Shrimp, Korean chicken, scallops and frog leg skewers. Fried chicken wings. Broiled fresh water eel. Spicy octopus with assorted vegetables. Korean hash browns. Kimchi. This is the roll call at Dan Sung Sa in Koreatown along with the complimentary soup to start and shoestring sweet potato chips drizzled in sugar.
As the Korean music blasts (which oddly sounds precisely like Neil Diamond at some turns, Bob Dylan at others and then Pebbles (!) no less but in the mother tongue) the regulars in the corner drink and smoke and The Monster contemplates what “spicy pork next bone soup with whole potato” tastes like? He’ll never find out.
What he does discover is Dan Sung Sa is a hidden gem where spicy means just that and friendly service (from broken English waitresses) and an encyclopedic menu of Korean nibbles is a recipe for over-ordering. The reasonable prices do little to tell you just how large the portions are so take it slow before you call out ten dishes and find your table is woefully small to hold all the treats that will fast be coming your way.
Dan Sung Sa is a perfect venue to drink copious amounts of soju and large bottles of Hite and then scribble inanity along the walls. In fact, Koreatown proper is the perfect nook for drunken debauchery where your antics will be little noticed. That’s speaking from experience of course. In the past Mama Monster, in the past.
With dim lighting and a smoky haze and safely ensconced in a booth, Dan Sung Sa is a wonderful facsimile of the real deal in Korea and works both as a place to snack and a locale to celebrate so long as you look past the picture of Dear Leader Kim Jong on the wall. And yes, this spot has gained a cult following after the other Dear Leader, err Bourdain, made a flyby.
As for the food, heat seeking missiles of spice, fried glorious chicken, charred skewers of love, along with assorted other delectable bites, it’s an excuse to eat between drinking and good times with friends.
Why go? You love K-Pop.
Monster rating: 3/5 Monsters
3317 West 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90020