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Feb 17, 2009 03:49 PM

Korean for beginners?

Any suggestions on where to take a slightly adventurous beginner to introduce them to Korean food? Trying to find some place authentic but don't overwhelm a newbie with a hole in the wall. For example Gyenari and the place on La Cienega are way too tame and Americanized but Soot Bull Jeep might be too far on the other side of the spectrum for a first timer. One of them is a vegetarian so any options there are a plus.


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  1. a good entry to kbbq would be chosun.

    1. I think Parks is good for anyone with an adventurous spirit. The young staff is very helpful and they will guide you through some Korean deliciousness! Ask lots of questions and be sure to take your appetites with you!

      Parks BBQ
      955 South Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles

      1. Go to Chosun first. Then, once they're hooked, you can get them into Soot Bull Jeep and Park's.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          I love Chosun, but if u dont feel like cooking then i suggest BCD Tofu, thats where I take my beginner friends, its bang for your buck too.

          1. re: indochine

            but bcd can actually turn one off of korean food. it's a place to go when inebriated.

            1. re: indochine

              Well, if you want barbecue, BCD is not the place to take them.

              Have you tried Sokongdong or Beverly Tofu House, which are across Olympic from each other at New Hampshire (one block west of Vermont)? Both have soon dubu jjigae (soft tofu stew) that is far, far superior to BCD Tofu, though I do give BCD Tofu props for being open 24x7.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                agreed. do not go to bcd even for soon, beverly is a good choice (if you're looking for soon)

                a great place to start is Parks BBQ or Soowon, both on Vermont

                both locations are "americanized" enough to go for a first time and even with vegetarians and non korean speakers.

                chosun... i don't even know where to begin. hamboks are cool and all but you might as well go to gyenari in culver city. i'm not saying the food is bad at chosun, its that the meat marinades and banchans are better at parks and soowon.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Ok i will have to try those places because i love love tofu stew