Name of restaurant: Cho Man Won
Follow the money: This casual restaurant is owned by the same people as O Dae San, an all-you-can-eat barbecue joint, next door.
What dish represents the restaurant, and why? They’re known for their Korean Chinese cuisine. Although they serve the typical jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) and jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup), the real treats are their mandu (Korean dumplings). They have jjin mandu (steamed dumplings) filled with kimchi and pork or vegetables and pork, nicely plump in their almost translucent skins. Their goon mandu (fried dumplings) are the typical crescent-shaped deals with crispy skins and also filled with meat. Their English menu with photos makes it easy to order.
Concept: Korean Chinese with an outdoor patio
Appropriate for: a casual meal with friends, especially if you’re still waiting for your next paycheck.
Uh-oh: If you’re not Korean, the ahjummas (Korean women) may point you to the BBQ place next door, thinking you’ve made a mistake. They only accept credit cards for bills $20 and over. Go while their dumplings are still on sale.
Service is pretty good, and the servers even speak English. You’ll still have to flag someone down to get the check, but that’s the Korean way.
What are you drinking? Probably just some of their complimentary ice water, because who really wants apple or orange juice with their dumplings? If you must, you can also get Coke, 7Up or Sprite.
Info: 2881 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. (213) 249-9900.
The Scouting Form is a quick look at restaurants worth a visit. Scouts were selected by restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, who may or may not agree with a single word.