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Mar 2, 2009 09:40 AM

Best Korean Restaurants in K-Town

I am looking to try some new korean restaurants in K-town. Any recommendations? So, far my all-time-favorite is Ham Hung (located on 8th and Admore). SOOOOO good!

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  1. One question for the OP - are you Korean and/or do you speak Korean fairly well? Makes a huge difference in what can be recommended. Some places which are terrific really only make sense for people who speak Korean - I mean there are no english menus and most of the staff speak limited Korean. Also, does cigarette smoke bother you? Yes, I know about the law, but some of the very great small Korean places are VERY much under the radar. If this bothers you, then the recommendations need to be adjusted.

    2 Replies
    1. re: woojink

      Woojink, since we haven't heard back from the OP, lets assume the answers to your questions are:

      1- No speak Korean and 2 - Not bothered by smoke
      1- Yes speak Korean and 2 - Not bothered by smoke.

      Would love to hear your picks!

      1. re: woojink

        Sorry for the late reply, I've really appreciated everyone's feedback. I don't speak Korean, but my husband does. As for the second question, we have a 9month daughter, so not a big fan of the cigarette smoke :) Thanks for the recommendations everyone!

      2. park's is my favorite

        Park's BBQ
        955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

        10 Replies
        1. re: andytseng

          Wife has expanded my horizons with Korean food.
          I like O Dae San for kal bi, but wife and family prefer ChoSun Galbe.
          Go to Park's BBQ for kal bi tang.
          Jeon Ju for bi bim bap.
          Yong Su San for northern Korean food
          But wherever you go, drive North after dinner and go to SCOOPS!

          1. re: nomo_fan

            Ohhh the post-prandial Scoops conundrum.

            In theory, I love your idea. But the reality is that by the time you've finished enjoying a 7:00-7:30pm Korean banquet with a group of friends, it's 8:30 or 9:00pm and all that's left at Scoops are the scraps of what's left over from the day. Or even worse, they're closed entirely.

            If only Scoops stayed open for after dinner hours, like Mashti Malone....

            Mr Taster

            1. re: nomo_fan

              What is Kal Bi? & Kal Bi Tang? Thanks, JET

              1. re: Jet

                Kalbi are beef short ribs, and kalbi-tang is beef short rib soup.

                Kalbi are the most coveted items at Korean BBQ, and often the most expensive.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Also, another form (awesome and lovely) of Kalbi is Kalbi Jim, which are braised short ribs. Awesome comfort food. When done well, it's crazy good.

              2. re: nomo_fan

                My family had a vile meal at Chosun Galbee around Thanksgiving -- even the kimchi tasted off. In fairness, the place was packed to the gills, so our experience may have been atypical. But based on that experience, I'd go to Park's instead for bbq any day of the week.

                1. re: a_and_w

                  park's is way better than chosun, no competition there

                  1. re: Lau

                    Chosun Galbee was impressive to me 12 years ago when my only other Korean food experience was Woo Lae Oak.

                    CG used to be the place I would take out of towners who were scared of anything that felt too "foreign." Now that Park's has that niche covered, Chosun loses out every time.

                    Mr Taster

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      i think at one point chosun was supposed to be very good prior to moving to its current, but those days are long since past

            2. Ohh Ham Hung was one of my absolute favorite restaurants when I lived in LA- their hwe naeng myun (spicy naeng myun with skate) with an order of their soon dae (from Western Soon Dae) made one incredible meal.

              Some of my favorite places in LA-

              Chil Bo Myun Ok (6th & Alexandria?)- love their spicy dduk galbi jjim (marinated braised short ribs with rice cakes) - perfect to share with a group along with their jaeng ban naeng myun (sweet and spicy buckwheat noodles with fresh vegetables)

              Han Bat (Western & 5th)- hole in the wall with amazing suhlung tang (beef broth) kkagdugi (radish kimchi)

              Shik Do Rak (towards downtown)- for their dduk bossam (grill at your table beef wrapped in lettuce and rice paper)

              Chunju Han Il Kwan (6th & Kenmore)- they do an awesome budae jigae (spicy stew with all sorts of stuff- rice cakes, ramen, sausages, spam, vegetables) and I really like their scallion pancakes- they make them thin and crispy

              6 Replies
                1. re: hppzz

                  Sokongdong or Beverly Tofu House, across Olympic from each other one block west of Vermont. BTH has better grilled items; Sokongdong has better panchan.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Beverly Tofu has booze... SKD none.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I also disagree about SKD having better panchan. They offer the raw, marinated spicy crab sure, but in my experience, the panchan at Beverly always tastes fresher or something to me.

                    2. re: hppzz

                      The first place I had soondoobu in L.A. was Beverly Soondoobu when it was actually on Beverly Blvd. in the mid-80s. The waitresses there always bid me adieu with "Muchas gracias," thinking that I was surely their only regular Chicano customer. "Cholo jya arimasen. Boku wa Nihonjin da yo!"
                      I gravitated over to Sokongdong for a few years, but the owners changed and so did their flavorful soup. Haven't found anything as tasty as their oyster/pork combo anywhere.
                      Today, I satisfy my soondoobu jones at BCD on Wilshire, which, if I'm not high, is the only 24-hour Korean eatery on the boulevard with ample free parking. See the pretty Korean girls wander in drunk after the clubs close.

                  2. the pork neck soup at Ham Ji Park is ridiculous. please try it if you haven't already.

                    1. The Korean inspired Chinese food at the Dragon Restaurant is very good. I would normally go at lunch time and have always enjoyed their lunch menu. I like the spicy seafood soup with another dish on their set menu.

                      The Dragon
                      966 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Foodandwine

                        Go to Dragon over Ogamdo for sure. I never send food back, but the tan-soo-yuk at Ogamdo was inedible.