Eighth Street Soondae in Koreatown, Los Angeles, home to the best Korean blood sausage
Blood sausage. It sounds gross, but it’s delicious. Many cultures have a version, from the English black pudding to the Cajun boudin. Koreans have their own blood sausage, too, called soondae. The Korean version is chewy thanks to the inclusion of sweet potato noodles.
The first time I tried soondae at a Korean grocery store’s food court in Houston, I thought it was just okay: nothing special, a little dry.
Then I had it in Dallas from a little Korean deli. I dipped it in the salt, which enhanced the savory quality of the sausage, and I thought, Hmm, better.
Fast-forward years later, and I had it at Eighth Street Soondae in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. The place came recommended by a friend, and it did not disappoint. It was by far the best soondae I’d ever had (not that I’m a world-class soondae expert by any means). But I know what I like, and I like Eight Street Soondae.
Coming in through the door from the street, you encounter just a counter. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) This is where you can order your blood sausage combos to go (which many do—no lie, the hubs and I have ordered two large platters before and asked them to wrap it well so we could fly with it back to Houston). But upon passing through a side door, the space opens up to a full-scale restaurant, albeit quiet with no music and very limited murmuring. I guess everyone is busy shoveling down their soondae.
There are two main things on the menu to try: the soondae plate or the soondae soup. We usually order the former, and it comes with a little side of chile salt in which to dip your sausage (trust me, this is essential). You can get a platter with additional offal, but I prefer to stick with just the sausage. It’s pretty large and enough to share with a companion (or two or three), as was the case this time since we’d just eaten lunch at Kobawoo House. But the sausage was so good, the four of us left standing still polished off the plate.
The soondae comes pre-sliced into bite-sized pieces, but you can also request the sausage be kept whole if you’re taking it to go—that way, the sausage won’t dry out as quickly. If you’re adventurous and/or love trying new foods, go here for the very best Korean blood sausage. Even my mama-in-law says so.
Eighth Street Soondae
2703 W. 8th St. (At S. Hoover St.)
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Ph: +1 213 487-0038