Daeho Kalbijjim & Beef Soup

When your large hot stone bowl of kalbijjim arrives at Daeho, your server will take approximately 53 seconds to erratically blowtorch the shredded cheese on top until it resembles a gooey mound of fire-roasted marshmallow. You’ll capture the dramatic tableside presentation on your phone, but you won’t be the first—their bubbling braised beef dish has achieved nano influencer levels of power. It’s also, mostly, worth the hype.

Getting the kalbijjim at this loud and lively Korean spot in Japantown involves lots of customization: spice levels, add-ons like the aforementioned white cheese and rice cakes (a must), and sides of white or purple rice. There are three varieties to choose from, but each one is filled with the most tender beef short ribs that miraculously pull off the bone in one piece. However, the sticky sauce is a bit too sweet for our taste, and that photo-worthy cheese pull works alongside the mild essence of propane torch taste. Still, we’re down for this bubbling stunner—it’s hearty, comforting, and a fun way to share a meal with four to five friends.

And since each one is $61-74 and more than enough food to feed a wrestler three times over, we have no problem recommending you skip out on the pretty decent bibimbap, seolleongtang, a Korean oxtail soup, and the kalbitang. Stick with the namesake dish, definitely scrape the bottom of the bowl for the crunchy bits, and keep their trio of exceptional kimchi, radish, and green onion banchan coming.

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