Twenty Years.

That’s how long Mirak has been battling Chin Go Gae (or however the Romanization goes ) to be the goaty best in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

Mirak Koreatown

Why is Mi-Rak of interest at this particular moment? Cuz Americans have decided it’s cool to goat it up all the sudden — check out The Atlantic’s coverage of goat flesh last week. What better time to root for the underdog?

Chin Go Gae is the more well know option thanks to Yelp. It’s more spacious, in a bigger plaza, with more parking and a positively visible sign.

Mirak, OTOH, has less than a dozen tables. From the parking to the actual seating, everything screams claustrophobia, though the food & drink routine here is nearly the same as Chin Go Gae. Mirak, a mom & pop shop, only betters Chin Go Gae with its affable service & with equally affable affordable $5.99 soju.

Mirak Yeum So Tang Mirak Yeum So Tang Mirak Yeum So Tang Dipping Sauce

Is there any depth to this spicy stew of tender shredded goat, thickened by boiled down cartilage & fat, topped with perilla seeds & piles of perilla leaves ? Uhm, is there any sophistication in AYCE KBBQ? Despite all the published Korean literature (which I have obviously NOT read) stating the omnipotency of this dark odoriferous meat, deep down inside, every man knows eating a cute goat won’t make the pen0r bigger or provide more stamina during bedroom tangos. Nevertheless, a casual survey of the strip mall dining room yields a healthy 9:1 man:woman ratio. Out of the 9, 8 are shitfaced on $6 soju. Out of the 8, 7 are trying to prove goat’s shamanistic powers true. Out of the 7, I am one.

Evidence of Coreanas with red faces:

Pix of buncha drunk Korean dudes at Mirak

Though the goat may be powerless beyond providing tasty proteins, the deulkkae & kaenip, “wild sesame” and “shiso leaves” are proven medicinal herbs. The Chinese have used perilla seed oil to fight off colds, the leaves to stop nosebleeds, for hundreds of years.

In ’06, I wrote this of deulkkae :

is full omega3, improves memory, and is good for joints as well as vision.

Perhaps the medicinal property of this dish is simply misinterpreted by the Koreans, perhaps ancient Koreans were simply awed by goat sex. Who knows.

Finally, it behooves Angelenos to understand how fortunate we all are. Maangchi herself said she’s never had black goat stew as of summer of ’08! I didn’t discover this particular dish until June of ’06, per this post on LTHforum.com. Since then, we’ve eaten it all over Los Angeles. LA grubbers are lucky to not only have 1, or 2, but half a dozen restaurants serving this homely yet potent dish.

Mirak
1134 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 732-7577
Mirak on Urbanspoon

PS: Lest I forget, some will say the fried rice made with remainder goat stock is the best of the meal. For me, it’s simply signifies the end of the meal, so here it is, at the bottom. Don’t touch the rice before the bottom crisps, you will be berated by the ajuma:

Mirak Yeum So Bokkeum BapMirak Yeum So Bokkeum BapMirak Yeum So Bokkeum BapMirak Yeum So Bokkeum Bap

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  • http://dianatakesabite.blogspot.com/ Diana

    Tony, sometimes you scare me a little. But I do like crisped up fried rice…
    .-= Diana´s last blog ..Defiling My Buns with Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers =-.

  • http://www.recenteats.blogspot.com sku

    Hilarious post! I eat a lot of Oaxacan goat, not a lot of Korean, but I will certainly have to start. Between the two, I definitely seem to live in one of the goatier neighborhoods in LA. What does that say about our manhood?
    .-= sku´s last blog ..One Hot Tamale- Susan Fennigers Street =-.

  • http://gourmetpigs.com gourmetpigs

    What would happen if a girl eat lots of goat stew then? :p

    Though it sounds like I will need lots of wild sesame.
    .-= gourmetpigs´s last blog ..Luksusowa Vodka Seminar -amp Tasting- Can You Taste the Difference =-.

  • http://www.weezermonkey.com weezermonkey

    I’ve only had birria. I would like to try goat Korean-style.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Walter Manzke- Around the World in 8 Dishes =-.

  • http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com H.C.

    but you neglected to mention whether eating goat had “medicinal” properties for you afterwards!
    .-= H.C.´s last blog ..No 165- Vegan Ramen at The Shojin Little Tokyo =-.

  • TonyC

    HC, that’s GROSS mang. No one wants to know.

  • http://bananawonder.blogspot.com Anna A

    I’ll admit, I got a little goated out at Chin Go Gae by the end, and my face turned red like the coreans. Maybe it’s time to try Mirak?
    .-= Anna A´s last blog ..Coffee Mascarpone Muffins with Dark Chocolate and Raspberries =-.

  • TonyC

    GP: for women, black goat’s good for circulation, and should be eaten when preggers. s’posedly it can induce labor, etc. furthermore, according to what I read in ’06, the goat stew can “fight free radicals, prevent wrinkles, fight osteoporosis, cleanse liver/kidney and also improve your vision”. Or not.

  • http://theroamingbelly.blogspot.com bagnatic

    i don’t think i’ve ever had goat.
    .-= bagnatic´s last blog ..aloha roys ohana tour =-.

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