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koreaN restaurant guide LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles COUNTY


koreaN restaurant GUIDE

koreaN restaurant GUIDE App.

The Korean Restaurants Guide is part of the Good Overseas Korean Restaurant Recommendation project that introduces leading Korean restaurants across the globe in an effort to share the taste and style of Korean food featuring Koreas unique food culture with people around the world. Following the introduction of Korean restaurants in Western Europe and Tokyo in 2012, the Korean Restaurant Guide: the United States was produced to cover Los Angeles & New York City separately, containing detailed information on 40 Korean restaurants respectively.
. 2012 Los Angeles New York City 40 .


koreaN restaurant guide

The Korean Food Foundation (KFF) is a leading non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting Korean cuisine and culinary culture through research. The foundation is also committed to guiding the development of the Korean food industry and promoting the development and marketing of content covering Korean food.


koreaN restaurant guide

Los Angeles COUNTY


How to use
This guidebook introduces carefully selected top restaurants in LA County, Orange County, Pasadena, Los Feliz and Marina del Rey areas of the United States in two languages English and Korean. The Korean restaurants are listed in English alphabetical order by area. Important information is presented in the form of icons to help readers find it easily. The approximate locations of the restaurants are indicated on maps marked by areas. The information contained in this guidebook is also available in a mobile application.
LA , , , . , . . .


ZONE _1 Los Angeles



030 04 CHOSUN GALBEE 034 05 CHUNG KIWA 038 06 DONG IL JANG 042 07 Genwa 046 08 HAE JANG CHON 050 09 HAMJIPARK 054 10 HODORI 058 11 HONEY PIG 062 12 JUN WON Restaurant 066 13 KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

Reservations are allowed / No reservations


154 35 YONG SU SAN

Delivery available / No delivery


Wi-Fi enabled / Wi-Fi unavailable

Wi-Fi /

ZONE _ 2 buena park & etc.

162 36 CHAM 166 37 Mo Ran Gak 170 38 Surah 174 39 Tangier () 178 40 wharo 182 75 Popular Menu

Takeout allowed / Takeout not allowed

Names of foods listed in the 75 Popular Menu selection in Los Angeles featured at the back of this guidebook are based on Korean pronunciation. It contains information on representative Korean menus enjoying popularity in Korean restaurants in the United States. Please refer to p.182 for more detailed information on Korean menus.
<L.A. 75> , L.A. . p.182 .

070 14 KOBAWOO HOUSE 074 15 MADANG 621 621 078 16 MA DANG GOOK SU 082 17 MOO DAE PO II II 086 18 MYUNG DONG KYOZA 090 19 NAK WON 094 20 OB BEAR PUB 098 21 ONDAL 2 2 102 22 OO-KOOK

selection in Los Angeles

L.A. 75


Korean Food HANSIK

We hope that your everyday life will become healthier and happier through Korean food.
Korean Food Foundation (KFF)
This painting is Seolhuyayeon, one of eight-paneled folk paintings called Haengryeo -pungsokdo (An album of genre painting of travelers) painted by Kim Hong-do, a famous painter during the Joseon Dynasty. It features food culture during the Joseon period. The custom of making fire and roasting meat to ward off the cold at that time was called Nallohoe (cooking brazier club). 8 <>. .

The most charming aspects of Korean cuisine, or Hansik, are probably its well-orchestrated bursts of flavor and the health-enhancing effects of its diverse seasonal ingredients. Recent studies have shown that a typical Korean meal consists of three basic nutrients: carbohydrates (60%), proteins (25%), and fats (15%). This nutritional balance is ideal in maintaining healthy lifestyle. Korean cuisine is also low in harmful fats and rich in wholesome nutrients as it mainly uses vegetable oil with unsaturated fatty acids and fermented foods packed with anti-oxidants. The many health-boosting qualities of Korean cuisine, which scientific studies continue to identify, illuminate Korean food cultures inherent belief that good food is the best medicine. For millennia, Koreans have developed the culinary tradition of cooking each dish with the kind of devotion they would give to brewing herbal medicines, and using seasonal, nourishing ingredients that reflect the wealth of the plains and mountains of the Korean peninsula. Based on its health-conscious recipes and focus on nutritional balance, Korean cuisine is rapidly gaining popularity as more people around the world place importance on holistic well-being. We hope this book will encourage more local food lovers to seek out and experience health-conscious, palate-pleasing dishes served at different Korean restaurants in LA. Since LA boasts the worlds largest Korea Town, this guidebook, which covers an extensive range of Korean restaurants operating in the area, is all the more significant. Out of over 400 Korean restaurants in LA County and Orange County, the first group of candidates for this guidebook was screened based on recommendations and evaluations from the local press, restaurant guide websites, and food experts. This list was narrowed down to the final selection of 40 restaurants based on evaluations of their food, service, hygiene, and dcor by the Korean Restaurant Evaluation Committee composed of local food specialists. A total of nine food critics, bloggers, and chefs, all of whom have a high standing in LAs vibrant gourmet scene, visited and reviewed these carefully selected Korean culinary destinations as the members of the Korean Restaurant Evaluation Committee. Among them, Barbara Hansen, a respected food critic with 40 years experience, gladly undertook the task of writing this guidebook.
. 60%, 25%, 15% . . . 3 , . , . LA . LA . LA 400 , 1 , , , 40 . LA , 9 , 40 (Barbara Hansen) . (Ed Rudolph), , .

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Barbara Hansen for taking part in the publication of this book based on her affection for and invaluable insights into Korea cuisine. We are also grateful for the dedication of photographer Ed Rudolph, the Evaluation Committee members, and all the food experts who recommended Korean cuisine options. Korean Food Foundation

Who could not fall in love with food that embodies the best in contemporary cuisine? Seasonal, fresh ingredients; top quality meats and seafood, an emphasis on vegetables, grains, hand-cut noodles, lively seasonings and, in every meal, so much variety that sometimes its hard to find room on the table for all the dishes? This is Korean food in Los Angeles. No wonder its so good. Non-Koreans sum up Korean food in one word-barbeque-and almost every restaurant offers barbequed meats even if specializing in other dishes. But barbeque is only part of the picture. Korean restaurants in Los Angeles range from elite establishments that offer palace dishes to modest, homey cafes, food trucks and food stalls in markets. There are noodle houses, restaurants that specialize in the spicy stew called soon tofu and places that serve regional dishes. Korean coffee houses have food too. And bars provide not only Korean beers and spirits but so much food that eating seems as important as drinking. Happily, its possible to satisfy the craving for Korean flavors at any hour, because some restaurants never close, not even on holidays. The 40 restaurants in this book range in location from Koreatown to Marina Del Rey, Pasadena and Orange County. They only hint at the tremendous variety of Korean food available and should encourage further exploration. Writing this guidebook was a food-lovers dream, and I am deeply grateful to the Korean Food Foundation for the opportunity. Each restaurant visit brought new tastes, new insights and a deeper appreciation of Koreas vibrant culture and cuisine. I also want to thank Jasmine Kang, who accompanied me to all the restaurants, handled arrangements in Korean and taught me much about Korean food and customs. One often hears the claim that Korean food promotes good health. This is not an idle boast. During weeks of eating two elaborate meals a day, each including several main dishes in order to sample as great a variety of food as possible, along with rice, soups and banchan, I never felt uncomfortably stuffed. Even more remarkable, when it was all over, I hadnt gained a pound. That should win an eager following for this extraordinary cuisine. Author, Barbara Hansen

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testimonial 1

Edward R. Royce
I am pleased to offer my greetings and recommendation of the Korean Restaurant Guide for Los Angeles, in the Korean Food Foundation. With 400 Korea restaurants operating in the Los Angeles and Orange County regions, the top 40 restaurants chosen for this special guidebook makes them the best places to eat Korean food. As Korean dishes grow in popularity, this guide will help people unfamiliar with Korean delicacies. From Korean BBQ to kimchi, I look forward to sampling the recommended eateries and tasting many Korean specialties. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work in assembling the Korean restaurants guide. I would also like to commend all the restaurants considered for the list. As food provides a unique insight into a countrys traditions, this guide offers a unique and tasty experience of the Korean culture. Again, Thank you and enjoy using this new Korean Restaurant guidebook.
, <LA > . LA 400 40 . . . , . . . , <LA > .

Lachlan Sands M.Ed.

Without doubt, Korean cuisine is one of the great cuisines of the world. The food itself has a characteristic flavor profile, distinct regional ingredients, and a breadth of potential which allows Korean food to hold its own against any other international cuisine. Los Angeles is blessed to have a wealth of Korean culture and Korean cuisine. The growth of Koreatown in the heart of Los Angeles has popularized Korean restaurants throughout Southern California and applied a significant influence on all other cuisines in the area. Similarly, Korean chefs have adopted the best of the other cultures important to Los Angeles to develop a cuisine that is very Korean, but indisputably Southern Californian. I applaud the Korean Food Foundations decision to publish a Korean restaurant guide specific to Los Angeles. From the banchan at Parks BBQ, to the charcoal pits at Soot Bull Jeep, to the short ribs at Soowon Galbi there is a lifelong memory available from any and all the restaurants in the guide. It is clearly time to reveal the wonderful culinary experiences which result from combining one of the worlds great cuisines, with one of the worlds great cities.
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CCC CCE Executive Chef- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Los Angeles Although it has been less than ten years since his graduation from Le Cordon Bleu of Culinary Arts, he has been ascending in the food industry and has become a strong influence. He has been ascending the ladder from Chef to six years as a Chef Instructor, one year as the Dean and, currently, two years as the Executive Chef.
CCC CCE (Executive Chef) LA 10 . LA (Chef Instructor) 6 , 1 2 .

testimonial 2

Fortieth District California U.S. Rep. Ed Royce serves as Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a leader in Korea policy. He has tirelessly focused on representing the interests of the Korean Americans and improving the U.S.-South Korea relations. He is keen on Korean culture and tradition and appreciates eating Korean delicacy. Chairman Royce is a Co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea, the Interparliamentarians Coalition on North Korean Refugees and Human Rights (IPCNKR) and served as Chairman of the U.S.-Republic of Korea Interparliamentary Exchange (USROKIE).
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testimonial 3

Bernard Guillas

First of all I would like to congratulate Korean Food Foundation for launching such a wonderful Korean restaurant guidebook. The discovery of new culture, cuisine and customs are the ingredients that enrich my life while travelling around the world. The Korean Food Foundation lays the ideal platform for everyone to discover an exciting, rich, flavorful and dynamic culinary experience. The city of Jeonju in South Korea is the fourth city in the world to earn a place as a City Capital of Gastronomy by UNESCO. Korean food is regarded as genuine, regional, seasonal and rich in spices. It is slow healthy cooking with contrasting colors and flavors. The five elements of Korean cooking represent the material world: wood, fire, earth, metal, water; and five essential flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, spicy, and salty. When you taste new foods it creates an unforgettable experience that you will recount and cherish. I am happy to say that I have discovered many wonderful restaurants in Southern California, especially in LA and San Diego. I sincerely hope that the readers will also get to share the same experience and learn more about Hansik through this book.
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Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green

Korean food is definitely something everyone should try at least once in their life. Living in Los Angeles gives us the great privilege to appreciate Korean culture, just like food, spa, singing. When it comes to barbeque, Korean barbeque always comes to mind, especially the all-you-can-eat restaurants! Unlimited barbeque for just a set price? Whoever thought of that is a genius! When I visited Korea in 2009 to promote my second sequel of Transformers, it blew my mind how there were so many different kinds of food everywhere. Many Korean dishes can even be part of a healthy diet as there are a lot of vegetables and healthy ingredients incorporated to them. We think the Korean Restaurant Guide is a great idea because it helps people like us to explore the hidden jewels of Koreatown and gives our family, friends, and us the opportunity to try new experiences.
. LA , . , ! . ! 2009 1, 2 . . , , .
2007 2009 Transfomer 1, 2 , 2010 TV Beverly Hills 90210 . , .

testimonial 4

Executive Chef, Marine Room La Jolla Bernard Guillas, Executive Chef at the Marine Room of the worldrenowned La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club located in San Diego, California. In 2010, he published Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World, a cookbook chronicling his travels to different corners of the world. His book made it to the top ten at BookExpo America and was selected as one of three finalists by the 2011 IACP (International Association of Cooking Professionals) Cookbook Awards. Guillas has demonstrated keen interest in Korean cuisine over the past several years and included gungjung toppoki (soy sauce-based toppoki originally served in the royal court) in the full-time menu, making it a classic dish among the patrons at his restaurant.
& 2010 Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World 10 2011 IACP 3 . .

Hollywood Celebrities Megan Fox visited Korea in 2007 and 2009 to promote her films Transformer I and Transformer II, respectively. In 2010, she married actor Brian Austin Green, who starred in the TV series Beverly Hills, 90210, and the couple has a son. Fox and Green are well-known Korean food lovers, visiting local Korean restaurants regularly. Fox and Green are two of Hollywoods most representative celebrities who take an interest in and support Korean culture, including Korean films.


Los Angeles



koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 01 BCD TOFU HOUSE

BCD tufu house

ts four in the morning, and youre craving fresh tofu. This may be unlikely, but if it happens, no problem! Head for BCD Tofu House on Wilshire Boulevard. Its open 24 hours daily. Big and bustling like an American coffee shop, BCD had to expand its floor space to

accommodate its many fans. The renovation included setting up a display that shows the steps in making tofu. This has been done as artfully as if it were intended for a museum or a gallery. The star of the extensive menu is soon tofu (sundubu jjigae), made with organic soft tofu.

The nine versions include one that is vegetarian. Others contain ham and sausage, clams and beef, seafood or dumplings. The original comes with beef or pork. Spiciness ranges from plain, which is totally mild, to danger. The bubbling pot is placed on the table with a raw egg to crack into the mixture. Banchan and rice are included in the price. The rice is spooned out of a hot stone bowl, and then water is blended with any rice remaining in the bowl to make a bland, soothing soup, which is exactly what you want after spicy food. For a heartier meal, BCD offers soon tofu (sundubu jjigae) in combination with main dishes such as mackerel, yellow corvina, spicy pork bulgogi and chicken teriyaki. Another combo includes a tofu salad with beans, tomato, lettuce, onion and sesame dressing. In response to current dietary trends, BCD marks vegetarian dishes on the menu with a green leaf. The usual sequence for expansion is for restaurants in Korea to open branches in Los Angeles. However, BCD Tofu House did just the opposite, started in Los Angeles and then opened in Seoul. There are now nine branches in Southern California. Six of them, including the Wilshire branch, offer beer, soju and makgeolli.
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This is one of my favorite restaurants where I enjoy the healthy, spicy tofu soups and their excellent service.
by Antonio Rmon Villaraigosa (Mayor, City of Los Angeles)

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by (Los Angeles )

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 01 BCD TOFU HOUSE

Address 3575 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 Telephone 213-382-6677 Business hours Mon-Sun 24hours / Open all year round  Signature dish tofu salad, galbi combo (galbi gui & sundubu jjigae), hot stone bibim bap (dolsot bibim bap) Meal for one $7-20 Seating 220 Website 3575 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 213 - 382 - 6677 - 24 /  , , 1 $7 - 20 220

hot stone tofu bibim bap

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galbi combo tofu salad





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 02 BYUL YANG GOPCHANG

he name of the restaurant Byul Yang Gopchang is written only in Korean on the sign outside, on the menu and business card. But the restaurant is easy to spot without knowing Korean (hangeul ). Look for the circle of stars above the awning over the entrance. Theyre there because Byul means star. Inside are more

stars that light up and change color. To make the small restaurant even livelier, vintage pop tunes play at night, and a disco light projects dots of color overhead. The star food isnt the usual beef barbeque, although a handful of beef cuts are available. Most of the customers are Korean, and they come to eat entrails.

The star food at this restaurant isnt the usual galbi gui and bulgogi, but grilled intestine. Try it with a soju cocktail.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

The star combination consists of large and small intestines and abomasum. (Intestine is gopchang in Korean.) A bottle of soju is part of the combo. The waitress adds pomegranate vinegar to the bottle, then pours the pale pink cocktail into small chilled glasses. This is the perfect refresher between bites of the rich meats, cooked on the grill until appetizingly browned. Theres also a luna combination. Luna means moon in Spanish, not Korean, and a crescent moon accompanies the stars in the circle outside. This combination includes rib eye, brisket and pork belly for the benefit of non-entrail eaters. Accompaniments include green salad and kimchi soup, a clear orange broth with soybean sprouts, green onions and rice cakes. Hearty eaters can add a quick fermented soybean stew with tofu. Another option is kimchi noodle, a bowl of buckwheat noodles in chilled kimchi broth along with sliced Asian pear, cucumber and pickled radish. Its the perfect way to cool down after a heated session at the grill.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 02 BYUL YANG GOPCHANG

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kimchi mari naeng memilmyeon

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Address 3819 W. 6th St. L.A., CA 90020 Telephone 213-739-0321  Business hours Mon-Sun 5:00pm-2:00am / Open all year round  Signature dish star combination (modeum gopchang gui), quick fermented soybean stew (cheonggukjang jjigae), kimchi mari naeng memilmyeon Meal for one $10-40 Seating 60 3819 W. 6th St. L.A., CA 90020 213 - 739 - 0321 - 17:00 - 02:00 / , , 1 $10 - 40 60

star combination

quick fermented soybean stew





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 03 BEVERLY TOFU HOUSE

cut from thick planks of Oregon wood. A fancifully cut wood panel that looks like forest denizens comes to life, lining one of the walls beneath a thatched eave supported by wood poles. Its like being in the Korean countryside, except that you might hear the Korean owner speaking Spanish to an employee. This is not unusual, because Latinos work in all types of restaurants in Los Angeles. The soon tofu menu is standard. The 10 varieties include beef or pork with oysters and clams; mushrooms with beef; cod roe with vegetables, and kimchi with meat and seafood. For a double dose of soy, get soon tofu with fermented soybean paste and meat or seafood. Beverly Tofus broth has a punchy, distinctive red chili flavor that sets it apart. Even medium tastes very spicy, so hot is surely explosive on your taste buds! Try also the soon tofu combination with galbi gui. Brought to the table on a sizzling platter, the meat is chewy and sweet. Other combos include bulgogi, spicy squid or spicy barbequed chicken. Still another interesting dish to try is tofu steak. The banchan (side dishes) are popular standards such as kimchi, pickled cucumbers and soybean sprouts. Chilled barley tea, poured into metal bowls, accompanies the meals, but you can also enjoy beer, wine or soju.
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everly Tofu House is just two years younger than So Kong Dong across the street, making it the second oldest tofu restaurant in Los Angeles. Like each of the top tofu houses, it has avid fans, and they savor their soon tofu (sundubu jjigae ) in a traditional setting. The rustic tables and benches are

People are generally more familiar with Korean BBQ and even though I do like it, I love Soon Tofu more. I enjoy it even more because of its spicy flavor and its good for your health.
by Janis Banquist (City of Los Angeles Attorney)

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by (Los Angeles )



koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 03 BEVERLY TOFU HOUSE

 Address 2717 W. Olympic Blvd. #108 L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-380-1113  Business hours Mon-Sun 10:30am-10:30pm / Open all year round  Signature dish seafood combo soon tofu, soon tofu & galbi combination, tofu steak (dubu buchim), soon tofu & squid combination Meal for one $9-20 Seating 40 Website 2717 W. Olympic Blvd. #108 L.A., CA 90006 213 - 380 - 1113 - 10:30 - 22:30 /  , , , 1 $9 - 20 40

tofu steak

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soon tofu & squid combination

soon tofu & galbi combination





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 04 CHOSUN GALBEE

spaced for privacy; the noise level is refreshingly low, and temperature control makes the room comfortable in any weather. Inside is another dining area and private rooms for meetings. Walking in from the parking lot is like wandering through temple grounds lined with graceful trees and bamboo. A large tank contains large, brightly colored koi fish. A small stone figure of a monk playing a flute perches on a cow bathing in a stone tub. By the time youre in the restaurant, you feel calm and ready to enjoy your meal. Theres naturally plenty of galbi (beef short ribs) on the menu, which is what you would certainly expect from a restaurant calling itself Chosun Galbee. Prime kkot sal, a soft and tender marbled cut also known as flower meat, is the most expensive. Then prices drop to a reasonable galbi gui lunch platter. In addition to the ribs, the plate includes the glass noodle dish japchae, a meat-stuffed pancake, an egg-battered slice of Korean squash, and a roll fashioned of crab salad wrapped in seaweed and then omelet strips. A crisp iceberg lettuce salad with creamy pink dressing is included as well as an orange wedge and sweet crystallized yam dotted with sesame seeds. Try also galbi dolsot bibim bap, or stone pot rice with such high quality ingredients as galbi gui and mushrooms. Its really superb! Seaweed soup, rice and banchan accompany the food, and at the end youll be given the rice drink sikhye. Afterward, youll feel free to linger in the peaceful atmosphere, because theres no pressure to rush out and make room for others.
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uiet elegance that sums up Chosun Galbee, one of Koreatowns most elite restaurants. But its not so posh that youll feel uncomfortable if youre not part of the upper crust. A matter of fact, its quite the opposite. Chosun Galbees large garden room is the perfect place to relax and de-stress. Tables are well

When I was in High School, I was invited to a birthday party of one of my Korean friends at Chosun Galbee. From that time onwards, Korean BBQ has become one of my favorite foods.
by Jrue Randall Holiday (NBA Player, Point Guard of Philadelphia 76ers)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 04 CHOSUN GALBEE

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Address 3330 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 Telephone 323-734-3330  Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish so galbi gui, so galbi dolsot bibim bap, galbi jjim Meal for one $12-32 Seating 300 Website 3330 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 323 - 734 - 3330 - 11:00 - 23:00 / , , 1 $12 - 32 300 so galbi gui lunch special

galbi jjim

so galbi dolsot bibim bap




koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 05 CHUNG KIWA

The way to try them both is to order the galbi gui and naengmyeon combination. With

ou cant go wrong ordering barbeque, or anything else, at this classic old restaurant. However, those who can read the restaurants business card, which is written in Korean, can see two dishes singled out. These are galbi gui (beef short ribs) and the naengmyeon (cold noodle dish).

naengmyeon comes a bonus, a mug of what may be the best beef broth served anywhere.
Its hot, strong and bracing, a remedy for anything from lagging spirits to a cold.

Naengmyeon comes in two forms, as a cold soup with buckwheat noodles, beef, Asian
pear and hardboiled egg, or else the noodles are tossed with a spicy red sauce and served without the broth. Either way, a dash of mustard and vinegar from the condiments on the table boosts the flavor. Beef at Chung Kiwa is Black Angus. The cuts include rib eye, short ribs, brisket and tongue. A sweet soy sauce marinade flavors some; others are unseasoned. The barbeque menu also includes pork, chicken and shrimp. Chung Kiwa is not limited to grilled foods. The menu lists many other dishes such as the stone pot bibim bap, dumpling soup, kimchi stew with beef, and grilled or steamed fish. The seafood section includes mineo maeun tang, a mildly spicy Chilean sea bass soup in a stone pot. Along with fresh and tender chunks of fish, the soup includes fish roe and wrinkly fish intestine, which has more texture than flavor. Woodsy and comfortable, Chung Kiwa has been around for 30 years or more. Bright blue

It is definitely on the top of my list for a go to place for Korean BBQ and naengmyeon. Servers are generous and friendly and the wooden and archaic interior is good for family gathering.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

roof tiles and a sign advertising Angus beef make it easy to spot from the street.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 05 CHUNG KIWA

Address 3545 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 Telephone 323-737-0809  Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round  Signature dish Galbi Gui & Naengmyeon Combo, Mushroom Bulgogi, Mineo Maeun Tang Meal for one $12-25 Seating 94 3545 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 323 - 737 - 0809 - 11:00 - 23:00 /  & , , 1 $12 - 25 94

mushroom bulgogi

mineo maeun tang

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galbi gui & naengmyeon combo &





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 06 DONG IL JANG


ong Il Jang presents classic Korean food in a setting so traditional that youll almost forget youre in Los Angeles. A koi pond nestles in a rocky cove inside the entrance. A heavy door with Korean style brass fittings and a bulky Korean chest in the waiting area give way to a central aisle lined by that seem

private because theyre screened off by fence-like wooden dividers. Beyond these is a large room where you can eat in really traditional style, seated on the floor at low tables. Dong Il Jang opened in 1980 and has been popular ever since. What Koreans go there for is roast gui, which heads the list of Authentic Korean Barbeque Dishes on the long

The meat, sliced rib eye, is non-marinated, and so you get the pure beef flavor accented only by a dip of sesame oil with salt and pepper. The waitress greases the grill pan with butter. Later, shell use more butter to cook kimchi fried rice. Two orders are required. Thats a lot of meat unless you go with friends. In addition to eight or so banchan, youll get an excellent green salad with flecks of red chili in the dressing and a plate of green onion tops to eat along with the meat. When youre done, the waitress, who has probably worked at the restaurant for years, brings bowls of rice, gochu jang and kimchi that contains bits of chopped beef. These go onto the grill pan with butter and any radish strands left from the banchan. The fried rice that results is, for many, the highlight of the meal. A bowl of beef broth and radish slices arrives at this stage and you eat the soup and rice together. Dong Il Jang once had a sushi bar. is closed now, but the menu still offers Japanese dinners and Japanese combo lunches that include tempura and teriyaki. Look around though, and its roast gui (grilled dishes) that youll see on most tables.
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Dong Il Jang has served traditional Korean food for decades. Its best known for roast gui, unseasoned beef to grill and eat with a sesame oil dip.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 06 DONG IL JANG

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Sogogi-chapssal-gui Address 3455 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-383-5757 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Roast Gui, Gopchang Jeongol, Bibim Naengmyeon Meal for one $10-30 Seating 180 Website 3455 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 383 - 5757 - 11:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $10 - 30 180 Bibim Naengmyeon

Kimchi Fried Rice

Roast Gui

Sogogi-chapssal-gui Gopchang Jeongol





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 07 Genwa

The least expensive of these includes the top hits of Korean barbequegalbi (marinated beef rib meat) and also a choice of bulgogi (thin-sliced marinated beef), chicken bulgogi or chadol (unseasoned brisket). Also part of this course is japchae, or stir-fried yam noodles with vegetables; plus soft tofu in spicy sauce, and a house salad. Your guests eyes will pop when they see the stunning array of banchan. There are more than 20, enough to almost cover the table, the center of which is taken up by a smokeless grill. Its like a buffet of tempting dishes, each begging to be sampled. The containers are small, but servers will refill them. Theyll also assist with the grilling, adding vegetables along with the meats. Genwa provides radish slices, moist rice paper circles and lettuce leaves for wrapping the cooked meats along with spicy ssam jang sauces. Higher-priced courses include different meats and offer a taste of the Korean distilled spirit


here do you take out of town visitors whove never tasted Korean food? To Genwa, of course! Its an attractive, darkly elegant restaurant, for one thing. But Genwa makes it so easy to order with its interesting set menus.

Dessert is the rice drink sikhye. Warn your guests not to taste the white mints that come at the end of the meal, though. The server will pour water on these, and theyll twist like live things and swell into wet towels for wiping hands. To make up for the disappointment that

This place is renovated in a modern ambiance and appeals to the hip crowd as well as to sophisticated diners. The foods served in very nice, high quality plates, which I appreciated.
by Cathlyn Choi-Michelson (Cathlyns Korean Kitchen TV cooking Show Host/PBS)

these werent candy, each person will be given a long-stemmed lollipop to take home!
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 07 Genwa

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Address 5115 Wilshire Blvd #a L.A., CA 90036 Telephone 323-549-0760 Business hours Mon-Fri 11:00am-10:00pm / Sat-Sun 12:00noon-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish So Seng Galbi Gui, Kkot Sal gui, Topokki Meal for one $14-40 Seating 80 Website 5115 Wilshire Blvd #a L.A., CA 90036 323 - 549 - 0760 - 11:00 - 22:00 / - 12:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $14 - 40 80


So Seng Galbi Gui & Kkot Sal Gui






koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 08 HAE JANG CHON

ll you can eat barbeque is this restaurants specialty, but with a difference. The barbequing is done on heavy stone grills. The grills takes time to heat, so its necessary to be patient. If the meat is put on too soon, it steams rather than browns. Meanwhile, there are banchan and green salad for nibbling.

Hae Jang Chon is popular with non-Koreans. For those who havent barbequed before, the menu offers a how-to guide. This explains what to do with the four sauces grouped around each plate, how to wrap the meats and other grilling etiquette as cooking unmarinated meats before those that are marinated. It also promises the best kimchi fried rice in K-town. This comes when the barbecuing

is finished. After cleaning the grill with shredded radish, the server plops on rice, kimchi, seaweed, green onion and a healthy dash of the red pepper sauce, gochu jang. This fries up into a delicious finale. But first, theres the AYCE barbeque. The usual meats are on the listbeef brisket, short ribs (galbi), thinly sliced beef (bulgogi), tongue, pork, chicken, squid and baby octopus, along with tripe, abomasum and, perfect for timid first-timers, hotdogs. After the barbequing is in full swing, a bowl of steamed eggs appears and also a green onion pancake (kimchi pajeon ), which tastes better if on the grill. Theres an a la carte menu with soups, kimchi stew and some barbeque items. The prices for these are lower at lunch. Happily, Hae Jang Chon has one of the longest lunch hours in Koreatown. It lasts until 5 p.m.

Stone grills replace the usual metal grills at Hae Jang Chon. The restaurant helps out novices by devoting one page of the menu to barbeque instructions.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 08 HAE JANG CHON

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Kimchi Fried Rice

Address 3821 W. 6th St. L.A., CA 90020 Telephone 213-389-8777 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:00am / Open all year round Signature dish All-You-Can-Eat BBQ, Gamja Haejang Guk, Kimchi Fried Rice Meal for one $17.99 Seating 94 Website 3821 W. 6th st. L.A., CA 90020 213 - 389 - 8777 - 11:00 - 02:00 / , , 1 $17.99 94

All-You-Can-Eat BBQ





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 09 HAMJIPARK

provided to pick them up and cut off the meat. You cant get it all off that way, but this doesnt matter. Its perfectly acceptable to pick up the bones with your fingers and chew off anything that remains. The sweet, slightly spicy flavor is so addictive that you would do this even if it werent proper. Hamjipark serves seafood and beef, but pork dominates the menu. Almost as popular as the ribs is pork neck stew with potato, a perfect choice on a cold winter day. The potful of stew arrives boiling hot, with green onions sprinkled over the top. Rosy red, it tastes of red chili but is less spicy than it appears. Be warned that the meat is fatty. Such rich foods require some form of relief, and the restaurant obliges with a fresh green salad as well as rice and banchan. Hamjipark opened first on Pico Boulevard and 12 years later inaugurated this second location in the heart of Koreatown. Its a no-frills place except for TV with Korean cable shows, but it delivers what is importantdelicious food.
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f Hamjipark served only one dish, its succulent pork spare ribs, the restaurant would still continue to prosper. Perhaps this is why the ribs are listed first on the menu. Golden brown and glistening, crusted here and there with caramelized dark brown bits, theyre delivered on a sizzling platter lined with onions. Tongs and shears are

If you wake up craving pork neck soup, or as my mom says it, gamja tang, then Ham ji park is the only place to go. for the pork ribs, too.
by Joseph Hahn (Rock Group, Linkin Park member)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 09 HAMJIPARK

Pork Neck Stew with Potato

Address 3407 6th St. #101-C L.A., CA 90020 Telephone 213-365-8773 Business hours Mon-Sat 11:00am-11:00pm / Sun 4:00pm-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Pork Neck Stew with Potato (Gamja Tang), Spicy Pork Ribs (Maeun Dwaeji Galbi Gui), Pan-broiled Squid (Ojingeo Bokkeum & Somyeon) Meal for one $19-25 Seating 100 3407 6th St. #101 - C L.A., CA 90020 213 - 365 - 8773 - 11:00 - 23:00 / 16:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $19 - 25 100 Spicy Pork Ribs

Pan-broiled Squid





koreaN restaurant GUIDE 2013 los angeles 10 HODORI


o to Hodori any hour for quick, satisfying food that ranges from chicken soup to rice cakes in a wildly fiery sauce. Theres no fuss, just straightforward service in a large, plain room brightened with blonde wood furniture. A 24-hour restaurant, Hodori is open on holidays

too. You could even run into a line waiting for tables when most people are asleep, because this is a favorite after-clubbing spot. The smiling, friendly tiger Hodori was the mascot of the summer Olympics in Seoul in 1988. The restaurants logo is also a smiling tiger that serves the same purpose, to welcome The really hungry can tuck into a sturdy platter of so kkori jjim, or oxtails braised in sweet-

ened soy sauce along with thick slices of potato and carrot. Although not a barbeque restaurant, Hodori serves excellent barbequed short ribs. The meat is style galbi gui, which is thinly sliced on the bone. Hodoris spicy rice cakes alone could satisfy the most extreme hunger pangs. Under fat tubular rice cakes are ramen noodles, making a double dose of dough. And theres more: large, slim slices of fish cake. All of this is bathed in a slightly sweet gochu jang sauce spicy enough to send late-night visitors home wide awake. At the other extreme is samgyetang, a small whole chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng root, garlic and jujubes (red dates) and simmered in unsalted chicken broth. A gentle soup such as this is the perfect choice for simmering down after a night on the town.

This is a legendary place for Korean and non-Korean students in their 20s. An after clubbing favorite, for sure, especially because they are open 24 hours.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE 2013 los angeles 10 HODORI

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So Galbi Gui Address 1001 S. Vermont Ave #102 L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-383-3554 Business hours Mon-Sun 24hours / Open all year round Signature dish Kkori jjim, So Galbi Gui, Samgyetang, Meal for one $9-30 Seating 100 Website 1001 S. Vermont Ave #102 L.A., CA 90006 213 - 383 - 3554 - 24 / , 1 $9 - 30 100

Kkori Jjim






koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 11 HONEY PIG

banks cluster behind a window; a jolly orange pig is on the menu cover, and that same pig appears on round plaques that hang overhead. Pork belly, which Honey Pig pioneered in Koreatown, is the restaurants specialty. Another first was the domed iron grill that the restaurant brought from Korea. Resembling a pot lid, the sloping grill is solid, without openings. The domed shape allows melted fat from the meat to drain off and collect around a rim at the bottom. The nine pork dishes on the menu include spicy ribs, salted or spicy pork butt and pork skin. The one to start with, though, is the classic original pork belly. The Korean word is

smiling pig on the sign outside makes it clear that pork is this restaurants specialty. This lets those who cant read the name, which is in Korean only, theyre at the right place. Inside, a replica of a whimsical plump pig sits on the service counter. Piggy

samgyeopsal, which means uncured bacon.

The unseasoned meat, a deep rosy red alternating with pristine white fat, sizzles on the along with marinated soybean sprouts and a thick slice of onion. The dip for it is sesame oil with salt and pepper. The dip for beef, which is available for customers who dont eat pork, is a sweet soy sauce mixture with sesame seeds and minced garlic. Accompaniments are lettuce leaves and rice cake paper squares for wrapping, fermented soybean and red chili pastes and a green onion and lettuce salad Honey Pig is a large restaurant that extends into a covered patio. Spare and open in design, it incorporates traditional elements such as heavy stoneware plates and mugs from Korea and a collection of antique locks framed on a wall that faces the entrance. Despite the size of the room, the restaurant seems cozy as diners cluster in circles around the grills, and sharing colorful arrangements of meats and vegetables.
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Pork, pork and more pork! Thats what youll get at this meat-themed restaurant.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 11 HONEY PIG

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Kong Namul Dwaeji Moksal Gui

Address 3400 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-380-0256 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-1:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Kong Namul Samgyeopsal, Kong Namul Dwaeji Moksal Gui, Kong Namul Chadol Gui Meal for one $17.99 Seating 100 3400 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 380 - 0256 - 11:00 - 01:00 / , , 1 $17.99 100

Kong Namul Chadol Gui




JUN WON restaurant

koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 12 JUN WON RESTAURANT


ont even think about going to Jun Won for barbequed meats! predominant, thought for meat lovers bulgogi and a few pork dishes and chicken soup are on the menu. Seafood as representative cuisine of Korea makes a lot of sense, because it is after all a peninsular country with an abundant harvest from its

Jun Won offers some superb Korean fish dishes. Dont miss the pollack casserole, a potful of fish (including the head) in zesty, boiling-hot broth topped with a handful of vegetables. Its spicy, for sure, but pleasantly so. And then theres steamed cod in an intense reddish-brown, spicy-sweet sauce. This dish involves layers of flavor, starting with thick slices of radish, then the cod and then sliced onions. Finally, the sauce goes into the pot, and as the dish steams, the ingredients saturate each other with rich tastes. Accompaniments are rice and some really interesting banchan. A couple of examples are marinated sesame leaves and steamed green onions rolled into knots and seasoned with gochu jang. The restaurant founder is known for these and has a banchan shop elsewhere in Koreatown. The long list of seafood dishes includes seafood pancake, pan-fried mackerel and yellow corvina; sauted spicy octopus and squid; pork and oysters with vegetables and a casserole of salted shrimp and tofu. Food is the main concern at Jun Won, not decoration. Tables are fashioned of heavy planks; thatched eaves line one wall, and hanging lights resemble round white lanterns. Lunch is crowded, so you are advised to go early to avoid a long wait.
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Heres a Korean restaurant that specializes in seafood, rather than barbeque. Pollack casserole and steamed cod are two of Jun Wons signature dishes.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 12 JUN WON RESTAURANT

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Address 3100 W. 8th st. #101 L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-383-8855 Business hours Mon-Sat 11:00am-2:45pm, 5:30pm-9:00pm / Closed on Sundays Signature dish Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon), Pollack Casserole (Dongtae Jjigae), Steamed Cod Fish (Eundaegu Jorim) Meal for one $14-30 Seating 50 3100 W. 8th st. #101 L.A., CA 90005 213 - 383 - 8855 - 11:00 - 14:45, 17:30 - 21:00 / , , 1 $14 - 30 50

Seafood Pancake

Steamed Cod Fish





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 13 KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

n the sign outside, Baekjeongs name appears only in Korean, but if you cant read that, dont worry. Just look for a line that stretches out the door into the cobble stoned court of Koreatowns Chapman Plaza. Then look for shiny corrugated panels that line the front of the building, and a

sign with the restaurant logo, a burly fellow wielding a fierce knife. No, he isnt an assassin! Hes just a butcher, which is the meaning of the word baekjeong. One can notice in that same drawing the smaller figures of a man wrestling with a pig. This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to Kang Ho-dong, a former Korean wrestler turned comedian, TV celebrity and restaurateur. Hes there daily, greeting the arriving customers in the form of tall cut-outs on either side of the entrance. Star power has put this restaurant on the Koreatown map. Inside, the dcor is modern and trendy, which appeals to hip young Koreans. The appearance is sparse and open. The floor is industrial tile. Tables stand on steel drums. With a name like butcher, meat is unsurprisingly the main attraction, and so there are plenty of barbeque options, such as prime rib meat or rib eye, or you can have both plus brisket in a beef combo. True meat lovers go for chewy rounds of beef tongue to eat with onion slivers doused with spicy red sauce. A bowl of sweet, slightly tangy sauce that contains jalapeos, onions and a dab of horseradish goes with unseasoned brisket. you want to concentrate on pure flavor, skip the sauces and dip the meat in a dish of coarse salt. This is a new-style Korean barbeque. Around the grill plate are compartments like a lazy Susan. Into one goes a mixture of corn and shredded cheese, which melts as the meats are cooked. Another contains seasoned egg. Chunks of tomato, onion and green pepper

Star power draws celebrity-loving Koreans to Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. Its a new style barbeque place, where corn and cheese cook along with the meat.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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are in a third section. And servers spoon kimchi into the last space. Banchan might include a wedge of steamed sweet pumpkin with raisins and squash seeds along with sweeter than usual water kimchi and a salad of soybean sprouts and green onion tossed with spicy sauce. The restaurant is large but fills rapidly, so the best advice is to arrive early. Doors open at 11:30 a.m most days, at 4 p.m. on the first Sundays. Saturday nights are crowded, so you have to take your chances on a long wait.



koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 13 KANG HO DONG BAEKJEONG

Address 3465 W. 6th St. #30 L.A., CA 90020 Telephone 213-384-9678 Business hours Sun-Thu 11:30am-1:00am / Fri-Sat 11:30am-2:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Beef Combo, Pork Combo, Lunch Box Meal for one $7-50 Seating 140 Website 3465 W. 6th St. #30 L.A., CA 90020 213 - 384 - 9678 - 11:30 - 01:00 / - 11:30 - 02:00 / , , 1 $7 - 50 140

Beef Combo

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 14 KOBAWOO HOUSE


ike most Korean restaurants, Kobawoo House serves barbequed meats, but thats not why you go there. Instead, the top dish is wang bossam or pork belly wraps. The components are arranged so enticingly and artistically that just looking at them makes you

hungry. The full platter includes sliced boiled pork, steamed skate and glazed pig trotters for wrapping in pink marinated radish slices and salted napa cabbage. Theres a bargain version at lunch. The meats are reduced to just boiled pork, along with the wraps and three condiments-fermented shrimp, pickled radish strips and sliced Korean green chilies in a spicy sauce. But on the side youll get a bowl of miso stew with tofu Also popular at this restaurant is haemul pajeon, a golden brown seafood pancake that comes to the table sizzling hot. To Western customers, it looks like a pizza.

Side dishes that accompany meals are sticky dark rice with beans and banchan such as kimchi, marinated spinach, tofu cubes and crisp sweet and sour lotus root. Kobawoo House is named after a famous Korean cartoon character. Homey and traditional, it has tables and benches crafted from heavy planks. Wooden posts painted around the top with bright folk art designs brighten the room. Fresh orchids are placed on the tables. At the entrance, orchids bloom atop a Korean chest flanked by more plants in heavy stoneware pots. A stream of water flows gently from one pot to another, providing a tranquil contrast to the bustling traffic outside.

Order the juicy pork belly platter then assemble your taco with cuts of pork belly, daikon radish, and banchan. Dont forget the potato pancake and soy sauce mixture.
by Joseph Hahn (Rock Group, Linkin Park member)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 14 KOBAWOO HOUSE

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Address 6985 S. Vermont Ave #109 L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-389-7300 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Haemul Pajeon, Jangban Guksu, Wang Bossam Meal for one $9-20 Seating 50 6985 S. Vermont Ave #109 L.A., CA 90005 213 - 389 - 7300 - 11:00 - 23:00 / , , 1 $9 - 20 50

Haemul Pajeon

Jangban Guksu

Wang Bossam



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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 15 MADANG 621

tradition with sleek contemporary windows flood the room with light during the day. A second level only partly covers the main dining room, creating an open, spacious look. The specialty is barbequed meats including prime rib eye and short ribs, filet mignon beef tongue, skirt steak, pork, chicken and two seafood options, and Atlantic salmon. <MaDang 621> anchors MaDang Plaza, an elegant space with an open courtyardthe Korean word madang means courtyard. The three levels house a cinema, a hanbok shop, two additional restaurants, a Korean-French bakery and other businesses. For midday shoppers, <MaDang 621> has a lunch menu that includes an upscale spread called The Emperors Table. At about a third of the price, a menu titled <Jung Shik> offers what seems like enough food for an emperor. main dish such as bulgogi, spicy pork, chicken breast, shrimp or salmon comes with a salad, rice, fermented soybean soup with tofu and mushrooms and a generous supply of banchan. Other options at lunch include kimchi jjigae, which is a spicy stew with kimchi, tofu and pork belly; ugeoji galbi tang, a cabbage and beef rib stew, beef broth with dumplings and rice cakes. Anyone who insists on Western food can have a kahuna burger or a chicken sandwich with guacamole, bacon and barbeque sauce. Although upscale, MaDang 621 is anything but stuffy. Jazz Mondays and Wine & Fondue evenings attract a lively crowd. For weekday happy hours, the bar offers cocktails such a soju-based Asian Glow and the MaDang 621, which blends vanilla vodka, Kahla and dark and white chocolate liqueur. And dont miss taking a peek at the restrooms. Each cubicle is a complete private bathroom, offering an unexpected touch of luxury.
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IPs may not have their own tables at MaDang 621, but they do have their own chopsticks, stored in decorative boxes on shelves near the entrance. Opposite, a striking glass-enclosed wine cellar rises like a tower beside the bar. This is not your everyday restaurant, but a handsome place that fuses Korean

MaDang 621s salmon was great, the roasted fish was scrumptous and you could taste its rich flavor with each bite.
by Susan Rosenbluth (AEG Live, Goldenvoice Senior Vice President)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 15 MADANG 621

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Address 621 S. Western Ave. #100 L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-384-2244 Business hours Sun-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm / Fri-Sat 11:30am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Special Barbeque, The Emperors Table, Ugeoji Galbi Tang Meal for one $10-110 Seating 215 Website 621 S. Western Ave. #100 L.A., CA 90005 213 - 384 - 2244 - 11:30 - 22:30 / - 11:30 - 23:00 / , , 1 $10 - 110 215

The Emperors Table

Special Barbeque

Ugeoji Galbi Tang





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 16 MA DANG GOOK SU

it the cachet of a signature dish. No. 2 on the list, its a big bowl of hot anchovy broth filled with slim wheat flour noodles garnished with egg strands, spinach, zucchini slivers and green onion. The noodles are


uk su means noodles, and Ma Dang Gook Su has plenty of them, including inexpensive bowls of chewy, wide, hand-cut noodles in soup. The menu is in English on one side and In Korean on the other. What appears simply as noodles on the English side is Ma Dang noodles on the Korean side, giving

If the printed menu isnt enough of a guide, you can order from the photographs posted at the back of the restaurant. Ma Dang noodles is there, between spicy cold noodles and chicken noodle soup that tops the American version because the noodles are hand-cut. Ma Dangs repertoire includes buckwheat noodles, soybean noodles, udon and, believe it or not, spaghetti with meat sauce. Moving beyond noodles, try the steamed dumplings (No. 24). Hand-shaped, theyre filled with a ginger-scented pork and beef mixture, like something youd find in a Chinese dim sum restaurant, except that here youll be eating them with kimchi. Rice cakes appear in soups and a spicy stir-fry. Ma Dang also has bibim bap garnished with Korean mountain vegetables (sanchae). Meaty plates include pork cutlet or spicy squid with rice on the side. Windows covered with paper and wood make the restaurant seem like a faraway teahouse rather than a unit in a busy mall. On one wall, large photos show Korea in winter. The snowy scenes will make you long for a bowl of steaming soup, no matter how hot the weather outside may be.
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This noodle house has everything from Korean style noodle soups to spaghetti with meat sauce. Dont forget to try the dumplings too!
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 16 MA DANG GOOK SU

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Address 869 S. Western Ave. #1 L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-487-6008 Business hours Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Dak Kalguksu, Hot Stone Pot Rice (Dolsot Bibim Bap), Rice Cake & Dumpling Soup (Tteok Mandut Guk) Meal for one $8-10 Seating 50 869 S. Western Ave. #1 L.A., CA 90005 213 - 487 - 6008 - 09:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $8 - 10 50

Dak Kalguksu

Hot Stone Pot Rice



17 II


koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 17 MOO DAE PO II

factory, with battalions of exhaust vents hanging over long rows of tables. Those vents work hard, because Moo Dae Po is an all-you-can-eat barbeque place that does double duty as K-Pop club and sports bar. It gets into classical Korean culture too. Notice the Korean dolls and ceramics in display windows at the back and the graceful paintings of women serving tea, dancing with fans, performing pansori and other such arts that hang between Moo Dae Pos two rooms. The smaller front room is for the AYCE lunch barbeque, which costs much less than the top-priced barbeque. Still, it provides a generous 11 selections, including beef, pork, chicken and, if you fancy such things, intestines and abomasum. The top of the line barbeque has 31 choices, from meats to squid, baby octopus, tiger shrimp and vegetables. The catch is, it all has to be eaten within two hours. Theres a penalty for leaving meat on plates or on the grill, but thats standard AYCE procedure. Lower-priced barbeques are still generous. The next step down from the top has 25 options, and the one below that has 18. Soon tofu and steamed egg are included. Lunch specials aside from barbeque include bibim bap, beef noodle soup and kimchi stew. A galbi gui lunch box includes a large serving of rib meat on the bone, a green salad with

o to Moo Dae Po II at night for the youthful vibe. Its crowded, noisy, the music is loud and the videos run full force. If you cant stand that sort of madness, go for lunch, when its easier to get a seat. The restaurant is huge. During the day, when its fairly empty, it looks like a

If I had to pick my favorite Korean food, Id say its kimchi. Of course I enjoy the BBQ every now and then with my family and friends. And when I do, it is here.
by Sharone Hakman (Contestant in Season One of Foxs hit show, Master Chef )

tomatoes and onion, a rolled egg and vegetable omelet, fried tofu, and a macaroni salad with apples and cucumber. Not really a lunch box, it comes on a plate. But why quibble. Its a lot of food plus banchan and soup for a bargain price.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 17 MOO DAE PO II

Grilled Mackerel & Soybean Paste Stew &

Address 3014 W. 7th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-381-9990 Business hours Mon-Sun 12:30pm-1:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Grilled Mackerel & Soybean Paste Stew (Godeungeo Gui & Doenjang Jjigae), All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Meal for one $9.99 Seating 276 Website 3014 W. 7th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 381 - 9990 - 12:30 - 01:00 / & , 1 $9.99 276

All-You-Can-Eat BBQ

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 18 MYUNG DONG KYOZA

ate nighters head for Myung Dong Kyoza when hunger becomes urgent, because this noodle and dumpling shop is open 24 hours. Its the place to go for soothing, restorative soups, for spicy noodles, for silken steamed dumplings generously filled with meat and vegetables and crisp pan-fried dumplings to dip

in soy sauce and vinegar. When the weather is hot and steamy, cold soups and noodles provide a welcome chill. One of these, kong guksu, is such a draw that its photo fills a window beside the corner

entrance. A powerhouse of healthy ingredients, the thick white soup is made of ground beans. Submerged in this are noodles colored green with chlorella, an algae product reputed to be a super food. A ring of sesame seeds on top adds a pleasant nutty flavor. In the center, julienned cucumber and a tomato slice provide color and fresh contrast. In the window next to kong guksu is a photo of the cold weather alternative, kalguksu. This steaming bowl of chicken broth contains soft white noodles, minced chicken, vegetables and pork-filled dumplings. What makes it come alive is a spoonful of green chile sauce from the condiments on the table. The menu provides photos of each dish. One page is allotted to barbequed meats, but noodles and dumplings predominate. Cold noodles include spicy bibim guksu and hwe

Ice cold or steaming hot, Myung Dong Kyozas noodle soups fit any weather. Its dumplings are worth trying too.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

bibim guksu, which combines the spicy noodles with raw skate. Hot dishes include hyemul kalguksu-noodles and mixed seafood in seafood broth. Dumplings are filled with either shrimp and pork or just pork and come in soup as well as steamed or fried. During the day, Myong Dong Kyoza is bright and open. It is great for those who want to drop by to relax and skim through a book or newspaper while eating. In addition to its midWilshire location in Los Angeles, the restaurant has branches in Lakewood and Anaheim.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 18 MYUNG DONG KYOZA

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Address 3630 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 Telephone 213-385-7789 Business hours Sun-Wed 7:30am-2:00am / Thu-Sat 7:30am-3:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Kong Guksu, Tteok Mandut Guk, Mandut Guk, Pork Dumplings Meal for one $8.49 Seating 116 3630 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 213 - 385 - 7789 - 07:30 - 02:00 / - 07:30 - 03:00 / , , , 1 $8.49 116

Pork Dumplings

Tteok Mandut Guk

Kong Guksu





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 19 NAK WON

oreatown is a hot attraction for those who party or work late at night, because they can rely on 24-hour restaurants such as Nak Won for good food at reasonable prices. When the late crowd has gone home, Nak Won serves breakfast starting at 6

a.m. Instead of green onions pancakes and scrambled eggs, the choices are dumplings in beef broth, soon tofu, vegetable soup and beef broth with rice. Breakfast continues until 11 a.m., when the lunch specials click in. Apart from these, there is much to choose from, and no problem finding what you want. Menus are everywhereon the walls, on the table, and in the front windows. A picture menu displays Nak Wons dishes above the counter at the back. Favorites include spicy BBQ pork and the rice hot pot dolsot bibim bap. The meat and veg-

etables on top of the rice form a ring around a raw egg. The egg has to be stirred in at once so that the hot rice can cook it. Also popular is the spicy beef soup yukgaejang. Long thin strands of beef, beaten egg, glass noodles and green onions mingle in the highly seasoned red broth. The way to calm down the spiciness is to eat the broth with a spoonful of rice. The banchan that come with orders include potato salad, soybean sprouts, kimchi, spicy radish cubes and cool slices of mungbean jelly topped with sesame seeds, soy sauce and green onions. The restaurant isnt fancy. Open since 1987, its the Korean version of a friendly diner, providing nonstop food that suits any budget.

Good food at good prices makes Nak Won a popular destination. Whats more, its open 24 hours.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 19 NAK WON

Address 1001 S. Vermont Ave. #103 L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-388-8889 Business hours Mon-Sun 24hours / Open all year round Signature dish Dwaeji Bulgogi, Dolsot Bibim Bap, Yukgaejang Meal for one $8-17 Seating 76 Website 1001 S. Vermont Ave. #103 L.A., CA 90006 213 - 388 - 8889 - 24 / , , 1 $8 - 17 76


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Dwaeji Bulgogi Dolsot Bibim Bap





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 20 OB BEAR PUB

name is a play on words, because its almost the same as that of a well-known Korean beer. The logo isnt a bottle of beer, however, but a smiling bear wearing an apron and bow-tie and holding a mugful of suds. Korean bars are not just drinking spots but supply dishes that are hearty enough for a full meal. OB Bears long menu is headed by its popular fried chicken. Try also the spicy fried chicken wings. These are fried crisp, then coated with a delectable spicy sauce that forms a shiny glaze. The traditional accompaniment to both is a bowl of radish cubes in clear sweet broth. Spicy pan-fried squid is another option, and best if paired with an order of plain noodles. Sesame leaf and jalapeo pancake isnt what it sounds like, a simple pancake of greens with a dash of hot chili. Its a substantial plate of fat small pancakes stuffed with minced meat, tofu and vegetables. The filling is wrapped in sesame leaves, coated with egg and pan-fried. Other dishes to choose from include sweet and sour shrimp, mussel soup, Korean style meatballs, beef tempura and spicy chicken stew. Theres so much food that one could drop in just to eat and not imbibe. Soft drinks are available along with Korean spirits and a variety of beers, including the Korean favorites OB,

ts clear that most of OB Bears customers are Korean, because the menu cards on the tables are in Hangeul. If you cant read it, someone will bring an English language menu. This corner pub is as well-used and comfortable as any neighborhood hangout. The

OB Bear is popular among my non-Korean friends and colleagues for its dark, not particularly American style drinking joint. Most famous for its spicy chicken wings.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 20 OB BEAR PUB

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Address 3002 West 7th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-480-4910 Business hours Mon-Sun 4:00pm-2:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Sesame leaf and Jalapeo Pancake (Kkanip Jeon and Gochu Jeon), Pan-fried Spicy Squid (Ojingeo Bokkeum), Spicy Chicken Wings Meal for one $14-23 Seating 130 3002 West 7th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 480 - 4910 - 16:00 - 02:00 / & , , 1 $14 - 23 130

Sesame Leaf and Jalapeo Pancake &

Spicy Chicken Wings



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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 21 ondal 2

She cracks the shells and scoops out roe for each person to sample. Next, she fills the shells with a finely ground mixture that resembles dumpling stuffing, then adds a spoonful of rice, soybean sprouts from the boiling pot and a ladle of broth. When the soup crab are gone, she cleans out the pot, adds rice, kimchi, dried bean powder and the Korean green minari and makes fried rice. The companion to this is a bowl of cold, clear kimchi soup with radishes. If youd rather have noodles than rice, shell shave a wad of dough into the pot as you watch. Meanwhile, youll be eating a generous supply of banchan, more than most Korean restaurants provide. These might include steamed egg, pickled garlic stems, steamed squid with

ark in the lot behind OnDal 2, and you might see maroon bibs out to dry. If you order OnDals famous spicy crab soup, youll put on an apron to protect your clothes from fiery red splashes. The molten soup bubbles fiercely as the waitress sets it over heat on the table.

gochu jang, sweet raw yam slices, a large serving of vegetable pancake, and potato salad
that contains more crisp apple slices than potatoes. There could be extras too, such as finely shredded cabbage with freshly made fruit sauce, which was presented one day as an appetizer. Dessert will be the sweet rice drink sikhye, cooled with ice cubes. Seafood is definitely what to order at OnDal 2. Of the 16 specialties listed on a colorful sign inside the restaurant, only three contain meat. The restaurant is west of Koreatown in a residential area. Its spacious, with an airy patio

OnDals fiery crab soup is legendary. At the end it turns into fried rice, so you get two dishes instead of one!
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

and excellent service. Waitresses speak Chinese because many Chinese customers come for the seafood. The original OnDal in Koreatown is not related to OnDal 2. The name comes from a legendary hero, a humble man who married a princess, fought to defend his land, became a general and was eventually killed in battle.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 21 ondal 2

Address 4566 W. Washington Blvd. L.A., CA 90016 Telephone 323-933-3228 Business hours Mon-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Spicy Crab Soup (Kkotge Tang), Steamed Seafood with Spicy Sauce (Haemul Jjim), Steamed Ribs with Spicy Sauce (Maeun Galbi Jjim) Meal for one $45-60 Seating 120 4566 W. Washington Blvd. L.A., CA 90016 323 - 933 - 3228 - 10:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $45 - 60 120

Steamed Rib with Spicy Sauce

Spicy Crab Soup

Steamed Seafood with Spicy Sauce

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 22 OO-KOOK

The ingredients that will be tossed with it arent arranged on top, as is customary. Instead they are lined up separately on a long white dish. Although everything will be tossed together, the deconstructed presentation makes the dish appear as elite as its name. Only some of the 10 greens are green, but all are vegetables. Another version includes raw meat. Oo-Kook does other things in a big way too, like its jumbo beef rib soup. The ribs are as hefty as the name indicates. Theyre juicy and tender, good as is. But dipped in soy sauce spiked with horseradish, theyre remarkable. The pot arrives covered with greens, not 10 but only two, green onions and Korean chives. Another big dish is Oo-Kooks jumbo dumpling soup. The dumplings are round and bulky as fists. Stuffed with a blend of kimchi, tofu, beef and vegetables, they come in a bowl of mild beef broth along with flat rice cakes and egg shreds. A large restaurant on two levels, Oo-Kook offers an all-you-can-eat barbeque. The restaurant takes pride in the quality of its pasture-raised beef. Eat there and youre literally in cow countrythats the meaning of the name Oo-Kook.
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o-Kook does something special with the rice dish bibim bap. First off, it has given it a lofty name, 10 Greens Royal bibim bap. Because the rice is royal it arrives regally in a heavy brass bowl, accompanied only by a fried egg, fluted slices of vegetable jelly and strands of dried seaweed.

Oo-Kooks dishes up big food including jumbo ribs and dumpling soup. Its bibim bap is fit for royalty.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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Address 3385 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-385-5665 Business hours Mon-Fri 11:00am-11:00pm / Sat-Sun 11:00am-12:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Jumbo Beef Rib Soup (Wang Galbi Tang), Jumbo Dumpling Soup (Wang Mandut Guk), 10 Greens Royal Bibim Bap Meal for one $8.99-25 Seating 200 3385 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 385 - 5665 - 11:00 - 23:00 / - 11:00 - 24:00 / , , 10 1 $8.99 - 25 200

Jumbo Beef Rib Soup

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 23 PALSAIK KOREAN BBQ

of pork. and garlic.

alsaik is all about the number eight, which is pal in Korean. The restaurant opened on August 8 (thats 8/8) in 2011. Saik means color, and so the name means eight colors. This refers to the eight ways that pork belly (samgyupsal) is marinated to produce, as the sign outside says, eight colorful flavors

Since opening, a ninth flavor (smoky) has been added, but the name of the restaurant will always refer to the basic eight. They are original (unseasoned); wine, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste and hot, which is spiced with the Korean red pepper paste gochu jang. Order the eight flavors set, and you can taste them all. No problem keeping the eight straight, even in the heat of barbequing. Each is in a separate dish on a long narrow tray marked with the names. Grills at Palsaik are slanted so that the fat drains away from the meat. Kimchi and marinated soybeansprouts cook at one end, while raw vegetables are lined up at the other end. The pork goes in between, starting with the four that are mildest in flavor-wine, original, ginseng The intensity rises with the next four. The herb-seasoned pork adds new flavors to Korean barbeque-fresh rosemary and basil. Curry is easy to spot. Its yellow. Soybean paste is salty. Last on the grill is the spicy-sweet gochu jang pork belly. All meat would make a dull meal, and so the set includes a green salad and a soybean and seafood stew. When the stew is almost gone, the server empties the pot, which sits on a

These assorted marinated lengths of pork belly come rolled up in order of flavor. My favorites are the spicy, garlic, and smoked-flavored ones.
by Joseph Hahn (Rock Group, Linkin Park member)

burner, and adds rice, seaweed and any soybeansprouts and kimchi remaining on the grill to make very tempting fried rice. Palsaik wants customers to know what healthy food they are eating. A row of panels on the wall presents the health benefits of each flavor. The restaurant is smartly designed in black, white and orange. The orange seats on the stools arent just decorative. Lift them up and theres a place to store your possessions while you eat.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 23 PALSAIK KOREAN BBQ

Address 863 S. Western Ave. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-365-1750 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:30am-2:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Palsaik Set (Palsaik Samgyeopsal), Flower Pig Set (Kkot Samgyeopsal) Seafood Soybean Paste Stew (Doenjang Jjigae) Meal for one $12-50 Seating 150 Website 863 S. Western Ave. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 365 - 1750 - 11:30 - 02:00 / , , 1 $12 - 50 150

Seafood Soybean Paste Stew

Palsaik Set

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 24 PARKS BARBEQUE

op quality meats make Parks a must for connoisseurs of Korean barbeque. Owner Jenee Y. Kim, who opened the restaurant in 2003, insists on the best, and so prices can be high. Wagyu beef short ribs are $75, and Wagyu rib eye steak is $72. Another specialty is kkot sal, a rib eye cut known as flower meat

because of its flower-like marbling. Other meats are more reasonable, such as the restaurants acclaimed galbi (prime beef

short ribs) for $33.There is a price break, however. Korean barbeque restaurants commonly require a minimum of two orders even if that is too much for two people. At Parks, the minimum is one order of meat for two. The meats are delivered daily and are available only until the item it sold out, the menu warns. Although barbeque is the focus, Parks galbi tang, or short rib soup, also has a following. Packed with beefy flavor, the soup contains transparent noodles and green onions along with the meat. Other dishes to fill out a meal include kimchi stew, bibim bap and the cold noodle soup naengmyeon. Non-meat eaters are well catered for with premium seafood dishes such as fresh abalone, spicy cod, marinated Tiger shrimp and grilled marinated sea bass prepared with gingko nuts, chestnuts and dates. Smart and urban, Parks is a sophisticated spot to dine with friends or business clients. At the same time, the ambience is comfortably casual. You might even spot a celebrity, because Koreas top stars hang out there when in town.

I was first introduced to Korean food during the 2007 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in South Korea. I really liked the Korean spicy foods and I have become a huge fan of Korean BBQ.
by Tommy Meyer (Defender for LA Galaxy : Major League Soccer : MLS)

American film stars like Parks too. The photo gallery of famous visitors includes Hollywoods Nicolas Cage. The wine list is international. A wide selection of alcohol, including sake and Korean liquors, is available too. The restaurant is on two levels. The main room is downstairs, but when Parks is crowded, as often happens, an upstairs room handles the overflow.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 24 PARKS BARBEQUE

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Address 955 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-380-1717 Business hours Mon-Fri 11:00am-12:00am / Sat-Sun 11:00am-2:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Kkot Sal Gui, Soup with Gin-seng (Yeongyang Galbi Tang), Spicy Black Cod (Eundaegu Jorim) Shrimp Salad Meal for one $15-40 Seating 125 Website 955 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90006 213 - 380 - 1717 - 11:00 - 24:00 / - 11:00 - 02:00 / , , , 1 $15 - 40 125 Kkot Sal Gui Spicy Black Cod

Soup with Gin-seng

Shrimp Salad





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 25 road to seoul

Ordering is easy. There are just two barbeque menus, one slightly higher in price than the other, and the price is the same at lunch or dinner. Getting service is a matter of pushing a call button at the table. Koreans know that, but others may not, and so the management explains what to do on the menu and on wall signs. Located slightly north of Koreatown proper, Road to Seoul is more spacious than it looks from the street. Eating there is comfortable because tables arent jammed together. A first time visitor simply picks one of the two menus. A big bowl of green salad appears rapidly, then come banchan including japchae, the glass noodle stir fry that Westerners like because it tastes familiar. Others are kimchi, marinated radish and spicily seasoned strips of fish cake. Meanwhile, the meats go on the grill. The lower-priced menu has 18 options that range from beef, pork and chicken to squid, baby octopus and a variety of meats that Koreans like. Also meant for grilling are rolls of beef or pork belly wrapped around rice cakes. The contrast of browned meat with soft, chewy filling is worth experiencing. The higher-priced menu has four additional choices that include shrimp, mushrooms, and a Road to Seoul beef patty on a stick. In the midst of the grilling, a server drops off a pot of steaming, fluffy eggs. Toward the

ll-you-can-eat barbeques are so common in Koreatown that its hard, at least for non-Koreans, to tell them apart. Road to Seoul has pushed itself above average by catering to customers with food and service that has them lining up to get in.

Road to Seoul makes barbecuing easy with just two set menus. Pick one, and the food arrives nonstop.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

end, another brings a kimchi pancake the size of a small pizza. Its a deep orange from the kimchi, and the browned edges are appetizingly crunchy. Road to Seoul stays open until midnight weekdays and later on weekends, but everyday theres a special on soju after 10 p.m.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 25 road to seoul

Address 1230 S. Western Ave. L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 323-731-9292 Business hours Mon-Thu 11:00am-12:00am / Fri-Sat 11:00am-1:00am / Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Bulgogi in a Hot Pot (Ttukbaegi Bulgogi), All-You-Can-Eat BBQ Meal for one $9-22 Seating 200 1230 S. Western Ave. L.A., CA 90006 323 - 731 - 9292 - 11:00 - 24:00 / - 11:00 - 01:00 / 11:00 - 23:00 / , 1 $9 - 22 200

All-You-Can-Eat BBQ

Bulgogi in a Hot Pot

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 26 SEONGBUKDONG

at night too.

earby office workers fill this small, homey place at lunch. To get in, you have to sign a list that is kept on a table outside, then wait until your name is called. Meanwhile, you can scan the menu or wander around the corner mall where the restaurant is located. Theres no waiting inside, because every space is

filled with tables. No one minds the delay, which generally isnt long, because the food is good, prices are reasonable and the staffs are friendly and helpful. For that reason, SeongBukDong is busy The top draws are two soups. One is boiled rice in beef soup, a hearty restorative pumped up with beef blood. If thats not your style, try the other, a bright and tangy soup with rice cakes, rice and kimchi. Youll have to ask for it by the Korean name, gaengsik-i, because the menu gives no English translation. Big enough for two, the soups are just $9.99. Another top seller is steamed beef short rib (galbi jjim) although its the most expensive dish on the menu. The meat is dark and juicy

from long cooking in sweet soy sauce broth. Koreans love seafood, and so the menu offers good choices in that category. Try braised mackerel, which amounts to a meal in a pot. On the bottom are thick radish slices, which turn golden as they soak in the spicy sauce. Then comes mackerel slice stopped with a thick layer of kimchi. SeongBukDong is all about the foodyou can see the simmering pots as you squeeze past the kitchen to go to the restroom. Decorations are simple, just paintings of flowers and newspaper clippings about the restaurant.

Small and homey, SeongBukDong usually has a line waiting to get in. Top choices include two hearty soups.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 26 SEONGBUKDONG

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Address 3303 W. 6th St. L.A., CA 90020 Telephone 213-738-8977 Business hours Mon-Sun 9:00am-12:00am / Open all year round Signature dish Braised Mackerel (Godeungeo Jorim), Steamed Beef Short Rib (Galbi Jjim), Gaengsik-i (Kimchi Juk) Meal for one $10-30 Seating 30 3303 W. 6th St. L.A., CA 90020 213 - 738 - 8977 - 09:00 - 24:00 / , , 1 $10 - 30 30

Braised Mackerel

Steamed Beef Short Rib





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 27 soban

oreans say that if a restaurants kimchi is good, the rest of the banchan will be good too. At Soban, the kimchi is good and so are the banchan, but it doesnt stop there. The main dishes are notable too. One that stands out is galbi nakji tang, which

is short rib (galbi ) soup that also includes octopus (nakji ) and abalone. Its not on the formal menu but appears in a set of photographs on the wall that are identified in Korean only. The broth is so richly flavored that a bowl of only that would be more than satisfying. But the soup also includes tender rib meat, pleasantly chewy abalone slices, octopus and a raft of vegetables that add fresh color and, in the case of the leafy green ssukgat (crown daisy),

unique herbal flavor. The other vegetables include carrots, zucchini and enoki mushrooms. Jalapeo slices add a touch of heat. Another Soban specialty is marinated raw blue crab. The Korean way is to spoon rice into the shell along with the crab and its bright orange roe, drizzle this with the slightly spicy sauce, mix and eat. Try also haemul pajeon, a pan-fried pancake stuffed with seafood and green onion. The dip for this is soy sauce mixed with vinegar. A dab of horseradish is tucked at the edge to spice up the mixture as desired. Soban is known for its abundant banchan, and these will take up much of the table. There is always kimchi. Others might include marinated eggplant, crunchy celery sticks seasoned with crushed sesame, pickled jalapeos, sauted tofu and minari, which is sometimes called Korean cilantro.

Beef soup with abalone and octopus is one of Sobans top dishes. Another is marinated raw crab.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

The restaurant is small, intimate, cheerful and pleasant. A counter provides seating for solitary diners and small groups when the few tables are filled. A sign warns that alcohol isnt allowed. Instead, barley tea accompanies meals, and the sweet rice drink sikhye serves as dessert.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 27 soban

Address 4001 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 Telephone 323-936-9106 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Ganjang Ge Jang, Galbi Nakji Tang, Galbi Jjim Meal for one $13-45 Seating 33 Website 4001 W. Olympic Blvd. L.A., CA 90019 323 - 936 - 9106 - 11:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $13 - 45 33

Ganjang Ge Jang

Galbi Jjim

Galbi Nakji Tang

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 28 SOKONGDONG SOON TOFU

ounded in the mid-1980s, Sokongdong is the oldest soon tofu restaurant in Los Angeles. Its appearance is more modest than one would expect from such a landmark. Nevertheless, serious soon tofu lovers put it high on their list, because they like the home-style flavors.

Almost hidden in the corner of a mall, this little restaurant looks like any bare bones fast food place. The menu is similar to those at other soon tofu restaurants. The 10 varieties on the menu are followed by soon tofu in combination with meats such as barbequed ribs and bulgogi. Then come dishes served apart from soon tofu, including meats, a seafood

pancake, tofu salad, dumplings and spicy raw crab. Banchan are standard, except that spicy crab is one of them. Some of the customers come just to taste that. Located in a busy commercial district near a major Koreatown intersection, Sokongdong is for a quick bite between errands and is open late enough for dinner. It has been so successful the owner has opened a second restaurant next door. The menu in that restaurant, which connects with Sokongdong through a hallway, concentrates on noodles and dumplings rather than tofu.
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This is one of my favorite soon tofu places, if not my most favorite. The soup is mild but hits where it should. Also, the radish kimchi they serve is always right on and delicious.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 28 SOKONGDONG SOON TOFU

Yangnyum Ge Jang

Galbi Tang

Steamed Mandu

Address 2716 W. Olympic Blvd #104 L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-380-3737 Business hours Mon-Sun 10:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish BBQ Ribs & Tofu Combination (Galbi Gui & Sundubu Jjigae), Seafood Pancake (Haemul Pajeon), Galbi Tang Meal for one $14.99 Seating 130 2716 W. Olympic Blvd #104 L.A., CA 90006 213 - 380 - 3737 - 10:00 - 23:00 / ( & ), , 1 $14.99 130

BBQ Ribs & Tofu Combination

Seafood Pancake





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 29 sohyang

mart-looking professionals gather at SoHyang, because its just behind the tall office building where many of them work. On the other side of the restaurant is City Center on 6th, a three-story collection of shops to browse in before or after dining.

SoHyang is more than a quick lunch place. Its smart and contemporary. Even the floor is attractively designed. Private rooms are airy and bright, screened off by glass panels patterned with opaque squares to maintain privacy without shutting out the light. Its the sort of place where you can get anything from a $125 bottle of tequila to a $9 kimchi

stew with pork and tofu. At lunch theres a galbi combination arranged in a compartmented wooden box, like a Japanese bento. The large serving of marinated boneless rib steak comes with rice, veggie spring rolls, a block of soft fresh tofu drizzled with seasonings, and steamed pork belly slices to wrap in cabbage leaves with garlic and soybean paste. Salmon teriyaki, spicy pork and grilled beef (bulgogi ) are other lunch entrees. SoHyang prides itself on barbeque. Meats include tender wagyu and prime beef with brisket and tongue. Seafood dishes range from a hot pot of eel over rice to broiled Chilean sea bass and salmon. SoHyang may appear upscale, but it doesnt neglect such comforting food as the tofu soup the hot pot bibim bap and the cold noodle soup naengmyeon. The long menu explores all types of Korean cuisine so that each customer can find something that pleases.

I love it because Hansik is a very healthy and well-balanced diet and I consider it to be a simple, yet clean, food. One of my two favorite Korean foods to make and eat are bibim bap and topokki. by Bernard Guillas (Executive Chef, Marine Room La Jolla)
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 29 sohyang

Address 3435 Wilshire Blvd #123 L.A., CA 90010 Telephone 213-385-5600 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Janguh Dolsot Bibim Bap, Kkot Sal Gui, Galbi Gui Combo, Herbs Prime Rib-eye Steak Meal for one $15-40 Seating 450 Website 3435 Wilshire Blvd #123 L.A., CA 90010 213 - 385 - 5600 - 11:00 - 23:00 / , , , 1 $15 - 40 450 Galbi Gui Combo

Janguh Dolsot Bibim Bap

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 30 SOOWON GALBI

f you want to experience Korean barbeque at its best, go to Soowon Galbi. The meat is top quality, and the signature Soowon wang galbi (tender, prime beef short ribs) is

delicious that you wont be able to stop at one order. Soowon marinates the galbi for 48 hours so that every fiber is permeated with rich

flavor. And you barbeque over live coals, which is not only fun but makes the meat even more tasty. (In the unlikely case that youve not done this before, the menu offers a course in Korean BBQ 101). Youll be able to taste the marinade directly, because the same ingredients are used for a dipping sauce. Youll also be given soft rice cake paper squares and lettuce leaves for wrapping the cooked meat along with soybean and red pepper pastes (ssam jang ) and fresh garlic. Do this, and youll wind up with the most delectable bundles of food imaginable. But theres more to Soowon than grilled meat. Its banchan (side dishes) are outstanding. Theyre prepared in the style of Jeolla-do, a province in southern Korea that is known for fine cuisine. Made with fresh seasonal ingredients, the banchan change daily, and youll get at least 10 of them. Examples include fried almonds with anchovies, dried fish in chili sauce, pickled cucumber and two styles of kimchi-one that is freshly made and lighter in flavor, and another that is pungent, spicy, well-fermented kimchi. A perfect partner for galbi is naengmyeon, a cold soup of buck wheat noodles, Asian pear and hardboiled egg in broth made from radish kimchi (dongchimi ) liquid. You can add vinegar and mustard at the table to produce pleasing tangy-sweet flavor.

This is my favorite BBQ places of all because of the quality of the Yukhwe meat. So if you appreciate fresh, marinate beef sashimi, this is the place to order it!
by Cathlyn Choi-Michelson (Cathlyns Korean Kitchen TV cooking Show Host/PBS)

Packed into a crowded mall in a Latino neighborhood, Soowon draws many non-Koreans, but its cooking is authentic, not altered for Western tastes.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 30 SOOWON GALBI

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Address 856 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-365-9292 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:30am-10:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish Kkot Sal Gui, Soowon Wang Galbi Gui, Mul Naengmyeon Meal for one $9-37 Seating 100 Website 856 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 365 - 9292 - 11:00 - 22:30 / , , 1 $9 - 37 100

Mul Naengmyeon





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 31 Soot Bull Jeep

oot Bull Jeep was the talk of Los Angeles when it opened in 1983. At that time, it was the only place where you could barbeque over live coals. People lined up to get in, and no one seemed to mind that sparks flew like fireworks and the aroma of smoke clung to hair and clothing for hours afterward.

Today, Soot Bull Jeep is still popular, although other restaurants now use live coals too. Sometimes its so crowded that you have to take a numbered ticket from a bright red dispenser just as if you were waiting your turn at a meat counter. Although the restaurant has been renovated, it remains dark enough to seem gloomy during the day. The best time to go is at night, when the glowing coals turn each grill into a cheerful oasis of light. The food is traditional. Meats for barbequing include not only beef, pork and chicken but also eel, squid and shrimp. Galbi (beef short ribs) in a sweet marinade is the top meat. Try also marinated Spencer steak or beef seasoned only with sesame oil and salt. Standard accompaniments include a green salad, kimchi and radishes seasoned with hot red pepper

sauce or combined with carrots. The service can be casual, so make sure the waitress brings the beef broth and radish soup that should come with barbeque orders. Think about also ordering dongchimi guksu, a bowl of noodles with kimchi broth, green onions and jalapeo slices. Kept cold with ice cubes, its similar to the cold noodle dish naengmyeon, only with different noodles. When the barbequing is done, the waitress will put a handful of ice on the grill. That may seem startling, but the purpose is to cool the coals quickly so that no more sparks fly out to endanger ones face and clothing.
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The quality of meat is superb. Great gathering place for group of friends to sit at the round table with charcoal grilled meat and soju.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

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by (UCLA Feast )



koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 31 Soot Bull Jeep

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Marinated Short Ribs BBQ Address 3136 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 Telephone 213-387-3865 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Noodles with Mild Seasoning Kimchi Broth (Dongchimi Guksu), Marinated Short Ribs BBQ (So Galbi Gui), Marinated Shrimp BBQ (Saeu Gui) Meal for one $8-30 Seating 136 3136 W. 8th St. L.A., CA 90005 213 - 387 - 3865 - 11:00 - 23:00 / , , , 1 $8 - 30 136

Spicy tofu Stew

Marinated Shrimp BBQ

Noodles with Mild Seasoning Kimchi Broth





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 32 TAHOE GALBI

that has been well-liked for years. A large number of the customers are non-Koreans. Theyre pleased with the lively buzz of the place, the all-you-can-eat barbeques and the way Tahoe Galbi caters to office parties and makes a fuss over birthdays. When someone is celebrating, the entire restaurant hears the Happy Birthday song over the speaker system. This is not to say that the food isnt Korean. Meats, even on the least expensive all-youcan-eat menu, include dishes unfamiliar to most Westerners, such as abomasum and intestine. Options on some AYCE menus are grilled pineapple and banana. Potato salad, which is one of the banchan, tastes typically American. To get galbi (beef short ribs) you have to go a couple of steps up from the least expensive barbeque menu or order it a la carte or on a lunch combination that pairs it with the cold noodle soup naengmyeon. The only beef on the basic menu of 10 dishes is unseasoned beef brisket, which comes with a dish of salt or a sweet and tangy soy sauce mixture for dipping. One of the best choices is spicy BBQ chicken. Red with the seasonings, it remains moist and succulent no matter how long it spends on the grill. Pork shoulder and butt are also on the basic menu. Accompaniments are banchan and soybean paste stew or soft tofu stew. Tahoe Galbis menu is as large as the restaurant. Seating is in comfortable booths and private rooms. The exhaust vents overhead are gold and bell-shaped, bringing to mind Asias golden temples rather than their utilitarian function.
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ahoe Galbi strikes a pleasant chord with Californians, because it reminds them of Lake Tahoe, the vacation resort. In Korean, though, the name of the restaurant isnt Tahoe but Daho, a word that means liking something a lot. Even though it could suggest a lake, its also an excellent name for a restaurant

Popular for many years, Tahoe Galbi knows how to please customers with food and personal attention. If its your birthday, the restaurant will help you celebrate it too.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 32 TAHOE GALBI

All-You-Can-Eat BBQ

Address 3986 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 Telephone 213-365-9000 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-11:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish All-You-Can-Eat BBQ, So Galbi Gui & Cold Noodle (Naengmyeon), Bibim Bap Meal for one $7-16 Seating 250 Website 3986 Wilshire Blvd. L.A., CA 90010 213 - 365 - 9000 - 11:00 - 23:30 / , , 1 $7 - 16 250

So Galbi Gui & Cold Noodle

Bibim Bap

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 33 THE CORNER PLACE

cold noodle soup, dongchimi guksu. The lightly salted broth, made according to a secret recipe that involves kimchi, and the slim, slippery noodles are wonderful with barbequed meats. Look for cold noodles in soup at the top of the menu in English. There are two sizes, regular and large, but even regular is a large bowl. Beef at The Corner Place is choice grade or higher. The most popular cuts for barbequing are galbi (lightly marinated boneless short ribs) and bulgogi (sliced beef tenderloin). Others in cude rib eye steak, tongue, brisket and beef shank. Pork belly, spicy pork, chicken and shrimp are also on the barbeque list. A typically Korean salad of shredded green onion tops comes with orders as well as rice and banchan. These might include a bowl of sweetened liquid and radish slices covered with ice cubes; spicy zucchini with squid, fine strips of radish in spicy seasoning and an unusual jalapeo pickle that is slightly sweet and dark brown. The Corner Place opened in 1982 and has maintained the same menu ever since. Theres no need to change when its dishes are so well-liked.
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he Corner Place isnt on a corner. Its set back in a narrow strip mall, flanked on one side by a market that stocks Latino groceries and, on the other, by a panadera that sells Mexican and Central American breads. Popular for its generous servings, The Corner Place takes special pride in its ice

Hands down, the best cold noodles Ive ever had. usually compliment the noodles with marinated BBQ beef, but if you only want one thing, cold noodles it is.
by Joseph Hahn (Rock group, Linkin park member)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 33 THE CORNER PLACE

Address 2819 W. James M. Wood blvd. L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-487-0968 Business hours Mon-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm / Sun 12:00pm-9:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Yukgaejang, Cold Noodles in Soup (Dongchimi Guksu), Galbit Sal Gui Meal for one $8-28 Seating 100 Website 2819 W. James M. Wood blvd. L.A., CA 90006 213 - 487 - 0968 - 11:00 - 22:00 / 12:00 - 21:00 / , , 1 $8 - 28 100

Cold Noodles in Soup

Galbi Sal Gui





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 34 WESTERN DOMA NOODLE

There couldnt be a more comforting place to eat such a heart-warming soup than this small, cozy restaurant. Set back in an ordinary looking strip mall, its, a favorite with locals. Special dishes are posted on the wall, but theyre written in Korean, so ask for help if you cant read Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. However, its not necessary to read or speak Korean in order to pick out what you want. A printed menu explains the dishes in English, accompanied by pictures of the dishes. One of the wall specials in Korean might be the rice dish bibim bap with seafood. This comes to the table in a pot so hot that the rice crusts on the bottom. In the center is a bright orange circle of fish roe. Around it are vegetables, yellow egg strip sand seafood including mussels, shrimp and squid. Tossed with the red pepper paste gochu jang, these add up to a hearty dish that is as comforting as the soup. A bright yellow sign outside helps one to identify the restaurant. Inside is so small that equipment has to be stacked where its visible, like a home kitchen without enough storage room. The tables are often full. Customers like the warm atmosphere and the appetizer that appears as soon as they sit down. This is topokki, stir-fried tubular rice cakes in a spicy red sauce. Chewy and addictive, theyre as comforting as the rest of the food.

f you want comfort food, the perfect choice is handmade noodle dumpling soup (No. 14 on the menu) at Western Doma. The noodles are springy and chewy, and the dumplings are stuffed with a tasty vegetable mixture. Theres beef in the soup too, as well as zucchini and green onion.

Small and cozy, Western Doma specializes in handmade noodles and dumplings. You can enjoy them both in a nourishing soup.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 34 WESTERN DOMA NOODLE

Address 429 N Western Ave. #10. L.A., CA 90004 Telephone 323-871-1955 Business hours Mon-Sun 10:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Mandu Kalguksu, Spicy Chicken Stew (Dak Maeun Jjim), Seafood Dolsot Bibim Bap, Cod Fish Stew (Eundaegu Jorim) Meal for one $9-32 Seating 36 429 N Western Ave. #10. L.A., CA 90004 323 - 871 - 1955 - 10:00 - 22:00 / , , , 1 $9 - 32 36

Spicy Chicken Stew

Cod Fish Stew

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Seafood Dolsot Bibim Bap Mandu Kalguksu





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 35 YONG SU SAN

royalty. Foreign dignitaries, diplomats and local Korean elite gather in private rooms, where theyre served by waitresses in traditional costume. Even if youre not part of a VIP group, youll still be served with similar elegance in a large, serene dining room. Yong Su San specializes in Kaesong cuisine. Once the Goryeo capital, Kaesong is now in North Korea, close to the border with South Korea. A royal dish that youre not likely to taste at other restaurants is sinseollo, served in a brass chimney pot filled with refined ingredients in mild broth. At Yong Su San, the components include delicate pancakes that contain fish, egg or vegetables, sliced beef, gingko nuts, translucent squares of radish, mushrooms and sweet peppers. The name Yong Su San means dragon water mountain, which is the name of a mountain in Kaesong. Try also the subtly flavored beef soup with marble-sized rice cakes and beef dumplings. Strands of egg and seaweed float in the broth. If you want to be seriously upper crust, order the royal table dhote, a 16-course repast that includes not just sinseollo but the equally famous dish gujeolpan, or nine delicacy plate, a collection of tasty foods to roll up in thin small crepes. Other dishes on this menu are skewered sea scallops, steamed abalone, tuna prepared Yong Su San style, shrimp, grilled beef and Kaesong-style wrapped kimchi. Its the most expensive of several table dhote menus, including one for lunch, and requires a minimum of two orders. The dishes for each are listed on the menu, but they change according to the season. Even tea is special at Yong Su San. Instead of the usual barley tea, you might be served

ou dont eat like a king at Yong Su San, but you can eat like an emperor from the famous Goryeo Dynasty, which produced some of Koreas most exquisite dishes. Imagine having these brought to you in a setting as exclusive as if you were

Yongsusan for royal palace cuisine. For royal palace cuisine, try ordering tang pyung chae and gujeolpan. Very well balanced, healthy and tasty dishes that well represent Hansik to non Koreans! by Cathlyn Choi-Michelson (Cathlyns Korean Kitchen TV cooking Show Host)
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geol-myung ja, made from cassia seeds, and reputed to be therapeutic for the eyes.
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Sinseollo Pan-fried Dish () Address 950 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90006 Telephone 213-388-3042 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:00pm-10:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish Sinseollo, Gujeolpan, Pan-fried Dish (Jeanyouhwa) Meal for one $18-30 Seating 200 Website 950 S. Vermont Ave. L.A., CA 90006 213 - 388 - 3042 - 11:30 - 15:00 17:00 - 22:30 / , , () 1 $18 - 30 200 Gujeolpan




buena park garden grove Los Feliz Marina del Rey


Buena Park

Garden Grove

Los Feliz

Marina Del Rey



koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 36 Cham

beer list.

ortabello fries, seared ahi tuna, tofu pockets with arugula and carrots may not sound Korean, butre on the menu at Cham, Korean bistro in Pasadena. Purists might not like to wrap seared ahi tuna with soybean paste in a lettuce leaf when the tuna is much better by itself. And they might question why a ssam

garden plate includes noodles when Koreans prefer rice in their ssam bundles. However, Cham does have a worthy goal, and that is to serve pure, fresh seasonal food. Its version of Korean cuisine might seem out of place in Koreatown, but it does appeal to young Pasadenans, like the natural, approach and such up-to-date features as an artisan Happy hour at Cham is the Chamtail hour, just as a combination plate is a Chambination. During Cham tail, the restaurant offers fusion tapas that include calamari mini tacos with sauted kimchi topping, ahi tuna with chimichurri sauce, and crispy pork belly with fingerling potatoes. Bibim bap comes in four variations, the most unusual of which is sizzling kimchi gratin with mozzarella cheese. Barbequed meats are available a la carte, on the ssam garden platter or in a chambination. Desserts such as a marbled espresso cake and a peach cobbler beer float are totally Western. The restaurant is set up fast food style. Orders are taken at the counter, and the menu is posted on a blackboard above it. Simple clean lines and an abundance of blonde wood is more Danish modern than Korean, but it suits Chams bright, young, contemporary approach.
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Cham updates Korean food with a fresh, lively, seasonal approach. One of its attractions is a happy hour with tapas.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 36 Cham

Seared Ahi Tuna & Garden Platter

Spicy Pork Bulgogi Chambination

Address 851 Cordova St. Pasadena, CA 91101 Telephone 626-792-2474 Business hours Mon-Wed 11:00am-9:00pm / Thu-Sat 11:00am-10:00pm / Closed on Sundays Signature dish Beef Short Rib Stew (Galbi Jjim), Seared Ahi Tuna & Garden Platter (Ssam), Spicy Pork Bulgogi Chambination, Tofu Crouton Salad Meal for one $11-16 Seating 40 Website Beef Short rib Stew 851 Cordova St. Pasadena, CA 91101 626 - 792 - 2474 - 11:00 - 21:00 / - 11:00 - 22:00 / , , , 1 $11 - 16 40

Tofu Crouton Salad

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Mo Ran Gak

koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 37 Mo Ran Gak

ietnamese may dominate in Garden Grove, but Korean-Americans are the second largest Asian group, and businesses with signs in Hangeul are common. Korean dishes there can be as authentic as in L.A.s Koreatown. One place to try them is Mo Ran Gak, which may be the only restaurant where food is on the

ceiling as well as on the tables. Overhead are illuminated panels that show meats ready for barbequing, a bowl of golden wine, kimchi pots and spectacular Korean landscapes.

The meats on the ceiling should whet appetites for Mo Ran Gaks beef, which comes either marinated or plain. Cuts include ribs, thin sliced beef, rib eye steak and tongue. Pork belly, chicken and tiger shrimp are also available. Mo Ran Gak is named after a North Korean restaurant, and so its a good place to try the North Korean cold noodle soup Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon. Buckwheat noodles are coiled under a stack of sliced radish, cucumbers, thin strips of Asian pear and boiled beef in chilled broth thats not complete without a dash of mustard and vinegar. Half a hardboiled egg and a sprinkle of sesame seeds are in the bowl too. Theres hot beef broth to drink along with it.

Haemul pajeon, or seafood pancake, is another top dish. Its thick and rustic, literally bursting with seafood, vegetables and, especially, green onions (pain Korean), all of this enclosed in fluffy egg batter. Equally tempting is Mo Ran Gaks bibim bap, rice covered with so many garnishes that it looks like an artists palette transferred to a sizzling stone plate. Service is fast and efficient. At peak hours it may be necessary to wait for a table, but Mo Ran Gak seats everyone as quickly as possible.

North Korean style cold noodle soup is a specialty at Mo Ran Gak. Try it along with barbequed beef.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 37 Mo Ran Gak

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Address 9651 Garden Grove Blvd. Garden Grove, CA 92844 Telephone 714-638-1177 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish Authentic Non-marinated Korean Combination Gui, Haemul Pajeon, Pyeongyang Mul Naengmyeon, Bibim Naengmyeon Meal for one $9-27 Seating 100 9651 Garden Grove Blvd. Garden Grove, CA 92844 714 - 638 - 1177 - 11:00 - 22:30 / , , , 1 $9 - 27 100

Authentic Non-marinated Korean Combination Pyeongyang Mul Naengmyeon Bibim Naengmyeon





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 38 Surah

urah is located in a Buena Park mall thats like a Little Seoul filled with Korean shops and eating places. Inside, its quietly elegant. Unusual design features include a collection of earthen kimchi pots sitting in the rain as if they were outdoors. The rain streams down from pipes overhead.

Waitresses in hanbok quickly bring banchan that are a notch above the usual. They might

include green chilies with anchovies, spicy wild arrowroot and, instead of the standard Asian potato salad, cauliflowers in creamy sweet dressing along with carrots and cucumber. Presentation is noteworthy too. The Korean special combo at lunch comes on a tray lined with four white dishes. Three hold whatever is selected from the combo menu, which includes grilled galbi (short ribs), bulgogi, chicken and fish as well as japchae, bibim bap and

kimchi stew. The fourth plate is for a green salad.

The galbi is tender, juicy and richly flavored with the marinade. This is not surprising, because Surah takes pride in its meat. Most of the beef on the barbeque menu is prime or Kobe. Prime beef is even used for the soup galbi tang. The beef-happy menu includes the spicy soup yukgaejang, a red chili broth loaded with shredded beef, beaten egg, green onions and enoki mushrooms. specialty is the cold buckwheat noodle dish naengmyeon, which comes in six variations, most of them with beef. Surah has a sushi bar and Japanese menus for lunch and dinner, but most of the food is Korean. Instead of dessert, meals end with a cup of strong sweet cinnamon punch.

Surahs banchan are fairly standard, though well executed and in sufficient variety. I patronize Surah as a dependable source for a tasty, satisfying meal.
by Youngsong Martin (Linen designer, President of Wild Flower Linen)

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 38 Surah

Address 5333 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90621 Telephone 714-523-0056 Business hours Mon-Sun 11:00am-10:00pm / Open all year round Signature dish Spicy Beef Broth Soup (Yukgaejang), Vermicelli Noodles (Japchae), Marinated Galbi Gui Meal for one $15-35 Seating 175 Website 5333 Beach Blvd. Buena Park, CA 90621 714 - 523 - 0056 - 11:00 - 22:00 / , , 1 $15 - 35 175

Vermicelli Noodles

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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 39 Tangier

o why on earth would anyone walk into a restaurant called Tangier and expect to find Korean barbeque? Because thats exactly what you get at Tangier? Great barbeque deals, such as unlimited Black Angus Monday nights for $21.99. And more unlimited Black Angus plus pork and chicken at a $15.99 power lunch.

These prices are per person. Now back to the unlikely name. The space was once occupied by a Moroccan bar, and the new Korean owner didnt bother to rename it. Although Korean, he was raised in Japan, and his thorough understanding of both cultures and cuisines has resulted in a smooth blend of Korean and Japanese food and themes throughout the restaurant. This makes Tangier unique on a street that for years has been a fun place for restaurant hopping. The full name Tangier Korean Barbeque of Tokyo clarifies what you will find inside. A couple of life-size Japanese animation figures including brawny Ultra man stand in the large L-shaped dining area. Cartoon-like drawings of Japanese cities line the walls behind the booths, and a trough of dried rose petals is there just for decoration. The menu contains not only food but a comic strip that ends with the heroine, Kiki, turning into a noble spirit. Tangier also bills itself as a yakiniku lounge and so barbequing is done Japanese style. Meats are cooked over an open fire that sends flames roaring through the grill. This is spectacular but not dangerous, and there isnt any smoke. The novel trappings dont substitute for quality food. Meats such as galbi (beef short ribs) are very good as are the accompaniments, some reflecting the Japanese influence. One of

The interior is fun with anime and human sized gundam robots. The place offers all you can eat Korean BBQ and option of a la carte.
by Mikel Mark Kim (UCLA Feast at Riebers Executive Chef )

the dips for the meat is flavored with ponzu. The other tastes like teriyaki. Seaweed soup and rice come in handsome ceramic bowls. Green tea replaces Korean barley tea, but there are plenty of banchan, and the kimchi is totally Korean, freshly made and delicious.
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Sogogi-chapssal-gui Kimchi Jjigae Beef Tongue Gui & Galbi Gui

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Address 2138 Hillhurst Ave. L.A., CA 90027 Telephone 323-663-2000 Business hours Mon-Sun 5:30pm-10:30pm / Wed-Sun 11:30am-2:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish Beef Tongue Gui, Galbi Gui, Kimchi Jjigae, Haemul Pajeon, Japchae Meal for one $12-22 Seating 167 Website 2138 Hillhurst Ave. L.A., CA 90027 323 - 663 - 2000 - 17:30 - 22:30 / - 11:30 - 14:30 / , , , , 1 $12 - 22 167





koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 40 Wharo

Wharo in Marina Del Rey has latched onto it too, putting bulgogi marinated beefinto corn tortillas with lettuce and kimchi salsa. It is in one way in which they cater to its trendconscious Westside patrons. Others are a galbi (short-rib) salad with grilled asparagus, Brussels sprouts and baby greens and well-being bibim bap, a pot of multi-grain rice topped with grilled salmon, tofu and vegetables. Classic Korean food predominates, even though meats such as intestine, tripe and abomasum, that are popular in Koreatown, are not on the barbeque menu.

he Korean taco was the hottest food news in Los Angeles when it appeared in 2008. Introduced by the Kogi BBQ truck, this Mexican-Korean combination quickly spread beyond California, has been adopted by chain restaurants and copied by other trucks.

Galbi is one of Wharos most popular dishes. The rib meat is lightly marinated in a fruity soy
mixture and served with ponzu sauce or left unseasoned to be dipped in sesame oil with sea salt. L.A.-style galbi, which is beef rib meat sliced through the bone, marinates in the house sauce for two days to give it plenty of flavor. Other barbeque options are pork, jidori chicken and a variety of seafood. Aside from barbeque, Wharo excels with a seafood soup, haemul tang, made with the catch of the day, which might include pollack, shrimp, mussels, crab and squid. The richly flavored broth brings to mind bouillabaisse and cioppino, except that it is super spicy. Wharo is named after a Korean cooking vessel, a charcoal-filled bowl that also serves as

Wharo keeps up with food trends, providing bulgogi tacos and healthy dishes. It offers barbeque too and an excellent seafood soup.
by Barbara hansen (Food Critic and Writer)

a heater. The entry has been set up like an Asian garden, complete with a stone figure in meditation. The interior is spare and subtle, a harmonious place to eat bordered by a view window that looks out to the garden.
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koreaN restaurant GUIDE los angeles 40 Wharo

Haemul Tang

Address 4029 Lincoln Blvd. Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 Telephone 310-578-7114 Business hours Mon-Fri 11:30am-11:00pm / Satur-Sun 11:30am-10:30pm / Open all year round Signature dish Haemul Tang, Kobe BBQ Combo, Wellbeing Bibim Bap Meal for one $16-35 Seating 50 Website 4029 Lincoln Blvd. Marina Del Rey, CA 90292 310 - 578 - 7114 - 11:30 - 23:00 / - 11:30 - 22:30 / , , 1 $16 - 35 50

Kobe BBQ Combo

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75 popular Menu selections in Los angeles

L.A 75



agwi jjim /

appetizers main courses separate dish soups side dishes desserts others



B baechu kimchi / baekkimchi / bibim bap / bibim naengmyeon / bossam / budae jjigae / D
dak maeun jjim / doen jang / doenjang jjigae / dolsot bibim bap / dongchimi / dotori muk / dubu jeongol / dubu jorim / dubu kimchi / dwaeji galbi gui /

ganjang ge jang / gim bap / gochu jang / godeungeo gui / godeungeo jorim / gopchang gui / gopchang jeongol / gujeolpan / gyeranmari /

nakji bokkeum / nokdu jeon /

ojingeo deopbap /

saengseon hwe / samgyeopsal / samgye tang / samsaek namul / sanchae bibim bap / seolleong tang / sikhye / sinseollo / so galbi gui / ssam bap / sujebi / sujeonggwa / sundae / sundubu jjigae /

haemul jjim / haemul pajeon / haemul tang / hanjeongsik / hongeo hwe muchim / hwangtae gui /


jangajji / japchae / jeyuk bokkeum / jokbal /



kalguksu / kimchi bokkeum bap / kimchi jjigae / kkakdugi / kong guksu /

topokki / tteok galbi / tteok guk / ttukbaegi bulgogi /


eundaegu jorim /

yeongyang dolsot bap / yuja cha / yukgae jang / yuk hwe /

galbi jjim / galbi tang / gamja tang / gan jang / 182

mandu / mandut guk / modeum jeon / mul naengmyeon /




agwi jjim []

E Monkfish braised in a spicy seasoned sauce with soybean sprouts,

Korean parsley, and green onion. Chewy monkfish and crispy vege tables are smothered in the thick spicy sauce.
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bibim naengmyeon []

E Chilled buckwheat noodles garnished with cold slices of beef, fresh skate fish, radish or cucumber served with a spicy gochu jang

sauce for mixing.

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bossam []
E Salted napa cabbage stuffed with a mixture of white radish, red

baechu kimchi

chili powder, minced garlic and salted fish. Along with rice, kimchi is an indispensible dish in the Korean meal.
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E Boiled pork wrapped in cabbage leaves with a spicy relish made of sliced radish. The meat may also be dipped in salted shrimp sauce and wrapped in cabbage or bossam kimchi leaves. K

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baek kimchi

E Salted napa cabbage stuffedwith a mixture of white radish, Asian

budae jjigae

pear, Korean parsley, chestnuts and salted fish. Extra water is poured onto the kimchi. The absence of red chili pepper gives this kimchi a mild and refreshing taste.
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E A fusion dish made with ham, sausage, kimchi, pork, and tofu. Everything is combined and cooked in a spicy broth. Oftentimes, ramen noodles are added to the simmering stew. K , ,

. .

bibim bap

E Steamed rice topped with sauted beef and a variety of colorful

vegetables. Mixed at the table with spicy gochu jang sauce and sesame oil.
K ,

dak maeun jjim


E Chicken and potatoes cut and braised in spicy red chili sauce until just enough liquid is left to cover the ingredients. Also called dakmaeun tang. K

. .

. .



doenjang []

E After removing the liquid from the meju and brine mixture, the residual solid is aged to make doenjang. It is a salty condiment with a nutty taste used for seasoning soups and stews, and to make ssamjang. K , . , , .

dotori muk

E A smooth gelatin made of acorn starch sliced and tossed with carrots, crown daisy, cucumber, and green chili pepper in a seasoned soy-sesame sauce. K . , , ,

doenjang jjigae

E Doen jang-seasoned stew made with anchovy broth, fish/clams, and summer squash. The broth is thick and flavorful. Good for mixing with rice. K , , .

dubu jeongol

E Sliced tofu, onion, carrots, Korean parsley, and beef, artfully arranged and cooked in a hot pot. Loved by many for its mild and clean taste. K , , ,

. .

dolsot bibim bap


E Bibim bap served in a sizzling hot stone pot. The crisped rice at the bottom, mixed with the toppings and gochu jang sauce, remains piping hot until the end of the meal. K

dubu jorim

E Lightly pan-fried tofu simmered in soy sauce with red chili pepper, sugar, green onions and garlic. Served as banchan. K , , ,

. .


E A wintertime kimchi made of salted whole radishes immersed in salt brine. A good accompaniment to juk or tteok. K . .

dubu kimchi

E Well-aged sour kimchi stir-fried with thinly sliced pork shoulder or belly and served with warm tofu. K



dwaeji galbi gui


E Pork spareribs butterflied or accordion cut, marinated in a sweet soy sauce mixture and chargrilled. Red chili powder or gochu jang may be added for a spicier taste. K . .

gamja tang

E A thick soup made of pork backbones, potatoes, green cabbage leaves (ugeoji ), crushed perilla seeds, perilla leaves, spring onions

and garlic. A spicy dish with a deep and robust flavor.

K , , , , ,

ganjang []
E Fresh black cod lightly seared and braised in a sweet soy sauce

eundaegu jorim

glaze with white radish. Black cod has a creamy texture and mild taste.
K . .

E Boiled and fermented soybean cured in brine yields a dark liquid. This liquid is brewed to make ganjang. It is a salty seasoning and has a unique flavor. K

. .

ganjang ge jang
E Beef short ribs, trimmed of fat, seasoned in sweet soy sauce, and braised until tender with carrots, chestnuts, ginko nuts, and other vegetables. K , .

galbi jjim []

E Fresh live crabs pickled in a brine of soy sauce, ginger and garlic. The brine is strained, boiled and poured over the crabs several times. The best tasting ganjang-ge-jang is made with egg-bearing female crabs filled with roe. K

. .

gim bap [] galbi tang []

E Beef ribs and white radish chunks simmered together until tender. The clear stock is rich and savory, as well as the tender meat that falls off the bone. K .

E Rice seasoned with salt and sesame oil and rolled up in a sheet of roasted gim (dried laver) with spinach, carrots, and pickled white radish. The long roll is sliced and served as bite-size pieces. K ,

, , .



gochu jang

E A traditional condiment made of red chili powder, sweet rice, powdered meju, and salt, and fermented in earthenware jars. Bright red in color and very spicy. K ,

gopchang jeongol

E Beef or pork innards cooked in a spicy broth with sliced carrots, onion, crown daisy and other fragrant vegetables. K , ,

. .

godeungeo gui

E Mackerel sprinkled with coarse sea salt and grilled or pan-fried. Mackerel is sometimes salted and half dried, or heavily salted for storage. K .


E Eight kinds of colorful vegetables and meats served in an octagonal wooden box. The vegetables are wrapped in the thin wheat crepes stacked in the central compartment and dipped in a mustard-soy sauce. K

, .

godeungeo jorim []

E Mackerel braised in a spicy soy sauce mixture with white radish or potatoes. Green napa cabbage leaves or kimchi may also be added. K ,


E Eggs mixed with chopped green onions, carrots, and onions, fried and rolled up. K ,

. .

, .

gopchang gui

E Beef innards either marinated and grilled, or simply grilled and served with a seasoned sauce. The innards are thoroughly cleaned to remove any residual odor. K

haemul jjim

E Fresh shrimp, squid, crabs, fish and clams and other seasonal catches cooked with soybean sprouts and Korean parsley in a thick spicy sauce. K , , , , .



haemul pajeon

E Tender young green onion stems folded into a flour batter with squid, clam meat, and oysters, and pan-fried. Served with a soy vinaigrette dipping sauce. K , , ,

hwangtae gui

E Winter air-dried pollack filleted, deboned, and brushed with a gochu jang sauce and grilled. K ,

. .

haemul tang

E A spicy stew made of fish, blue crab, baby octopus, shrimp, and

other seafood. Seasoned with red chili powder sauce for a hot, zesty flavor.
K , , , . .

jangajji []

E Radish, cucumber, garlic, garlic stems, perilla leaves and other vegetables pickled and aged in soy sauce, say bean paste, or red chili paste. Preserved and enjoyed throughout the year. K , , , , , ,

. .


E The traditional hanjeongsikis a set meal with an array of side dishes served with rice and soup. For a more modern dining experience, the meal is served in courses including appetizer, rice or noodles as main dish, side dishes, and dessert. K . ,

japchae []

E Glass noodles stir-fried with beef and assorted mushrooms and vegetables. A colorful classic dish that is always served at large gatherings or special occasions. K , ,

. .

hongeo hwe muchim


E Fresh or vinegar-pickled skate sliced and mixed with white radish, Asian pear, and Korean parsley in a spicy gochu jang-vinegar sauce. K , .

jeyuk bokkeum

E Thinly sliced pork marinated in spicy ginger-gochu jang sauce and stir-fried with onion, carrots, perilla leaves or cabbage. Ingredients vary according to taste. K .

, , , .



jokbal []

E Pig trotters glazed in a ginger-garlic-soy sauce. Served off the bone thinly sliced. The high gelatin content of jokbal is good for a healthy and youthful complexion. K , , .


E Cubed bite-size radish seasoned with red chili powder, green

onions, garlic, ginger and salted shrimp.

K , ,

, .

kong guksu
E Fresh knife-cut noodles cooked in anchovy stock. courgett, potatoes, and seafood may be added. K . ,



E Noodles in chilled soybean soup. The soup is made of boiled and pured soybeans and seasoned with salt. A summer staple served with floating ice and young radish (yeolmu) kimchi on the side. K

. .

kimchi bokkeum bap


kimchi. Beef, pork, onions, green onions, and other vegetables may be added according to taste.
E Rice fried with finely chopped K . , .

mandu []

E Korean dumplings made of thinly rolled flour dough and a filling of ground meat and vegetables. Served boiled, steamed, deep-fried or pan-fried. K

. .

kimchi jjigae

E A spicy stew made with sour kimchi, fatty pork, shellfish, and tofu and green onion chunks. Served hot with steamed rice. K , . .

mandut guk

E Minced meat and vegetables wrapped in thin flour shells and boiled in beef broth. Oval shaped rice pasta may be added. K



modeum jeon []

E A colorful dish of beef, fish, and vegetable slices coated in flour or egg batter and pan-fried. The assorted jeons are tastefully arranged on a plate. K , ,

ojingeo deop bap


E Squid marinated in a spicy sauce with onions and carrots, stir-fried and served over steamed rice. K , .

mul naengmyeon

E Buckwheat noodles served in chilled soup made of dongchimi (radish kimchi ) liquid and beef broth. The noodle is garnished with white radish and Asian pear slices and seasoned with mustard and vinegar. K . , , .

saengseon hwe

E Live whole fish skinned, deboned and thinly sliced. Dipped in soy sauce, doen jang (soybean paste) or gochu jang (red chili paste), or wrapped in vegetable leafs. K

, . .

nakji bokkeum

E Blanched baby octopus cut into pieces and stir-fried in a spicy sauce made of red chili powder and minced garlic. Onions, carrots and other vegetables can be added. K ,


E Streaky pork belly grilled and dipped in salt or ssam jang (red soy paste dip). Also eaten wrapped in lettuce leaves. K

. .

. , .

nokdu jeon

E Stone ground mung beans, sliced beefor pork, mung bean sprouts, fiddleheads, and cabbage kimchi mixed into a batter and shallow-fried on a griddle. Ground rice may be added to soften the taste. K , , , . .


E Tender whole young chicken stuffed with ginseng, jujubes, sweet rice, and whole garlic cloves and simmered until tender. The combination of chicken and ginseng creates a complex yet harmonious flavor. A classic summertime dish that revitalizes the body and soul. K , , , , .



samsaek namul

E Bellflower roots, spinach, and fiddlehead namul served on a plate. The white, green, and brown namulsare arranged by color and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds and red pepper threads. K , , . , , .

sinseollo []

E A hot pot of seafood, meat, and vegetables cooked at the table in a brass sinseollo pot over hot charcoal burning in the central cylinder.

A dish representative of the royal cuisine.

K ,

so galbi gui

E Beef short ribs butterflied or accordion cut, marinated in a sweet soy sauce mixture and chargrilled. K

sanchae bibim bap


E A version of bibimbap topped with wild mountain greens, herbs, sprouts, and roots. Mixed at the table with spicy gochu jang. A fragrant dish filled with the flavor of wild mountain vegetables K . .

ssam bap

E Steamed rice wrapped in leafy vegetables or seaweed with seasoned sauce. Lettuce, perilla leaves, napa cabbage, squash leaves, cabbage, dried laver, brown seaweed, and kelp may be served as wraps. K

seolleong tang

E A savory soup made of ox head, feet, meat, bones, and innards. Hours, and sometimes days, of slow simmering produces the milky white broth and concentrated flavor. K , , , , .

. , , , , , , , .

sujebi []

E Soft flour dough hand-torn and dropped into boiling stock. The stock is usually made with dried anchovies, but chicken or seafood stock may also be used. K .

sikhye []

E A traditional dessert beverage made by fermenting rice in malt.

, .

Always served cold, it also is called dansul, or gamju.

K . , .


E A cool drink of simmered fresh ginger and cinnamon sweetened with sugar or honey. Served with softened dried persimmons and pine nuts. K . .



sundae []

E Pork intestines stuffed with glass noodles, vegetable, sweet rice, coagulated pig blood and steamed. Variations include ojingeo sundae and chapssal sundae. This Korean blood sausage also comes in regional variations such as Byeongcheon or Abai sudae. K , , , . , , , .

ttukbaegi bulgogi

E Soy-marinated bulgogi cooked with broth in an earthenware pot. Glass noodles may be added. K

. .

sundubu jjigae

E Soft tofu stew with beef, fish, or clams in anchovy stock. A raw

egg may be cracked into the hot stew. Flavors range from extra spicy to mild.
K , , . .

yeongyang dolsot bap


E Rice, multi grains, chestnuts, ginko nuts and pine nuts cooked and served in individual stone pots. After the contents are emptied, hot water is poured on to the crusty layer of rice to make nurun bab. K , , ,

. .

topokki []

E Sliced rice cake bar or thin rice cake sticks (topokki tteok) stir-fried in a spicy gochu jang sauce with vegetables and fish cakes. K , .

yuja cha

E Tea made with yuja (Korean citrus) concentrate, which is apreserve made with sliced yuja and sugar or honey. It is a sweet and tart tea served hot in the winter and cold in the summer. K ,

tteok galbi []

E Minced beef rib meat seasoned with garlic and soy sauce, molded around the bone and chargrilled while brushing with a soy sauce mixture. K ,


E A soup made of beef brisket and innards, radish, leek, taro stems, and fiddleheads. Seasoned with red chili pepper for a spicy flavor. K , ,

tteok guk []

E Oval shaped rice cake cooked in broth. A traditional Lunar New Year dish. Clear beef broth is most common used, but chicken or seafood may be added. K .

yuk hwe []

E Thinly sliced lean cut of raw beef seasoned with soy sauce or gochu jang, sesame oil and sugar and mixed with julienned Asian pear. Sometimes topped with an egg yolk. K , ,

, .

. .



Korean Restaurant Guide Los Angeles

Published in February 2013 Published by Korean Food Foundation(KFF) : aT Center, 232 Yangjae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea. Tel.+82(0)2-6300-2050~4 Website / Produced by Seoul Cultural Publishers Inc. / (LA) Herald Business lnc. Written by Barbara Hansen Photograph by Ed Rudolph Designed by design:SOOP Printed in Korea

Los Angeles
2013 2 : 232 aT, Tel. 82(0)2-6300-2050~4 / / (LA) design:SOOP
CopyrightKorean Food Foundation (KFF) No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of the Korea Food Foundation. .