(credit: istockphoto)

(credit: istockphoto)


Navigating the culinary theme park that is Koreantown is an exciting though daunting experience, with hundreds of restaurants offering a myriad of banchan, bbq, and everything in between. It would take a lifetime, at least, to sample all the spectacular Korean eats K-Town has to offer. Would it be worth it? Possibly. But if you’re looking to tackle the absolute best of the best start with these.

(credit: Daniel L./yelp)

(credit: Daniel L./yelp)


Kalbi Dor Sot Bibim Bap
Jeon Ju
2716 W. Olympic Blvd. #101
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 386-5678

Eating at Jeon Ju is an exercise in simplicity. You’re just have to order the bibimbap, the sizzling stone rice bowl that’s become a signature of Korean cooking. You’ll then mix the seasoned vegetables, fried egg, some chunks of kalbi, a squrt or two or three of chili paste, and, of course, the perfectly crisped rice. You’ll take a bite (make sure it’s not too hot!), smile, and enjoy one of the great dishes in all of Los Angeles.

(credit: Galbi JJim)

(credit: Galbi JJim)


Galbi JJim
Sun Nong Dan
3470 W. 6th St. Ste. 7
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 365-0303
www.sunnongdan.com

This 24-hour bone soup specialist is worth a visit anytime of the day. While the doganee tang is certainly a must-order, Sun Nong Dan’s epic galbi jjim, a homestyle combination of tender short ribs, potatoes, green onion, and addictively chewy tubes of rice cake tossed in a fiery red spicy sauce, is truly the main event. Don’t be scared off by the price tag, the “small” easily feeds two or three. For added value, go with the combo which comes with soup and soju.

(credit: Angela A M./yelp)

(credit: Angela A M./yelp)


Grill Any Of Their Meats
Soowon Galbi Restaurant
856 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 365-9292
www.suwongalbi.com

There’s a reason why when you ask someone who knows about Koreatown and where to go one of their first recommendations is a place on Vermont called Soowon Galbi. The fun starts when you walk in the front door with this lively and fun restaurant. Sit down, order up any of their meats, and find yourself sipping on Korean beer while you grill your own meat. But, don’t worry: their servers come around and give you tips to help you cook, and figure out the best time to flip the meat.

(credit: Yelp – JiHyun K.)

(credit: Yelp – JiHyun K.)


Pork Ribs
Ham Ji Park
3407 W. 6th St. Ste. 101C
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 365-8773

It’s hard enough to come up with the best dishes in Koreatown, let alone the best dish at this always-packed 6th st. porkcentric staple. The gamja tang (pork neck soup) and pork ribs are both spectacular but if forced into a Sophie’s choice situation, the ribs just might win by a snout. Sweet and salty with the ideal char, these bad boys could go toe to toe with the best bbq ribs anywhere.

(credit: Mimi S./yelp)

(credit: Mimi S./yelp)


Kalbi Short Ribs
3136 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 387-3865

Soot Bull Jeep is one of Koreatown’s most popular restaurants for a reason. Foodies and those who aren’t as much in the know love this popular spot where you can grill marinated beef over a charcoal with friends and eat Korean BBQ. One of their most popular dishes to order and grill are their Kalbi short ribs. Simply throw it on the grill, leave it for a while, flip, repeat and then eat. It’s delicious.

(credit: Park’s BBQ)

(credit: Park’s BBQ)


Park’s Gal-bi
Park’s BBQ
955 S. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-1717
www.parksbbq.com

For over a decade, Park’s BBQ has served as the gold standard for Korean BBQ, providing for gloriously marbled steaks that rival anything served in Beverly Hills and an array of other delectable cuts of meaty goodness for your grilling enjoyment. Best of all is Park’s Gal-bi, prime short rib marinated in the restaurant’s signature soy-based sauce. High quality meat comes at a cost, but Park’s is worth the splurge,

(credit: POT)

(credit: POT)


Beep Beep
POT
3515 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 368-3030
www.eatatpot.com

The Line made an immediate splash in K-Town thanks largely to the hotel’s big name collaborator, local culinary hero Roy Choi. POT, one of the hotel’s two restaurants from Choi, has the celebrated chef going back to his roots, sort of. This ain’t you grandma’s food, unless, of course, your grandma prepares beep beep, the dynamite-inspired creation where uni takes center stage. The crispy rice and creamy topping make an ideal couple that proves our current urchin obsession isn’t simply a fad.

(credit: Yelp – Esther K.)

(credit: Yelp – Esther K.)


Bossam
Kobawoo House
Seven Vermont Plaza, 698 Vermont Ave. #109
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 389-7300

The current B.M.O.C. of K-Town, Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong is certainly worthy of the hype. Those that decide to brave the near-inevitable wait for a coveted grill-top table will be rewarded with some of the city’s best Korean BBQ. Aside from offering excellent value, the pork combo also gives diners the chance sample the Instagram-worthy strips of beautifully marbled neck. Snap your pic, throw that neck on the grill and get familiar with your new favorite cut of swine.

(credit:  Jason A./yelp)

(credit: Jason A./yelp)


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

The bar formerly known as The Windsor Restaurant 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 for a massive portion of their signature juicy, crispy-skinned, deep-fried chicken. One bite and you’ll fall in love.

(credit: Yelp – Carol L.)

(credit: Yelp – Carol L.)


Bajirak Kalgooksoo
Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo
3470 W 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 388-2326

When a restaurant is named after a particular dish, chances are that’s what you want to order. At Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo, a tiny, non-descript noodle shop, that definitely holds true. Their bajirak kalgooksoo is a sublime bowl of clams and al dente hand-cut noodles bathed in a bright, briny broth. Rain or shine, in sickness and in health, this hearty soup is sure to satisfy.

Article by Dave Klein.

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