Roy Choi's Pot opened in the Line Hotel in Koreatown on Tuesday, the prime spot for galbi-loving fans of '80s R&B looking for the edge of modern design and creative-agency touches along with the built-in option of an after-the-party-it's-the-hotel-lobby cocktail or shave ice.
On the menu: shared, family-style hot pots such as the Old School with bulgogi, noodles and kimchi and the Dak Dak Dak with spicy chicken and onions. On the soundtrack: Mariah Carey, Babyface and Bell Biv DeVoe (which, when you hear it, is almost as amazing as the first time you noticed P.M. Dawn was playing at A-Frame -- almost).
Located in the depths of the Line Hotel's lobby, past the cafe bakery and the lobby bar, Pot's front door is staffed by a friendly, plaid- or floral-uniformed host who will hand you a menu that looks like a newspaper and lead you to one of the restaurant's 92 seats at laminate-and-wood tables equipped with induction burners.
The Sean Knibb-designed room is minimalist, with pale floral walls and architectural accents such as beveled-edge tables with cubby-like shelves that hold cups and utensils, designer-y chairs and a Saarinen tulip table in one corner. The lighting's familiar, somewhere between the fluorescence of, say, Han Bat Sul Lang Tang and the more subdued glow of Beverly Soon Tofu.
The menu's divided into hot pots, which are the main attraction, and "other things" such as barbecue galbi, dumplings in chile dipping sauce, marinated blue crab, yellow fin tuna poke and the uni dynamite rice bowl, called Beep Beep, so called because Choi says he kept imagining the cartoon characters Wile E. Coyote (who's always getting blown up) and the Roadrunner (who's always saying "beep-beep") while designing the dish, which is bubbly hot uni creaminess on top of crisped rice.
"Other things" are the banchan that you'll pay $1 to $4 for, such as spice dried squid, pickled sea beans and napa kimchi.
As for the hot pots, the 10 pots of Pot, as follows, with prices for the small, medium and large. Individual pots also are available for $9 to $17.
The Boot Knocker: tofu; instant ramen; canned meats including Spam, corned beef hash, spicy pork sausage; rice cakes; fish cakes, chile paste, herbs pork and seafood broth ($23/$44/$55)
Dang, Son: spicy rice cakes, fish cakes, onions, chewy noodles, hard-boiled eggs, scallion, anchovy broth ($21/$38/$49)
Redondo Beach: spicy crab, bean sprouts, sesame, onions, nira, tofu ($35/$65/$86)
Dak Dak Dak: spicy chicken, onions, peppers, herbs, "funk" ($25/$49/$61)
Cabbage: soy bean paste, vegetables, tofu, squash, potatoes ($22/$41/$52)
Fisherman's Wharf: rock cod, crab, sardines, clams, mussels, fish roe, shrimp, tofu, daikon, scallion, sesame, spicy paste, herbs ($39/$72/$96)
Jamaal Wilkes: silky tofu, shrimp, clams, mussels, kimchi, scallion, pork belly, egg ($34/$56/$84)
Inside Story: wild sesame, tripe, blood, intestine, pork broth, herbs ($23/$45/$58)
Shorty: braised galbi, chstnuts, dates, taro, carrots, turnips, scallion, sesame ($35/$59/$85)
Old School: marinated prime rib bulgogi, noodles, kimchi, scallion, sesame ($36/$78/$94)
There is beer and wine and a limited cocktail list.
3515 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 368-3030, www.eatatpot.com.
ALSO:Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times