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Recomendations for Lunch in Koreatown

Dybno Jan 29, 2008 09:26 AM

Hey everyone, I was just looking for some good suggestions for lunch in K-town. I have pretty much hit a lot of the Mexican spots (El Parian, El Taurino, King Taco, Taco Razas, Mama's Tamales), and some of the chicken spots (Dino's, Pollo La Brassa), also enjoyed Langers. If anyone has any suggestions for places that serve good, fast, lunch I would enjoy hearing about it and dishes that are good at those places. Also, cheap is good!

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  1. MeAndroo RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 09:55 AM

    I've heard amazing things about Kyochon's fried chicken, but I don't know if they qualify as fast and they're certainly not cheap. I'm going to try to get there sometime next month.


    2 Replies
    1. re: MeAndroo
      Dybno RE: MeAndroo Jan 29, 2008 09:56 AM

      I was thinking about that place but then I heard horror stories about the wait for the food. The chicken does sound good though. Anyone know if its possible to be in and out in less then an hour?

      1. re: Dybno
        MeAndroo RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 02:42 PM

        I've heard it's possible to call ahead, but haven't tried it myself.

    2. sku RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 10:09 AM

      A good neighborhood for eating
      Here are a few:

      Lunch buffet at Makkah Hallal (Fourth and Vermont)
      Guelaguetza (8th St and Olympic locations)
      Papa Cristo's (Pico and Normandie)
      Jeon Ju (bibimbap dol sot at Vermont and Olympic)
      Beverly Soontofu (Vermonat and Olympic)
      Chichen Itza (6th Street, west of Mac Park - not as fast)

      10 Replies
      1. re: sku
        cant talk...eating RE: sku Jan 29, 2008 06:10 PM

        I actually found Jeon Ju to be annoyingly bright and sterile (hope I'm thinking of the right one - sw corner Vermont/Olympic) w/ unremarkable food; Beverly Soontofu maybe for that dish, but not much else to recommend it (and the other things aren't that cheap).

        How about:

        Ddo Soon Ee (Korean, standards)
        6th and Harvard

        Authentic Korean Dumpling
        Irolo/Normandie and 7th

        El Colmao (Cuban - a bit east, toward Downtown)
        2328 W Pico Blvd

        and the big HK Korean supermarket
        124 N. Western Ave.

        1. re: cant talk...eating
          condiment RE: cant talk...eating Jan 30, 2008 01:42 PM

          Jeon Ju bright and sterile? Unremarkable food? You're definitely thinking of the wrong place. It's pleasantly dingy, actually, and what they do well - bibimbap, spicy cod stew - they do better than anybody.

          1. re: condiment
            sku RE: condiment Jan 30, 2008 01:51 PM


            And as to Beverly Soontofu, they have great BBQ Ika.

            Meanwhile, I really don't like Authentic Korean Dumplings; I find their fillings to be sort of blah.

            1. re: condiment
              baloney RE: condiment Jan 30, 2008 03:20 PM

              condiment, have you tried the dolsot bibimbap from Dong Il Jang? Just curious if you could compare theirs with Jeon Ju's. I found JJ's to be just edible.

              1. re: baloney
                sku RE: baloney Jan 30, 2008 04:00 PM

                Do you meant the dol sot served after Gui or a separate menu item at DIJ?

                If you mean the Gui, I like both. I'd say the kalbi in the JJ is nicer than the gui and holds its flavor better in the dol sot, but the DIJ version is spicier.

                1. re: sku
                  baloney RE: sku Jan 31, 2008 06:28 AM

                  I actually meant the separate, stand-alone dish. And I agree about the spicyness which is a part of why I like DIJ's version more.

                  1. re: baloney
                    condiment RE: baloney Jan 31, 2008 11:41 AM

                    But the spiciness reflects nothing more than how much of the chili you mix in - it's kind of self-regulating.

                    1. re: condiment
                      sku RE: condiment Jan 31, 2008 11:56 AM

                      ...and how much kimchi is in the bbb.

                      1. re: sku
                        baloney RE: sku Jan 31, 2008 04:22 PM

                        Well, at DIJ they put in a set amount of kochoojang and there is no kimchi in their version. I've rarely had a dolsot from DIJ that didn't have just the right amount of spice. I just don't get Jeon Ju's dolsot, but to each his/her own.

          2. re: sku
            another_adam RE: sku Jan 30, 2008 07:20 PM

            +1 for jeonju!! the bibimbap is great, and during winter months, their stews really hit the spot-- I especially recommend the cheonggukjang jjigae, I can't remember its English label, but it might be one of the ones labeled "dregs casserole" (that name sticks in my mind) The roe stew (al jjigae) can also be quite comforting. I'm not sure about the speed, but it's pretty reasonable.

            SGD (sogongdong) tofu in the same plaza is a good spot for sundubu. (I like them better than BCD). They can have a line sometimes, but they take your order while you're standing outside, so it's basically timed to be ready by the time you sit down...

            Also @ olympic and vermont, some of the prepared foods at Hannam can be good (you have to be a bit watchful for freshness sometimes, but if you're going at lunchtime, there are many good fresh offerings that can be taken to go)

            I have generally liked madang guksu (869 western) for big bowls of thick noodles (kal guksu) (also a wintertime treat), or for the soymilk noodles (kong guksu) in the summer.

          3. kevinucla2000 RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 10:33 AM

            Manna is good!


            2 Replies
            1. re: kevinucla2000
              Dybno RE: kevinucla2000 Jan 29, 2008 10:36 AM

              What's good there for lunch? I have only ever been for dinner and had the bbq special.

              1. re: kevinucla2000
                wilafur RE: kevinucla2000 Jan 29, 2008 03:14 PM

                manna is dirty and disgusting.

              2. s
                smssms RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 10:43 AM

                cassell's - burger
                ham hung - bibim naengmyun
                noshi sushi
                myung dong gyo ja - kalgooksoo

                opus now serves lunch. haven't been, though.

                1. n
                  namstermonster RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 11:07 AM

                  try the chinese restaurant on the first floor of k-town plaza (betw. nicole's cafe and art box i believe) it's korean-influenced chinese food and their jja jjang mien is pretty good. (jja jjang mien is kinda like spaghetti but chinese style- for lack of a better description) their water dumplings are pretty decent, too. other than that, most korean places have lunch specials during the week. i esp like cho sun galbi (olympic blvd??), woo rae ok (one in beverly hills, and finally re-opening ktown branch), and a few others which are only in korean. ;p

                  1. Bon Vivant RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 08:33 PM

                    Ssin Ssin on the southwest corner of 7th and Vermont has some pretty good food and it's fairly inexpensive. They specialize in Korean tinged Japanese dishes but their Korean comfort food is pretty spot on. They are a lunch spot so they are usually pretty fast.


                    1. s
                      Sandra W RE: Dybno Jan 29, 2008 09:48 PM

                      Kobawoo, Vermont south of Wilshire. Try the acorn noodles, seafood pancake, bulgogi, pork bo-sam.

                      1. jen.m RE: Dybno Jan 30, 2008 04:38 PM

                        The service at Han Bat Sul Lung Tang was fast when I went. I guess all the time-intensive preparation of the broth happens in the many hours of slow-cooking before they serve it. Mmm...broth...right, you will be eating beef soup because that's pretty much the menu. The only decisions are a) do you want something tame like brisket, or everything including spleen and b) how much green onion and salt are you going to dump in there when you get it?
                        It think it was $9, which seems a little spendy for soup if you're used to pho or boat noodles, but since I'm not making it an everyday indulgence I can't say it bothered me.

                        Nice staff, too. They asked if I liked it and I said I did and would be back. So when I left they said, "see you tomorrow!" Cute.

                        4163 W 5th St
                        Los Angeles, CA 90020
                        (213) 388-9499

                        1. Tom P RE: Dybno Jan 31, 2008 08:33 AM

                          Taylor's Steaks has a great cheeseburger. It is 10 bucks but comes with fries and one more side. It is made from the trimmings and it quite good. They also have daily lunch specials:


                          1. Suebee RE: Dybno Jan 31, 2008 10:07 PM

                            Opus is now open for lunch but menu looked a bit boring. Also, you can try Mr. Pizza Factory which was just reviewed in this week's LA Weekly.

                            Good luck!


                            Opus Bar & Grill
                            3760 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

                            Mr Pizza Factory
                            3881 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

                            1. b
                              bite bite RE: Dybno Jan 31, 2008 10:23 PM

                              Another vote to Beverly Soon Tofu -- yummy, cute, little. Good bean paste.

                              Have had a couple nice meals at O Dae San -- seafood oriented, largish space. Especially liked the Al-Bab -- large bow of rice with a rainbow of multicolored fish eggs across the top with sea-urchin dolloped on top. mmmm

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: bite bite
                                Diana RE: bite bite Feb 1, 2008 06:55 AM

                                Isn't O Dae San gone?

                                1. re: Diana
                                  bite bite RE: Diana Feb 1, 2008 06:58 AM

                                  Really? I just ate there a few months ago. Does anyone know? That would be so sad...

                                  1. re: bite bite
                                    condiment RE: bite bite Feb 1, 2008 11:47 AM

                                    It's gone. A pity. But A Won is pretty close.

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