Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul.
There are plenty of Korean restaurants in the Dallas area that serve shul lung tang, but none treat the boiled bone soup with the reverence that owner Don Lee does in the narrow kitchen of his soup-devoted restaurant LA Han Bat.
At any given time, up to four massive stock pots, large enough to bathe a full-grown Labrador in, bubble away in various degrees of completion. The first pot is filled with a slightly murky liquid, with large bones and hunks of meat protruding from the surface. As you move down the line, the pots have been boiled for hours and then days, resulting in a viscous, milky liquid that can warm you by scent alone. The soup has so much gelatin it will set up like dessert if cooled in the fridge, but when steaming hot, the broth rolls around the mouth with a unique, satiny texture.
Like many Korean dishes, a bowl of shul lung tang isn't complete until heat levels and aromatics are adjusted to a diner's liking. Chili paste is provided and should be used liberally, and plenty of green onions should be tossed in the bowl. Bites of pickled radish and kimchee and a bowl of rice provide contrasting textures and flavors that make this simple soup a complete meal.
Dumplings are available, plus cold noodles that are so spicy you'll be forced to eat them with care, but a visit to LA Han Bat without an order of shul lung tang and a cold Coors Light is a waste of a good day.
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