I stumbled upon mixed messages while researching Mirak, a temple of goat delicacies in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. While Yelpers claimed that goat meat contained properties beneficial to women, bloggers alluded that it had a Viagra-like effect on men. Now that I’ve had my fill of the meat in question, I must say that both health claims are dubious at best and beside the point really. One ought to eat goat because it is delicious. Period.
Goat comes grilled, roasted, and stewed at Mirak. The Astronomer and I took a cue from the parties dining beside us and ordered a goat hot pot for two ($15 per person).
Before the main attraction arrived, our waitress brought over a few banchan for us to nibble on. There were two types of kimchi (cabbage and radish), marinated bean sprouts, and blanched broccoli and cauliflower drizzled with a sweet red chili sauce.
Our favorite of the bunch was the gamja jorim, glazed potatoes imbued with soy sauce and sugar. We asked for seconds and our request was answered with a smile.
Soon after, our stew arrived at the table gurgling and boiling. On top was a mass of herbs and vegetables including perilla leaves and unidentified green stalks.
A little stir married the greenery with the broth and wilted them to an edible state. We ladled portions into shallow plastic bowls and went at it with spoons.
The steaming hot broth was wholly savory, with a distinct gamey flavor from the goat and a slight kick from the chilies. When we slurped too fast, the spice hung onto our throats, burning on its way down.
The best part of the brew was the hunks of tender goat meat. We were served a condiment dish filled with mustard seeds, mustard, chili sauce, and scallions to pair with it, but the meat was so delightful on its own that no further enhancements were needed.
After we finished the last of the stew, our waitress came over to the table with rice, seaweed, and chopped kimchi. It was time for the carbohydrate portion of our meal, my favorite.
Two heaping bowls were dished out once the rice had become properly crisp along the bottom of the pot. Cooked in the dredges of the goat stew, the rice took on a deep and delicious flavor; the addition of seaweed and kimchi was unbeatable.
While our waitress was neatly packing up the leftovers, I inquired about the virtuous qualities of goat meat. A smile crept across her face and she gave me a knowing look. From skin to hair to reproductive organs, goat meat was just the thing for women, she said. And there you have it.
1134 South Western Ave. #A2
Los Angeles, CA 90006
There’s more to eat in Koreatown:
- Aladin Sweets & Market – Los Angeles
- BonChon Chicken – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Chicken Day – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Don Dae Gam – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- DonDay – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Dwit Gol Mok (DGM) – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Fat Fish – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Hite Kwang-Jang – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Hollys Coffee – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Jeon Ju Restaurant – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Kobawoo House – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- KyoChon – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Miljip House of Noodles – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- OB Bear – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Shoubo Izakaya – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Tahoe Galbi Restaurant – Los Angeles (Koreatown)
- Tofu Village – Los Angeles (Koreatown)