- Reporters Desk
By Katrina Guevara, Contributor
As the first of its kind restaurant, Haewah Dal will open its doors to the Belmont Shore community in the fall. The Chung family hopes to widen its patrons’ palettes by serving Korean food other than the infamous kbbq.
The Chung family brought on Chef Jake Jung to elevate Korean cuisine with staple ingredients that include soybean paste, hot pepper and soy sauce. Jung has experimented with Haewah Dal’s tasting menu to include everything from lobster to osetra caviar to vegetarian options. Working previously in the kitchens of Daniel Boulud and Gordon Ramsay, he has adopted styles of his own. Jung has incorporated techniques from Southern French cuisine, like wrapping sea bass or any type of fish in julienned potatoes.
“Originally [the French dishes are] comfort food, but I made it my own as a Korean luxury dish to be paired with wine,” said Jung.
The dish “Haemul Tang” features monkfish, sea bass, red snapper, clam, mussel, gochujang and fish broth. The “Black Cod” menu item includes crispy potato, baek kimchi and doenjang guk.
Jung has done extensive research on restaurants around Los Angeles and prepped ingredients weeks in advance for the 5, 6 or 10-course tasting menu items. Black garlic cloves are arranged in a giant bowl outside of the kitchen to age, while racks of meat are in the freezer to be dry aged for weeks.
Carrying his notebook close at hand, the Paris and New York-trained chef constantly takes notes whether he is brainstorming with his crew or picking celery at the farmers market.
Just like the Haewah Dal story of the sun and moon’s relationship, the Chung family’s relationship with the community is likened to that of a supporting role.
After leaving their parents nest in Cerritos for New York City, both the Chung children have been travelling back and forth in the last months to help construct Haewah Dal. Architect Davis Owen worked with the given inspiration of traditional painting irworobongdo to represent the sun, moon and five mountain peaks at the restaurant. The curvature of the ceiling, soft tones and microforest of greenery of the interior reflect a moment of respite amongst a sea of midcentury style furniture.
Haewah Dal will open at 5020 E. 2nd St., Long Beach