carafes of it. But I did partake in some lovely hite beer.

The menu is rather simple. There are less than 10 items to choose from, but we knew from home girl's research to order #1 Yeum So Tang $15 (goat stew) and #2 Yeum So Moo Chim $15 (roasted goat). Our waitress suggested we get 2 orders of each for the eight of us to share.

Of course, before our goat platters came out, an assortment of kimchi and banchan came out for some pre-goat pickle tasting. I liked the pickled cucumbers best because of the sour vinegar mixed with crunch. I was not a fan of the seaweed banchan - the textures seemed off and the sea kelp seemed a little dapper. The clean flavors of the clear noodles and purple cabbage made a great palate cleanser. I didn't feel like messing with the squid kimchi after hearing the negative reactions of my dining companions.

And soon our first platter of roasted goat came steaming out of the kitchen. It had a slight tang not only from the gamey goat itself, but from the tomato spice mixture it was cooked in. I really enjoyed the greens that were mixed in to the hacked up goat chunks.

A sort of roasted Korean sesame seed - perilla and spicy tomato paste were at the table to mix into our goat if we so pleased. It was not needed since the meat had so much flavor already, but I have to admit, the perilla, reminiscient of peppercorns, were fun to pop in your mouth.

Once we had cleaned most of the platter, the master piece, KGS, arrived. Our waitress came to check that our table's stovettes were going strong then brought the stew. She disappeared for a few minutes then came back with a pile of greens for wilting. I preferred the goat meat from the stew because it was much more tender than the roasted goat. The broth was amazing - complex and almost medicinal, but in a soul healing way. Not to be confused with nyquil.

 After we had cleaned up most of our communal stew platter, our waitress took the pot and came back with the rice portion for the night. Carbs at last! We tried to let the rice crisp up on the burners but the greedy gobbler from within couldn't wait. We took several scoops then smashed the rice down in the pot to maximize the surface area.

 Our happy bellies were full of goat and there were leftovers. The total came out to be about $27 a person, including about 6 bottles of hite, several bottles of soju and Korean black raspberry wine.

Chin Go Gae
3063 W 8th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 487-0159


Diana said...

Look at us TALFs going all KBBQ! We are so adventurous! ;)

So goat is good?

yutjangsah said...

I've never had goat! Maybe it's time to check it out. I love barley tea btw. refreshing!

Gastronomer said...

Aw, whatta night! I love me some goat. The Vietnamese make an excellent goat curry. Mmm!

Anna A. said...

Diana, score for us! Yes! Goat is good - I think you'd like it since you like lamb.

Yutjangsah, Goat is good stuff! I think there is also an African goat place in LA, along with the birria joints. I think the four of us should all go get our goat on.

Gastronomer, Mmmmmm Vietnamese goat curry... sign me up!

Kung Food Panda said...

I've been meaning to hit this place up after reading it on *ahem* Yelp. I guess it's high time I should check it out now!

Anna A. said...

KungFood, yup, yelp is how we found it. There is also another korean goat place on yelp, but chin go gae has a much smaller menu.

Peter M said...

Goat meat rules, I lurve Korean BBQ...pass the kimchi!