Time to brush up on your Korean as KBBQ is where it is at for dining in L.A. With a variety of seasoned meats on the menu that you can grill tabletop, popular dishes include Bulgogi (marinated thin sliced rib-eye), Galbi (marinated short ribs), LA Galbi (marinated short ribs cut “flaken” style), Dak Gui (spicy chicken) and Daeji Bulgogi (spicy pork). Most restaurants, including those recommended below, welcome guests to speak up about how spicy or not they prefer their meat as well, so get a group together for KBBQ to share in the delicious and authentic cuisine of Korea. Visit our other Best Korean Food picks in LA.
Wharo Korean BBQ
4029 Lincoln Blvd.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Sometimes the greatest restaurant gems of Los Angeles are located in obscure small shopping centers, which is exactly where you will find Wharo Korean BBQ. The cook-your-own restaurant has everything from Galbi to Bulgogi to Wharo’s signature short ribs marinated in a secret Seoul concoction. The meat here is top quality too. Spicy chicken Dak Gui, grilled salmon, calamari and shrimp are just some of the features on the menu. And, for vegetables, mushrooms, asparagus, eggplant, shishito peppers and zucchini are all great for grilling along with whatever meat you choose. Two distinctive traits at Wharo include the kids combo meal which includes miso soup, edamame, mixed veggies and chicken for BBQ-ing and rice, and the restaurant’s special happy hour BBQ which is just $19.95 per person.
Genwa Korean BBQ
170 N La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Come prepared to be your own chef at Genwa for a unique Korean BBQ experience that includes state-of-the-art smokeless grills at each table. At Genwa, you’ll have the option to grill various beef (Bulgogi, Deung Shim, Galbi), pork (spicy Sam Gyup Sal), chicken (Bulgogi), fish (salmon, shrimp and scallops) and vegetables and are encouraged to choose sauces from mild to spicy. If you really aren’t in the mood to grill your own, the kitchen will gladly do it for you. Aside from delicious meats and vegetables, you’ll start your delicious meal with traditional Banchan (including Kimchi), which is delivered table side with every meal. After dinner, enjoy a cup of traditional caffeine-free tea such as chrysanthemum blossom tisane or mulberry leaf tisane.
Seoul Tofu House
2101 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Many guests who have dined at Seoul Tofu House have said the food tastes just like home. While this Korean BBQ spot doesn’t offer tabletop grills, traditional and authentic BBQ dishes make up a good portion of the Seoul Tofu House menu. Order Galbi and Bulgogi on its own, or make it a combo meal with a choice of Soon Tofu. From non-spicy to extra hot, beef or pork, seafood (clam, shrimp, mussels and squid), oysters, vegetable or mushroom Soon Tofu, Seoul Tofu offers it all. An excellent first taste is the Kimchi dumplings to share with your table, which will also be accompanied by traditional Banchan. This usually includes Kimchi, fishcake, noodles and marinated vegetables.
Related: Guide To Kid-Friendly Korean Cuisine
856 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
A list of the best Korean places in L.A. would not be complete without Soowon Galbi. Located on Vermont Ave. in the heart of Koreatown, Soowon Galbi offers it all. And, whatever you order, you can be sure it will be excellent. With quality ingredients, authentic flavors and great service, the Korean hotspot offers lunch specials as well. Our favorite dishes, whether lunch or dinner, include their Bibimbop, as well as getting any meat and grilling it on the grill. You can’t go wrong.
225 S. Beverly Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Bibigo is a perfect casual restaurant to satisfy any Korean food craving. The café-style L.A. favorite features authentic Korean cuisine with a healthier twist. Find char-grilled Bulgogi, which is served with grilled mini zucchini, mitake mushroom and blanched bean sprouts on the menu for the BBQ craving, but also delight in Bibigo’s hot stone Bibimpop, mixed rice made with assorted fresh vegetables served in a tradition hot stone pot, traditional glass noodles cooked with shitake and royal trumpet mushrooms, onions, gobo, green and red peppers and asparagus.