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Soju Bars in K-Town and OC

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Looking for a few suggestions on nice soju bars in K-Town and the OC. Recently moved from NYC and wanted to hang out at a lively place with tasty anjus with a few friends who are also new to the area. Somewhere preferably with a not so young crowd....meaning no kiddies. We're a group of 30-somethings. Thanks!

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  1. First, a word of warning from someone who, as a "kiddie", drank more soju than he really ought to have -- go with someone who speaks, or at least can read, Korean, because most of the bars have the anju written up on the wall in Hangul only, and if you can't speak Korean and don't look like you're going to spend a lot of money, you will end up with pickled cabbage and boiled peanuts, both of which are tasty but which are not exactly what I think of as anju.

    Also, at the popular places you will need to make a reservation in advance for a table.

    The Pointe and the Prince are good, but I'm damned if I can remember the place with the really good anju. It's an upstairs place with several rooms.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      It came to me in a flash today -- it's called Palm Tree L.A., it's on the fourth floor of the Wilshire Galleria at Wilshire and New Hampshire, and you have to enter from the back to get the elevator.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        not really a soju bar per se, but a regular bar. they have cocktails, beer, hard liquor, and yes, soju.

        i guess it's a bit more upscale than places like dansungsa.

    2. On Wilshire (and I think a little east of Kingsley?) there's a place called Crazy Hook, which has really good anju. I heard their mixed drinks (cocktails) aren't so great, so I'd stick to their soju (i've tried their peach soju, which i loved), or their beers. it's a fun place to eat + drink.

      1. There's one in Garden Grove in a strip mall anchored by Arirang (market 9580 Garden Grove Blvd., near Brookhurst) I forgot the suite # and name but it faces GG Blvd. It's small with all types of writing on the walls & a traditional wood decor.

        If I didn't have my Korean buddy with me, I don't know if I would've ventured in. It was pretty much a 99% twenty-something Korean crowd. And they generally weren't Korean Americans like my friend; this crowd was the real McCoy. I didn't hear too much English at all. If you end up going, brace yourself for a bunch of Rain wannabes. That's the kind of crowd it is- groups of youngsters either coming from karaoke or laying down soju foundations for a night of singing/dancing.

        We just drank Korean beer and had grilled squid and seafood pancake. The snacks were tasty enough. It wasn't too bad when we got there but it was getting quite noisy by the time we got our check.

        Anyway, if someone is more familiar with this place, please chime-in.