As a lead up to all the grilling that'll be happening on the fourth, last week, we announced that we wanted you to tell us which restaurant had the best sausage in Southern California.
It was a tough competition, but Wurstküche — with locations in downtown L.A. and Venice — came out on top. But, their owners weren't in town to tell us their story or claim their prize, so we had to go with number two, Seoul Sausage.
Which to be fair, looks just as delicious on the grill. How about Galbi beef sausage? It's stuffed with a mix of beef and Korean spices, topped with kimchi relish and garlic jalapeno aioli on a soft roll.
Seoul Sausage was started in L.A. a couple of years ago by chef Chris Oh and brothers Ted and Yong Kim. The goal was to create sausages with uniquely korean flavors.
"We just figured hey if like italian people can have sausages, and chinese people can have sausages, why can't korean people have sausage?" said Ted Kim.
They had humble beginnings, making their sausages at home for their friends. Over time they graduated to food festivals, then to food trucks and eventually they opened up a restaurant.
So you're wondering, what's in a Korean sausage anyway?
"You got the standard soy, soy sauce, sesame oil, you got green onions, brown sugar...these are familiar flavors that korean people are used to eating with their bulgogi marinade," said Yong Kim.
It might not seem surprising to people in L.A. to see a sausage mixed with kimchi, but a couple of years ago the trio had to test our their food in parts of the country where Korean food is unknown.
They were competing on Food Network show, "The Great Food Truck Race."
"We went to cities like amarillo texas where they had no idea what Kimchee was. And we don't want to intimidate these people, so I think what we do a good job... is kind of I wouldn't say dumbing down, but kind of making the flavors very easy to digest. So, if you put these flavors into common foods like a hot dog and fried chicken... people understand it and they're more willing to try it out because they're more comfortable with it."
They ended up winning the competition, they sold a lot of product and they won over plenty of folks who were reluctant to try Korean food before they came along.
They're doing pretty well here in LA too and are currently in the process of opening their second restaurant in Downtown L.A.
But for now if you want to try a Seoul Sausage, you'll have to hunt down their truck or to head to their restaurant on the West Side.