Jonathan Gold finds the ultimate hangover cure at Ham Ji Park

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We’ve all got our own go-to hangover cures. So where does Jonathan Gold go after a night of heavy drinking? To the original Ham Ji Park in Koreatown to sop up all the booze with some serious porky goodness.

If Ham Ji Park sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve been to the popular Sixth Street location or to the restaurant’s newest outpost in Buena Park. Long before either location started dishing up Korean comfort food, though, locals were getting their gamjatang and dwaeji galbi fixes on Pico Boulevard. From 11 AM until closing, the staff there simmers tender, meaty chunks of pork neck with spine bones to make milky, collagen-rich gamjatang broth. The broth is seasoned with generous amounts of gochugaru, the red chile pepper flakes which are at the heart of Korean cooking. The resulting boiling hot bubbly chowder of potatoes and falling-off-the-bone meat is deeply satisfying and will cure all that ails you.

Alongside the sputtering bowls of gamjatang, you’re likely to see sizzling platters of grilled-to-order dwaeji galbi at Ham Ji Park. The spicy pork spare ribs are special here because they are first marinated in kochujang and other seasonings. Then they are cooked over an open flame before being brought to your table atop a bed of onions. Who needs the hair of the dog when you’ve got dwaeji gable to nurse that hangover?

Read the review of Ham Ji Park that Jonathan wrote for the LA Times and find more restaurant recommendations here.

Ham Ji Park - Pork Spare Ribs
Jonathan Gold says, “The ribs are crisp, beautifully caramelized and not too sweet — a massive pile to be snipped into edible mouthfuls at the table with a pair of scissors.” (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Recommendations: At Ham Ji Park, it’s really all about the gamjatang (pork neck stew) and the dwaeji galbi (pork spare ribs).

Location: 4135 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019 | (323) 733-8333

Ham Ji Park - Guys
The lunch crew at Ham Ji Park (L to R): Ben Cox, Joey Hafner, Tony Kim, Jeff Greco and Freddie Chabot. (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)