Koreatown: Porkbelly and Kimchi at Hot Pot Troops
Hot Pot Troops opened about two months ago. We found it while driving down Western looking for something warm on a cold night. I saw a sign for hot pot and thought fit the bill. As it turns out, it’s Korean stews simmering at your table, not Mongolian hot pot or Japanese shabu shabu. I didn’t mind because this meant we ate a lot faster!
For the two of us, we chose the medium hot pot of pork belly and kimchi. I was initially interested in the mushroom or dumplings hot pots but thought I could try it next time. I later found out Hot Pot Troops is better known for their military stew, aka budae jiggae. I don’t think my date would be into the random assortment of canned meats and instant ramen so maybe that’s another trip.
The medium pot came with three big pieces of pork belly and what looked like a head of kimchi! The server neatly cut up everything with scissors at the table.
While we waited for our pot, we got down with the banchan. I liked the assortment of kimchi, mungbeans, greens, summer kimchi, perilla leaves and a couple of other seafood-y bits. Hot Pot Troops also serves a bit of mushroom rice to be eaten with this garlic-y mixture (top left side dish).
We got rice to eat with our soup but you can get fried kimchi rice at the end when you’re done. The flavor only gets better as the stew bubbles away merrily at your table.
Hot Pot Troops301 S Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90020 — (213) 380-0188 © The Minty 2015