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Inexpensive Japanese and Korean Must-Trys in LA area

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I'm a med student from Houston visiting the LA area for 4 weeks and would like suggestions on some of the best Japanese and Korean restaurants in the area. I'm on a budget because of school, but I'm willing to try anything up to $100 per meal. (the better the deal, the more places I can try)

Thanks in advance!

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  1. For Korean you can't do better than Park's BBQ. You'll find some of the best meats in Los Angeles including their wonderful short ribs . Dinner should run you around $40-$50 a person and a little less at lunch and you will eat very very well.

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      I spent 90 after tax/tip/booze this weekend @ Parks but ate VERY well

      (for 2)
      - Marinated Gal bi (33 or so)
      - Sea bass (25)
      - Spicy Buckwheat Noodle (5 for small bowl, 9 for large)

      spicy buckwheat noodle is a must.

      Would rather eat at Parks once vs AYCE 3 times.

      1. re: ns1

        ns1,

        Try Don Dae Gam. Better than Park's esp. if you like pork. Same owners as Parks.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I like pork but when I eat kbbq I pretty much exclusively eat beef.

          i LOVE pork belly but I feel so guilty afterwards :(

          As a bonus, Park's had RICE PAPER this weekend! Really, banchan was phenomenal over the weekend.

    2. Izakaya Bincho for Japanese / izakaya.

      Soot Bull Jeep for Korean BBQ

      And hunt down a couple of food trucks like Kogi for Korean BBQ.

      -----
      Soot Bull Jeep
      3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

      Izakaya Bincho
      112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

      Kogi
      Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        where's izakaya bincho? thanks.

        1. re: kevin

          in the redondo beach pier.
          has a funny schedule, so be careful to be SURE that they will be open when you go.

          1. re: westsidegal

            cool, if it's closed i'll just have to set up shop at Naja's place.

            1. re: westsidegal

              Hmm, what's so funny about Izakaya Bincho's schedule?

              Closed Mondays, otherwise open for dinner.

              Oh, and let's not forget it's closed every last Tuesday of the month. I guess that's pretty hilarious ....

              -----
              Izakaya Bincho
              112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

              1. re: westsidegal

                Perhaps a slightly pedantic point, but Izakaya Bincho is actually on the Redondo Beach "international boardwalk", which is just north of the pier itself. By car, it's best entered from the north on Catalina rather than from the main pier entrance. (Parking's easier that way, too.)

                It's just a few doors down from Naja's, which is a great place to drink but not eat, and also a few doors from Gambrinus, which can be a great place to drink AND eat, if you order carefully. The fresh seafood bar is close, too, but I have yet to find any place on the pier itself that's worthwhile.

                -----
                Izakaya Bincho
                112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                Gambrinus
                136 Internatl Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

          2. Gaja-moc for cool do-it-yourself okonomiyaki. Like $20 a person.

            Various ramen places in the South Bay like Santouka, Asa, the new Mottainai. Figure $10-$15 per person.

            Ichimi-ann for awesome fresh soba and udon(only open for lunch). Like $10 if you get a little side thingy, too.

            If you're serious about Japanese food, you'll need to spend some time in the South Bay area.

            2 Replies
            1. re: huaqiao

              huaqiao-I LOVE soba so Ichimi-ann sounds amazing. Thanks!

              1. re: gelato2005

                No discussion of Japanese food in LA is really complete without a link to exilekiss' blog:

                http://exilekiss.blogspot.com/2009/10...

                Poke around the blog to see some very detailed reviews of some of the Japanese jewels you can find here in LA.

                There's a high end-ish tempura place in the South Bay with a tasting menu if you like tempura:

                http://exilekiss.blogspot.com/2008/06...

            2. http://www.daikoku-ten.com/dk_home.html

              6 Replies
              1. re: Servorg

                GOTTA do daikokuya. Or if you're out in Torrance, Santouka.

                I find it kind of interesting that you're looking for inexpensive, but also say you would be willing to spend up to $100/meal. If $100 is in ur budget, i would go to Kiyokawa.

                -----
                Santouka
                3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                1. re: andytseng

                  There's a Santouka in the Mitsuwa Marketplace in West LA/Culver City area on Centinela. Also, Wakasan has an omakase course of Japanese food (a take on kaiseki style meal - traditional Japanese course meal) for ~$35. I agree with andytseng and second Kiyokawa. You can also try Kiriko for sushi and Yakitoriya or Nanbankan for yakitori, all three are in West LA. Shabu shabu house in jtown is delicious, but the wait can be killer. Kushi shabu (dtla) takes reservations and has AYCE shabu shabu sets. Honda-ya on Alameda is a great izakaya place to eat and drink.

                  For Korean, if you want something else besides KBBQ, you can try Jae Bu Do for seafood grill, Ma Dang Gook Soo for noodles, So Kong Soon Doo Boo for Tofu, Yong Su San for Korean food in courses. if you want bar food with soju and beer, try Dwit Gol Mok and Dan Sung Sa. For spicy Korean crab stew, check out Ondal 2.

                  -----
                  Kiriko
                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                  Ondal 2
                  4566 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

                  Wakasan
                  1929 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                  Yakitoriya
                  11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                  Santouka
                  3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  Yong Su San Restaurant
                  950 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                  Centinela Cafe
                  4800 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                  1. re: nelehelen

                    be aware that omakase at kiriko will cost more than $100/pp

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      you can always tell them how much you want to spend on omakase and they will cap it at that...

                      you can also try echigo for omakase (~$50), but it's not very filling. FYI - sushi zo omakase is around $200, give and take and depends on how much you eat. I also agree that K-Zo is good. Sushi Masu on Westwood is also a nice place for sushi, their portions are big and omakase is usually around $50.

                      -----
                      Sushi Masu
                      1911 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                      K-Zo
                      9240 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                      1. re: nelehelen

                        sushi masu is the poor man's omakase. not the best, but a fantastic value.

                  2. re: andytseng

                    andytseng- $100 does sound like a generous budget for "inexpensive", but since I was looking for Japanese and I know some Japanese places can be pricey, I did not want to set the limit too low. (Urasawa would be unfortunately out of budget). I guess since I'm Asian, I am willing to pay more for a good deal.

                2. For a Korean old-time pub, you can't go wrong with Dan Sung Sa. It's where I go to take visitors to LA. I like the rustic graffiti-covered shack feel, the food is good, and not too pricey. Perfect for students.

                  Must go!

                  -----
                  Dan Sung SA
                  3317 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: munchabout

                    muchabout-I was reading that Dan Sung Sa is very traditional and that English speaking is limited. I'm not Korean, would that be a problem?

                    1. re: gelato2005

                      It is fun as hell, and not inaccessible at all.

                      1. re: gelato2005

                        "I was reading that Dan Sung Sa is very traditional and that English speaking is limited. I'm not Korean, would that be a problem?"
                        _______________

                        Can you muster up enough "Korean-ness" to order some soju? Get the proper ratio of soju to body fluids in your system and you'll be ordering with the best of the natives there.

                        Ok, kidding aside, they have English menus upon request. So rest assured, you can get punch drunk and fed silly just like everybody else.

                        건 배!

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Nice! Sounds like my kind of place. Now to find some drinking buddies...

                        2. re: gelato2005

                          You're lucky. They have English menus now. When I heard about the place I had to look at what other diners were eating.

                          "That looks good, I'll have some of that."

                          Now it's all fun.

                          Until the people next to you start smoking. :)

                        3. re: munchabout

                          Agreed, and if you want something a little classier than Dan Sung Sa (but still well within your budget), Seongbukdong is in the same little mini-mall. Don't miss the braised mackerel and the short ribs. The banchan is (are?) also first-rate, especially anything pickled.

                        4. $16.99 AYCE Korean BBQ at Moodaepo II on 7th Street near Vermont.
                          You got to cook your own, but it's fun and good.
                          3014 W. 7th st. LA CA 90005 / Tel. (213) 381-9990

                          http://www.moodaepobbq.com/

                          1. Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I will be staying midway between LA and Irvine so will definitely cover both LA and OC for good eats. I look forward to trying your suggestions!

                            1. A lot of great recs here. You can do some damage given your $100 limit. I think all except an omakase at the top tier sushi places will easily fit within your budget. Some have urged and directed you to the South Bay for some supreme choices for Japanese food. This currently is the major epicenter for Japanese cuisine. Izakaya Bincho on the Redondo Beach Pier is great - a no-lose proposition. Tiny place with a lot of culinary heart.

                              Another izakaya to consider is Musha in the Mitsuwa Market shopping center on Western and Carson - bigger than Izakaya Bincho, some unique dishes that are creative and kinda nutty, and the crowd is down with noise-making.

                              Right across the parking lot from Musha is Torihei - major league yakitori and oden with some great sake as well.

                              The shopping center's major anchor is Mitsuwa Market, which houses a pretty decent food court. I think most are attracted to Santouka Ramen, and rightfully so. It was the first place that came to mind when I read the title of your post. Definitely most bang for your buck when it comes to Japanese options. There's another located in the Mar Vista (listed as Santa Monica) Mitsuwa's food court as well.

                              Gaja Moc in Lomita has been mentioned - great atmosphere and good - but there's a couple of really good noodle joints - Eboshi and Oumi - and vaunted Patisserie Chantilly in the same small shopping center. IMHO, Chantilly is the real stand-out for me because I really enjoy all great things baked, and Chantilly really puts their best foot forward in this sense. The artisan effort that goes into their goods is to applauded, particularly their famous cream puffs.

                              Kagura has received some mixed reviews, particularly in meticulous detail by highly respected poster exilekiss, but if you enjoy tonkatsu and other things fried to perfection, and great sake list, you might consider them as well.

                              -----
                              Patisserie Chantilly
                              2383 Lomita Blvd., #104, Lomita, CA 90717

                              Santouka Ramen
                              21515 S Western Ave, Torrance, CA 90501

                              Musha
                              424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                              Gaja Moc
                              2383 Lomita Blvd, Lomita, CA 90717

                              Izakaya Bincho
                              112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                              Torihei
                              1757 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90501

                              Kagura
                              6324 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

                              14 Replies
                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                bulavinaka-thanks for the detailed description of the recs! On a separate note, I LOVE cream puffs and will hopefully get a chance to try the ones at Chantilly mentioned in your post.

                                1. re: gelato2005

                                  As already mentioned above, please do yourself a favor and check out exilekiss's blog. Along with a cream puff face-off, you'll find some seriously great eats - many of which that will fit your bill.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    bulavinaka- I just read the cream puff post on exilekiss's blog and I'm drooling. I think I will HAVE TO add cream puff tasting to my itinerary. I think I will have to start working out now before I start my visit to LA. Thanks again!

                                2. re: bulavinaka

                                  Thanks for mentioning Kagura

                                  As much as I highly esteem Exilekiss's reviews, as many of us do, I have to recommend Kagura as a really unique (for the US) tonkatsu experience. Short of flying to Tokyo, I don't think you can get this anywhere else.

                                  You have a lot of good recs here. These are some that have not been mentioned:

                                  Also the udon at Sanuki No Sato

                                  I also like the Edomae sushi at Kanpachi, rather unique fare, depending on what's available.

                                  Sakae sushi in Gardena. It's not a sushi bar, just some of the best maki, inari and battera sushi around. And really cheap. Take out only.

                                  I second Bulavinaka's rec to look at Exile Kiss's reviews.

                                  -----
                                  Sanuki No Sato
                                  18206 S Western Ave, Gardena, CA 90248

                                  Kanpachi
                                  1425 W Artesia Blvd Ste 27, Gardena, CA 90248

                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                    Thanks for your recs! I really miss the tonkatsu I've had before in Tokyo, but was afraid to try Kagura after Exilekiss's reviews. Since you are the second person recommending the place, I might have to put it back on my list again.

                                    1. re: gelato2005

                                      Since you've had tonkatsu in Tokyo, you might be disappointed. Kagura is the best I've ever had, since I've never had it in Japan. I wonder if EK will go back since his review; It was when the restaurant was quite new. At any rate, I hope you enjoy your time here and report back on all the places you visit.

                                      -----
                                      Kagura
                                      6324 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd, Anaheim, CA 92807

                                      1. re: Ogawak

                                        Thanks! I will definitely report back. I have not been back to Japan since 2005, so I might still try Kagura since we have nothing close to it in Houston.

                                        1. re: gelato2005

                                          The sake list is superb, and they do a lot of things very well there. Their crab croquettes and fried oysters are really good, as are many of their side dishes.

                                          Poster exilekiss has a very sharp eye and palate for consistency and quality. Me? Not so. :) The sake tends to smooth over the little bumps in the road for me. %*}

                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                            Sake makes everything better! Ogawak and bulavinaka, which cuts of pork did you prefer at Kagura?

                                            1. re: gelato2005

                                              For me, the loin and filet are different in that the loin is leaner - like white meat on a chicken. The filet is more like getting the dark meat on a chicken - a little more earthy flavor.

                                              1. re: gelato2005

                                                Bulavinaka may not compare himself with Exilekiss, but he's still more discerning than most of the rest of us.

                                                They also have a millefeuille cut which apparently is very popular in Japan. The pork is very thinly sliced, then gathered together and deep fried. I found it an interesting tasting experience. Just FYI.

                                                Also some of the issues Exile Kiss wrote about on his blog did not seem to occur in the numerous times I have been. No blood marks, etc. I think this place listens to EK and responds accordingly.

                                                1. re: Ogawak

                                                  All of the foodies in LA (including you and bulavinaka) sound extremely knowledgeable and passionate about food. I wish our chowhound page is as active as yours in LA. ;)

                                                  I have added Kagura to my must-try list. Thanks for the info!

                                                  1. re: gelato2005

                                                    If you want to try good tonkatsu I would recommend Wako Donkasu on Olympic, its not Japanese but Korean but IMO they do tonkatsu justice and for a reasonable price!

                                                    I've been trying to figure out what makes their tonkatsu different but the breading seems different and the texture is really soft (probably has been through a Jaccard tenderizer)

                                                    -----
                                                    Wako Donkasu
                                                    2904 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                                    1. re: Johnny L

                                                      is there two locations in koreatown, one on olympic and one on wilshire.

                                  2. Here's my list. Note: $ are approximate. Enjoy!

                                    Korean-

                                    Wings- Kyochon-
                                    ($17.99 for 15 or $24.99 for 25)
                                    3833 W 6th St
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90020
                                    Neighborhood: Koreatown
                                    (213) 739-9292

                                    Sul Lung Tang
                                    (~$10 for soup)
                                    Han Bat Sul Lung Tang
                                    4163 W 5th St
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90020
                                    Neighborhood: Koreatown
                                    (213) 388-9499

                                    Banchan & Fish
                                    Mapo Kkak doo Gee
                                    ($10-15 for entrees)
                                    3611 W 6th St
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90020
                                    Neighborhood: Koreatown
                                    (213) 736-6668

                                    Juk (Porridge), and samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken soup)
                                    Mountain Cafe
                                    (~$10 Entree)
                                    3064 W 8th St
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90005
                                    Neighborhood: Koreatown
                                    (213) 487-7615

                                    Soondubu (Tofu Soup)
                                    (~$10 Entree)
                                    Beverly Soon Tofu
                                    2717 W Olympic Blvd
                                    Ste 108
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90006
                                    (213) 380-1113

                                    Japanese-

                                    Sushi Omakase- Sushi Zo
                                    (About $100, but that's for one person...)
                                    9824 National Blvd
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90034
                                    Neighborhood: Palms
                                    (310) 842-3977

                                    Izakaya- Musha
                                    ( Small plates- Ranges in Price)
                                    Either in Torrance or Santa Monica
                                    424 Wilshire Blvd
                                    Santa Monica, CA 90401
                                    (310) 576-6330

                                    1725 W Carson St
                                    Torrance, CA 90501
                                    (310) 787-7344

                                    Ramen- Daikokuya
                                    ( $ 10-15 Entree)
                                    327 E 1st St
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90012
                                    (213) 626-1680

                                    Soba/Udon in OC- Fukada
                                    (~$10-15 Entree)
                                    8683 Irvine Ctr Dr
                                    Irvine, CA 92618
                                    (949) 341-0111

                                    -----
                                    Daikokuya
                                    327 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    Sushi Zo
                                    9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                    Musha
                                    1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

                                    Beverly Soon Tofu Restaurant
                                    2717 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                    Fukada Restaurant
                                    8683 Irvine Center Dr, Irvine, CA 92618

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: terramassu

                                      terramassu-awesome list, thanks! I hope I can try as many places as possible in 4 weeks.

                                      1. re: gelato2005

                                        I forgot a few honorable mentions-

                                        Japanese Curry - Curry House
                                        2130 Sawtelle Blvd # 200,
                                        Los Angeles -
                                        (310) 479-8477

                                        And More Izakaya- Furaibo
                                        2068 Sawtelle Blvd
                                        Los Angeles, CA 90025
                                        Neighborhood: West Los Angeles
                                        (310) 444-1432

                                        Korean - Pork Bossam- Kobawoo
                                        698 S Vermont Ave
                                        Ste 109
                                        Los Angeles, CA 90005
                                        Neighborhood: Koreatown
                                        (213) 389-7300

                                        Korean- Homemade Noodles and Dumplings
                                        Olympic Noodle
                                        4008 W Olympic Blvd
                                        Los Angeles, CA 90019
                                        (323) 931-0007

                                      2. re: terramassu

                                        I'm gonna add Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen to the list. It's decent ramen, they have other small izakaya-type dishes, and the boisterous servers make the place a lot of fun to be in.

                                        Along the same line, Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori in Torrance.

                                        Did I mention their prices are affordable?

                                        -----
                                        Shin Sen Gumi Hakata Ramen
                                        2015 W Redondo Beach Blvd Ste D, Gardena, CA 90247

                                        Shin Sen Gumi Yakitori
                                        21605 S Western Ave C, Torrance, CA

                                      3. if your four week period includes the weeks of 10/3 and 10/10, those are dinela restaurant weeks and a special deal will be available (not on weekends) at K-ZO in culver city.
                                        although K-Zo is not as ethereal as sushi-zo, they are pretty damn good, and i would be sure to catch their restaurant week deal)

                                        -----
                                        K-Zo
                                        9240 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          I would highly recommend Sushi Zo, over any other sushi joint in town, except for go's mart and shibucho.

                                          -----
                                          Sushi Zo
                                          9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            westsidegal-unfortunately I will start my 4 weeks on Oct 18.
                                            kevin- I've read so much about Sushi Zo that I might just have to try their omakase. Seems like it will be more than $100 per meal though

                                            -----
                                            Sushi Zo
                                            9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                            1. re: gelato2005

                                              it's definitely more than $100. whenever i go, I always eat till the end and I spend around $200, but that includes drinks.

                                              from what I remember, kiriko omakase was $80, but i haven't been in a couple of years.

                                        2. Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions and comments. I was wondering if any of the foodies in LA meet to try new places together? Since I will be traveling to LA on my own, it would be nice to try new restaurants with people equally passionate about food.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: gelato2005

                                            Add your email address to your profile and anyone interested will contact you to set something up "off board". Hope your trip is a "delicious" one.

                                          2. May I suggest The Corner Place for kbbq on James Wood at Westmoreland, one block east of Vermont in KTown? The setting is casual but the kalbi is VERY good, filled every night with KTown locals (the restaurant, not the kalbi) and the menus are in English and Korean.
                                            Two can eat and drink plenty for $100.

                                            -----
                                            Corner Place Restaurant
                                            2819 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jimmyodonnell

                                              if you go to corner place, then you HAVE to get their dong chi mi gook soo after you're done with the beef.

                                            2. ALSO the chain BCD Tofu House is good for a moderately - priced authentic Korean menu, and they have locations in Irvine, the south bay and a couple spots in KTown. Open 24 hrs too.

                                              -----
                                              Tofu House
                                              928 S Western Ave Ste 139, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: jimmyodonnell

                                                I gotta say, if we're mentioning PARKS and he has a budget of up to $100, BCD is most certainly not a "must try"

                                                it's a really nice korean denny's.

                                                1. re: ns1

                                                  We have some good Korean BBQ in Houston too. So for it to be a must try, it will have to be something special. Parks seems to stand out with the good cuts of meat.

                                                  1. re: gelato2005

                                                    I've been to Park's on a past trip to L.A. and you should give it a shot especially if you are willing to spend the cash. I can tell you now the refined experience and the quality will be unlike any Korean BBQ place in Texas. Full disclosure: I live in Dallas and grew up in Houston, done Korean BBQ in both metro areas.

                                                    Another thing, I would also suggest reading this thread specifically about Park's vs. Soot Bull Jeep. It's worth a look because I can't think of a place in Texas that is comparable to Soot Bull Jeep as far as price/quality ratio.
                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/700555

                                                    I'm on a similar quest for my upcoming L.A. trip, so this thread has given me a lot of wonderful info too. Appreciate the help.

                                                    1. re: air

                                                      Yes! I'm definitely going to Park's. This thread was awesome. Thanks to all the LA hounds for the great info. As Servorg said earlier in the thread, hope YOUR trip will be a "delicious" one too.

                                              2. SooWon Galbi on Vermont doesn't have quite as high quality cuts as Park's, though the meat is still quite a bit better than your average kbbq house. On the plus side, it's cheaper and they use well-ventilated charcoal grills instead of gas. I think it's a better value than Park's.

                                                For cheap deliciousness, don't miss Yu Chun on Serrano and Olympic for the best nengmyun in the country (there's a couple different locations and I'm not sure if they're related, but the Serrano and Olympic location is definitely the best). Han Bat Suh Lung Tang is another one hit wonder hole in the wall (for suh lung tang, a beef marrow soup).

                                                Dong Il Jang on 8th has great ros gui (grilled rib eye) and each meal is topped off with fantastic kimchee fried rice.

                                                I'd skip Yong Su San; I think that place is incredibly overrated and overpriced.

                                                -----
                                                Yu Chun Restaurant
                                                3470 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

                                                Yong Su San Restaurant
                                                950 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                                1. For Korean
                                                  Kobawoo - bossam (steamed pork belly wrapped in steamed cabbage with accompaniments), any of the pancakes
                                                  Parks bbq - this is the only place i will go by choice. everything else is blah in comparison
                                                  Yu chun - mool nengmyun (cold noodle soup)
                                                  Kogi - at alibi room or one of the trucks
                                                  Chego
                                                  Kyochon - k fried chicken, better to order ahead
                                                  Chin go gae - goat stew, remaining broth is made into an awesome fried rice
                                                  Hodori - the real korean denny's, 24/7 365 days a year

                                                  -----
                                                  Kogi
                                                  Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

                                                  Hodori Restaurant
                                                  1001 S Vermont Ave Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90006

                                                  Kobawoo Restaurant
                                                  698 S Vermont Ave Ste 109, Los Angeles, CA 90005

                                                  Chego
                                                  3300 Overland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                                  1. I want to toss in an added voice for Kyo-Chon fried chicken, in case that rec gets lost in the mix. You really won't taste friend chicken like it anywhere else. I prefer the original to the spicy, and almost everything other than drumsticks and wings is mediocre, but I promise - you will crave the taste once you are back in Texas.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: VJA

                                                      Wow.. did not know there was such as thing as Korean fried chicken. Will have to check it out while in LA for sure!

                                                      1. re: gelato2005

                                                        KyoChon drumsticks and wings can absolutely be habit-forming, but I'd recommend sticking to the locations in and near Koreatown. As the chain has grown in the last year or so the QC has been hit-or-miss in the newer branches. Most have been great, but the new Culver City KyoChon overcooked them to leather, and the Torrance one used so much MSG my head was thumping for the next 2 hours ...