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Jun 27, 2007 11:18 PM

Hite - Fun Pub in Koreatown

Tonight, a Korean friend took me to Hite, a pub in Koreatown (I believe it has a different name in Korean, since Hite is a brand of Korean beer, but Hite is the only word in Western script, both on the outside signage and on the business cards).

The place was jam-packed with Koreans of all ages (there was only one other Caucasian in the whole place, other than myself). The decor is very kitschy (but in a fun way, although I don't believe it was meant to be ironic). Sort of a Korean fantasy of a British pub.

I ordered spicy fish cake soup with seafood- $15.99 (the fish cake soup with only fish cake and no seafood is $13.99). It came in a huge cast iron pot and was enough for 2 people, if not 3. It was also quite good. Sort of like a Korean bouillabaisse - a nice spicy broth, fresh herbs, lots of shellfish, pieces of fish cake, rice cake and slices of chili floating in the broth. The only thing that was a bit off putting was that instead of actual soup bowls, you had to ladle the soup into styrofoam bowls. I didn't quite get that, since the other dishes cames with actual plates, albeit we are not talking fine china here.

My dining companion had stir-fried pork (again a huge dish enough for 2) with kimchee and said it was good. Lots of pork dishes on the menu. Also squid, eel and octopus.

Lots of people were eating fried chicken, which looked delicious. Even though for some reason it is not on the menu (it wasn't on the English menu and my friend did not find it on the Korean menu either), they serve udon, ramen and one other kind of noodle dish.

The place had a nice energy. For those who hate smoke, however, you don't want to eat on the enclosed patio on the side because everyone eating out there was smoking.

The place seems like it would be a fun place to come with a lot of friends to drink (pitchers of beer everywhere), and share dishes. I'm not sure if they take reservations. We ate at the bar because there were no tables open.

3839 Wilshire Blvd. (in minimall, on North side of street, between Wilton and Western, right near the Wiltern)
(213) 384-7999

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  1. Hmmm, this is close to my work so I'll have to check it out. Have you been to Dansungsa over on Berendo and 6th? If so, how does the food compare? I'm addicted to their ramen and kimbap!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Skorgirl

      Don't hang out much in Koreatown, so haven't been to Dansungsa. I didn't see kimbap on the menu at Hite. It is very much of a pub - think food to go with beer (although they also had shoju).

      There is also a nice looking bakery in the same minimall with Hite, as well as a tea shop that looked wonderful. The bakery was open at 9:00 p.m., but the tea shop was closed.

      1. re: omotosando

        If you enjoyed Hite then you may also enjoy Dansungsa -- your description of Hite reminded me of it. Dansungsa has lots of great drinking food and free flowing beverages, and can also be quite smoky inside, especially later into the night. The menu is printed in Korean on a wooden block that usually hangs next to your table, so if you don't read Korean, you may want to bring your friend! Though you could easily get by with suggestions from staff or ordering familiar bar foods, I suppose.

    2. ktown is teeming with places like this. besides the ever and deservedly popular dan sung sah, there is also red hook which had the pirate theme long before the redwood bar. there is also ob bear. and a place called "cass kiss" just west of the place you mention. i've been dying to cover up or remove the letter "c" commando style.

      5 Replies
      1. re: modernist

        Here's the million dollar question: how much were pitchers of beer

        1. re: ns1

          only the really large serious places have pitchers. otherwise you can order large bottles of hite or OB lager for 6 or 7 bux. or drink soju, paek sae ju or san sa chun. for like 11-12 bux a bottle

        2. re: modernist

          Shows you that I don't hang out much in Koreatown. I thought this was a unique concept. Good to know there are a lot of such places. Wish we had some on the Westside.

          Re ns1 - we didn't actually order beer, so I didn't catch the price. But the food was so cheap, I thought, wow, they must make their profit on the alcohol.

          1. re: omotosando

            That's essentially the point. The more you spend on alcohol, the more "free" food you get from the kitchen... and if you order bottle service, the $200 for a bottle of Chivas includes mixers, various snacks, and the company of women for a time.

            Most Korean bars have little vertical strips of paper somewhere (or in multiple places) with the bar snacks on them. They're rarely on the menu, on the idea that people who don't know from Korean bars will then order more expensive items off the menu, not realising that things like mandoo are available for much cheaper.

          2. re: modernist

            there's also toe bang in the chapman plaza (and you don't even need to cover up any of the letters in that one..). similar menu to dan sung sa, but a little less gritty. plus korean-style fried chicken and yogurt soju, and a pleasant patio area in addition to the darker corners inside. added value: 'doorbells' at the tables to call the waitresses.

          3. I really enjoy The Back Alley aka "DWEET GOLMOK"
            on Berendo 610 S Berendo St. Los Angeles, CA 90005. A fun, slightly shady hole in the wall with writing all over the walls / lots of dishes served - Korean pub street food & meats and mushrooms on skewers.


            2 Replies
            1. re: flavasista

              yep, that place is awesome. all about the street food and soju/beer.

              1. re: flavasista

                i've been to deek golmok and tang song sah probably a collected 100 times. i think the food is better at tang song sah. but deek golmok is 50 percent off before 8pm. im not sure if its every day and im pretty sure its till 8, but you should double check the details. but that can be a pretty sweet deal... i've never actually taken advantage of it as im usually there too late...

              2. pitchers of hite beer at hite factory are about $12. they definitely have pitchers. hite factory is most well known for their spicy chicken wings which are to die for (yang nyun dak nal geh) and their soon dae bokum (korean blood sausage stirfry). my goodness, so good!!!!