You’re probably thinking, how’s Ondal 1? That is a question I have no answer, but I would guess it’s probably closer to Ktown than this place. Yes folks, this very KOREAN restaurant is not really located in the general vicinity of Koreatown. There’s a lot of Hispanic businesses around. In any case, the place was filled with Koreans, so we knew it had to be good. It’s a place many have been wanting to try, but requires bigger parties. Ondal 2 is known for their spicy crab soup. When you walk into the restaurant, you know for sure that there is definitely some seafood cooking. The air is rich with that indescribable delicious ocean smell. Hates Asian Food, The Communist, Soprano Man, Buff Bear, and myself gathered for some seafood spicy soup goodness.
All pretty standard…
…but this was my favorite.
Tofu spicy sauce
We loved how the tofu still retained the shape of the container from which it came, like a plastic tube. It was silky smooth and deliciously seasoned with the spicy sauce.
I don’t see this dish too often at many Korean restaurants. I’ve only had it at So Kong Dong, but I never like it much there. Here, it was ok. Maybe my taste for Korean things is just growing.
Spicy Crab Soup
We opted to get the Large size which included 5 crabs, even though the waiter recommened the extra large with 6 crabs since there were 6 of us. It worked out because we just split and shared anyways. So first they come with this big pot of fragrant spicy soup filled with mushrooms, crabs, and bean sprouts.
They then prepare the crabs at your table to include some meat and rice.
After eating your meat/rice filled crab shell, you dine on the delicious soup and vegetables in the stew. A part of me wished the plentitude of bean sprouts would magically transform into noodles. That would have been more satisfying because it got very tiresome eating soup and sprouts. The crab legs were good but difficult to eat because they were on the small side. That’s one reason I prefer lobster over crab, less mess! I’m someone that refuses to eat with her hands. Soprano Man also noted the crabs could have been more fresh and as a result, more meaty. The whole table agreed, but this did not seem to stop anyone from pigging out.
The next part of experience, was the fresh pasta.
Small flat pieces were pulled off by hand and dropped into the stew to cook.
The result was delicious al dente irregularly shaped flat pasta pieces.
The best part, in my opinion, was the fried rice that was prepared at the end. With the addition of kimchi and other pickled vegetables, seaweed, spicy sauce, and a bit of the seafood stew liquid, a delicious fried rice was prepared at our table.
Look at how it glistens!
Mmmm….I tried to not carb overload and only had a small bit of rice even though I wanted so much more! I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad fried rice at the end of a Korean meal.
Ondal 2 was good because it was a different Korean food experience for everyone. It provided the similar flavors distinct to Korean cuisine that we all love, but delivered in a new way, with crab and spicy stew. Having all the different “courses” to the meal was also very fun, like “Oooo, what’s next???” The crab could have probably been fresher and meatier, but it was still good in the end. The broth was rich with flavor, and I loved the rice at the end. Come if you want to experience something different.