In a continuation of my random jobs, I found myself working at the NAMM Convention, and working side by side with two Korean businessman/woman. With my broken Korean and their broken English, I found myself sweating bullets when they required nourishment. Where would we eat? What can satisfy them? Why do I suck so hard with Korean? I quickly called my friend and asked him to save me. Like a suicide negotiator, he talked me down and suggested Han Yang in Buena Park. With big thanks and my horrible sign language, I took my international coworkers in my car and drove to Han Yang.
First of all, I have to say that when you enter a parking lot and it's full, that's always a good sign. I looked around me once I stepped in and saw that everyone, except for one table that consisted of a black person, a white person, and a Hispanic person, were Korean. Two checks of goodness because that means they cater to Koreans, but also cater to non-Koreans. The interior was clean and there was a play of stone and clay in the theme for the restaurant. Looking around, you'd never know that this once was an A&W's fast food joint just a few years back. Good job on the redecoration!
The staff was friendly. Big smiles and quick to ask for your order. Quick to bring it out too. If you've ever been to a good Korean restaurant before, then you know how the service is like. It's the same here.
The food here was pretty amazing. The big recommendation that my friend told me about was the Galbi tang, which is a brothy soup filled with glass noodles, green onions, and huge chunks of beef rib. The soup is very rich, having cooked for hours and hours to bring out all the essences from the ingredients. Also, you have to remember to season it to your taste. Therefore, pepper, sliced green onions, and crystallized sea salt are on the table for your use. My Korean coworkers, who were literally in Korea just 24 hours ago, ordered the galbi tang, and you know what they told me at the end of the meal? They absolutely loved it. Better than the galbi tang they've had in Korea. If that doesn't make me an impressive man, nothing short of juggling monkeys on fire would do. I was happy.
I ordered the tonkatsu, or pork cutlet, because I didn't feel like eating noodles. The katsu was different in texture than I've had in other places. It was moist and tender, but flaky on the outside with just the right amount of crunch. It was prepared in such a different way that even now I have a hard time believing it was coated in panko. I wonder what the secret is?! And of course, served with it was finely shredded cabbage with the special Korean dressing. I swear, if coleslaw tasted this good, I would eat it with everything. I love Korean salads. What a great meal.
It's not every day where you can take someone from another country, and impress them with their native cuisine in America. But when you do, boy is it sweeeeeeeet. That is exactly what I did here at Han Yang, and I have to say, the place lived up and exceeded my expectations. Now that I'm aware of this wonderful place, I plan on coming here more often. I need to educate myself in more Korean cuisine, and I think Han Yang is one lesson I'll often repeat.
7152 Orangethorpe Ave
Buena Park, CA 90621