Best Bars in Koreatown

September 11, 2016 6:29 AM

(credit: Lock & Key)
(credit: Lock & Key)

Koreantown has long been one of L.A.’s premiere dining destinations. But if you’re looking to get your drink on, K-Town is sure to satisfy as well. While soju and Hite continue to reign supreme on the booze hierarchy, alcoholic options are aplenty from must-stop bars that are both old school and new school and even new school with an old school feel.

What are your favorite bars in Koreatown? Share in the comments below!
(credit: Yelp/Natasha K.)

(credit: Yelp/Natasha K.)


Lock & Key
239 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 389-5625
www.lockandkey.la

You might have some difficulty finding your way into Lock & Key (we won’t give away the surprise) but once you make it into this recently-opened hot spot it’ll be worth the effort. The inventive craft cocktails like their Razzle Dazzle or Torpedo won’t disappoint and pair well with the bar’s speakeasy vibe. If you can’t figure out a way into a K-Town after-hours party, this is the next best thing.

(credit: The Prince)

(credit: The Prince)


The Prince
3198 ½ W. 7th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 389-1586
www.theprincela.com

Formerly known as The Windsor Restaurant, this bar has firmly established itself as a K-Town legend over the last several decades. Viewers of “Mad Men” and “New Girl” probably recognize the regal surroundings of The Prince but its best experienced in-person, especially during happy hour when drinks are 50 percent off! Let’s face it, if the The Prince is good enough for Mad Men’s Don Draper, it’s good enough for you.

(credit: Yelp/Adam Neil Z.)

(credit: Yelp/Adam Neil Z.)


Beer Belly
532 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 387-2337
www.beerbellyla.com

If you’re looking to pre-game before a Korean BBQ dinner, Beer Belly is both a blessing and a curse. Sure you’ll find an impressive selection of craft beers from the likes of The Bruery, Smog City, and other local craft heavyweights, but then you’ll also take a glance at the menu of elevated bar bites and you’ll say to yourself, “man, those duck fat fries sound good.” Suddenly you’ll find yourself awash in a sea of empty pint glasses, clutching the final bite of a duck french dip and unfortunately Korean BBQ will have to be put on hold. And it will be totally worth it.

(credit: Yelp/Richard K.)

(credit: Yelp/Richard K.)


HMS Bounty
3357 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 385-7275
www.thehmsbounty.com

Don’t let the dive bar vibe fool you. It’ll be tough to find a place more welcoming than the HMS Bounty, the shoebox-sized watering hole in the Gaylord apartments. Keep things simple and go with the house speciality: a bottle of beer and a shot for $5. Your wallet will be very happy for it. Best described as a dive bar, this watering hole offers great service and great food nonetheless. Its as reliable of a drinking spot in Koreatown as you’re going to get.

(credit: Allyzon T./Yelp)

(credit: Allyzon T./Yelp)


La Descarga
1159 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 466-1324
www.ladescargala.com

Koreatown’s La Descarga is one of those secret spots that adds a sense of special allure to it. To get in, you must get through a secret closet which leads you down a spiral staircase and into a Havana styled speakeasy. If you love rum, cigars and want to feel like you stepped into Cuba, then this is your spot. Once inside, you’ll be shown into the secret world of La Descarga, filled with a wide selection of rums, cigars, sexy dancers, and a live band.

(credit: Yelp/Janki P.)

(credit: Yelp/Janki P.)


Café Brass Monkey
3440 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 381-7047
www.cafebrassmonkey.com

Skip the “café” aspect of Brass Monkey and focus on the drinks because you’re probably going to need liquid courage if you’re going face the crowds at this popular karaoke bar. Go early on weekends if you want to show off your pipes and don’t be afraid if your vocals aren’t quite “ticket to Hollywood” worthy. Best of all, free parking!

(credit: Amanda S./yelp)

(credit: Amanda S./yelp)


R Bar
3331 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 387-7227
www.facebook.com

Set in the heart of Koreatown, R Bar is not so much a Korean bar as much as it is an American-style speakeasy. Located near the Metro Line, you’ll need a password to get in, so make sure to follow along on their Facebook or Twitter to get in. With live bands, comedy, karaoke, movie drinking games, and terrific drinks, it’s easily one of Koreatown’s best spots to throw back a few drinks.

What are your favorite bars in Koreatown? Share in the comments below!

Article by David Klein