Below, some steamed vegetable dumplings (they were pretty good but the problem was that we had ordered the shrimp dumplings):
My Doppleganger had organized a girls' night out at Maru, a restaurant discovered by Chickfillet who knows of every restaurant in town. I was really looking forward to going here because I had seen the luscious photos that MD took of food at the reconnaissance dinner. Also, I had done a little research ahead of time and on Citysearch two reviewers raved about Maru.
While there were some very good dishes, this restaurant turned out to be a little underwhelming. First, they change their menu often so dishes that people had recommended were no longer available. Second, a lot of items on the menu where not available like the mung bean pancake! (How could they be out of pancake? We were very disappointed.) Third, some of the items that we ordered were just ok - the Bulgogi tasted good but I've had much better elsewhere. We ordered a stir-fried pork belly with chili sauce, kim chee, and onions, but the pork belly was very chewy (pork belly should be like butta), the sauce wasn't spicy, and the whole dish seemed to be lacking a certain finesse.
Above, a huge plate of Chap Chae served as part of the pan chan. I really liked this Chap Chae but the other pan chan were just ok at best - Sa Rit Gol really seems to have the best pan chan in town.
Above, one of my favorite Korean dishes Bibimbap (isn't that a cute name? It's a rice dish with various vegetables and meat served with a sweet chili sauce on the side.) I thought that Maru did a fabulous job with this dish and it was my favorite of the night. Though, it was supposed to be served with a fried egg and many of the girls got a little peeved that it was omitted.
This restaurant is a little hard to find: it's on the northeast corner of Western and 4th Street in a big yellow building with a theater marquee (you can not see the restaurant from Western.) Entrance to the building and parking are on 4th Street.
356 S. Western Avenue #201
Los Angeles, CA 90020