So Kong Dong’s New Dumpling House Has a Great $10 Lunch Special


Is there a better part of Los Angeles for lunch specials than Koreatown? Driving up Western or Vermont the signs surround you, touting $5.99, $4.99, even $3.99 (!!!) deals to entice cheap bastards like myself to go here, not there. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing mid-day deals over the past year, including the $10 pork plates at Kobawoo and Jang Choong Dong, the $6 menu at Mapo, and the Korean/Chinese feast you get at Dragon.  Not all of them might be considered top of their class, but they’re all worthwhile based on price, variety or sheer volume.

One place I wish I had lunch specials, but doesn’t is Jeon Ju, the dolsot bibimbap specialist on Olympic just west of Vermont.  But thankfully So Kong Dong Kyo Ja, sister restaurant to So Kong Dong Soondubu and located in the same strip mall, stepped in to save the day.


So Kong Dong has been around for years, serving up a much loved version of soondubu, the hot stone pot spicy tofu stew you’ll find at well known places like BCD Tofu House or Beverly Soondubu.  But recently they opened a new, connected restaurant, called So Kong Dong Kyo Ja- specializing in kal gook su (knife cut noodle soup).


They also have mandoo (dumplings) and pancakes, and everything is available ala carte.  But the best thing to get is the combo, which scores you a full bowl of soup, plus a mung bean pancake, two pieces of fish pancake, and two pan fried dumplings for $10.


Big fat win (key word being fat.)   Most combos will give you a smaller serving of the main dish (in this case, the soup) but at So Kong Dong Kyo Ja you get a full bowl of soup.  The $10 combo comes with their beef soup, but for $1 more you can upgrade to the clam.  I prefer beef, but they accidentally gave me clam (otherwise you would see a big scoop of ground beef over the top).  All in all a solid bowl of kalgooksu, with above average hand cut noodles.  Straight up, it wouldn’t pull me away from Myong Dong Kyo Ja, but once you toss in the little plate of fried stuff I was hooked.


It also comes with two forms of kimchi, the standard panchan for a kalgooksu place.  The white kimchi (baek kimchi) was salty and typical while the red kimchi had a fishy funk that made it really stand out.

Like many places in K-Town that specialize in Korean comfort food, there was nothing particularly exceptional about So Kong Dong beyond the fact that noodles were homemade and hand cut, but if you’re in the mood for a good bowl of kalgooksu, and you’re by yourself (i.e. you have nobody to share an order of mandoo or a mung bean pancake with) the $10 lunch special is a lifesaver… and they start serving naeng myun (cold noodles) in a few weeks.  In other words, I’ll be back.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • I love So Kong Dong, and am so excited they branched out into kalgooksu!
  • Their mung bean pancakes are really good
  • I love me some fishy kimchi
  • For $10 you get a gigantic bowl of soup, plus mungbean pancake, fish pancake and pan fried mandoo!?  Love the variety.

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I was hoping they would have a greater variety of mandoo
  • Their kalgooksu is good, but nothing to get super excited about
  • I hate fishy kimchi!

So Kong Dong Kyo Ja, 2716 W Olympic Blvd, 213-380-3737


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