Sun Nong Dan
There are food cravings so intense that it doesn’t matter when they strike – they must be sated. For LA denizens, the solution to hot, spicy, salty cravings is close at hand. Found in a mini-mall in Koreatown, Sun Nong Dan is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and serves a menu of such craving-sating, soul-soothing dishes, many of which address needs you never even knew you had.
This is pure comfort food. But where some comfort food classics might address what you want in the moment, more often than not they feel like guilty pleasures. Amazing in the moment, but with plenty to regret later – whether for calorific intensity or over-indulgence. But not so at Sun Nong Dan. With broth that’s been simmered for hours and crafted using the freshest ingredients, each sip of their soups – like the ox bone or the spicy beef and leek – gives you the sensation of getting healthier. Nourished in some fundamental way. Same goes for the braised short ribs; they’re rich and tender and deeply satisfying.
The space in Koreatown might be bijou, but it’s generous where it counts – with the food. A big pot of soup and a selection of palate-zinging sides will set you up for the day or night ahead, depending on when you visit. After all, the dishes here are rightly popular week and day-round; they’re particularly admired for their restorative properties by Angelenos who’ve overindulged in a night out. With a cold soda or a crisp beer, a meal here is just what you need – whether you know it or not.