Koreatown restaurant with blowfish specialty closes doors after 26 years

October 30, 2015
Daebok will be replaced by another seafood restaurant. It closed its doors after 26 years of operation due to dwindling puffer fish supplies. (Korea Times/Park Sang-hyuk)

Daebok will be replaced by another seafood restaurant. It closed its doors after 26 years of operation due to dwindling puffer fish supplies. (Korea Times/Park Sang-hyuk)

By Brian Han

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to eat a blowfish?

The ballooning creature is considered a delicacy in some cultures, but can be poisonous if it isn’t prepared properly.

Well, Los Angeles residents may have lost their only chance to try it at a local restaurant.

Daebok, located on the corner of James M. Wood Boulevard and West Lake Ave.,has recently closed its doors after 26 years of operation.

The reason behind the move is simple. Supplies of puffer fish can be unpredictable to the point where it no longer became profitable to specialize in these types of dishes.

According to industry sources, many barriers exist to bring the fish into the states due to the health concerns it carries when dealing with human consumption, and it has become very difficult to secure a steady flow of supplies.

Daebok, which opened in 1989, had built up a reputation for being one of L.A.’s must-try restaurants. Los Angeles Times food critic Jonathan Gold loved it so much that he put it on his top-100 restaurants-to-try list back in 2013.

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