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little tokyo and korea town

I know they are both very different places. But i have lived in LA my whole life and have never been to either. Wanting to go to one this weekend. Looking for good restaurants in either, eat pretty much everything. So what are the best three places in each maybe? Open to all suggestions though! Could not find a recent thread on either one!!!

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  1. well, how much money you got? lol

    options range from $ to $$$$

    1 Reply
    1. re: ns1

      I would say up the $$$ but again money is not the biggest issue but lets not get too crazy

    2. Park's BBQ in Koreatown might be a great place to start. Some of the best meats in LA including their wonderful Gal-Bi (Prime Beef Short Rib) & great service too.
      http://parksbbq.com

      2 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        Another popular place would be Kang Hodong Baekjong on 6th Street, serving up combo platters of beef or pork for bbq-ing.

        I'd also recommend Jae Bu Do on Western Ave for the seafood variation of Korean BBQ.

        Another popular place is Wassada on Western Ave for Korean sashimi/live seafood. That is, if you don't mind watching the prawn heads, lobster heads and diced up baby octopi still moving about as you try to eat them...

        1. re: TripleAxel

          Baekjong is great for BBQ, but I only get their pork combo there. Why? Because they have the best pork neck/jowl ever.

          He also opened up a new gopchang BBQ restaurant down the street called Aghassi. This place is good cuz the vents actually come all the way down (like in Korea), so you won't smell as much.

          Is Jae Bu Do still good? I first went back in 2009 and been back a few times, but it's been a couple years since I've gone back. Seafood was pretty fresh when I went, but I've heard mixed reviews since.

      2. Can't speak for Koreatown, except for Park's BBQ.

        For Little Tokyo, assuming you want Japanese food:

        Ramen: Tokushima Menoh
        Udon & Tempura: Marugame Monzo
        Shabu Shabu: Kagaya
        Izakaya: Aburiya Toranoko
        Sushi: Sushi Gen
        Down home: Aoi or Suyehiro

        Imagawayaki at Mitsuru Grill, a Japanese pancake with sweet red bean filler.

        You might also try:
        Cronuts at Francis Bakery, among other things

        11 Replies
        1. re: Ogawak

          excellent recs here.

          1. re: Ogawak

            I was going to ask if the OP wanted to Japanese food b/c if he/she didn't, I would recommend Lazy Ox Canteen.

            I also love the place that makes their mochi near Daikokuya, but the name escape me right now.... Fugetsu-do?

            1. re: ilysla

              That place is Fugetsu-do. I like it better than the Mikawaya, though Mikawaya in the Woori Market Mall does make a good mochi ice cream.

              1. re: Ogawak

                Mochi ice cream = ice cream wrapped by mochi skin? If so, I like the Maeda-en (sp?) brand that I get from Nijiya....

                BTW, thanks, nelehelen, for the extensive K-town list! Do you like Yu Chun better tha Chilbo Myunok? Never been to the former, love the cold noodles and hot broth (served as a drink) at the latter.... And the stern Korean mothers masquerading as waitresses.... ;)

                1. re: ilysla

                  they're both good, but i always go to yu chun for some reason. probably because it's just more familiar to me.

                2. re: Ogawak

                  That Mikawaya ice cream/gelato shop is closed, but the Beard Papa shop in the same mall carries the mochi ice cream.

              2. re: Ogawak

                frances how's those cronuts ????

                1. re: kevin

                  see the main cronut thread, plenty of pics and reviews.

                  1. re: ns1

                    Thats the thread you linked in my other post ?

                    1. re: kevin

                      yes.

                2. re: Ogawak

                  How about Kokekokko for yakitori?

                3. Koreatown:

                  K-BBQ (note: everything listed are NON-AYCE)
                  1. Park's
                  2. Baekjong (no RSVP, so you have to wait)
                  3. Dong Il Jang (best kimchi fried rice after)
                  3. Chosun (it's pricey, but their meats are always great)

                  Korean Bar Food
                  1. Dan Sung Sa (it got so busy after it came out on No Reservations, but food is always been so good)
                  2. Dwit Gol Mok (food is just as good as DSS)

                  Other Korean Restaurants (not KBBQ)
                  1. Chunju Han Il Kwan
                  2. Ham Ji Park (this is a bbq spot too, but they are known for their bbq pork spare ribs & pork neck stew)
                  3. Han Bat Sul Long Tang or Yong Dong Sul Long Tang
                  4. Yu Chun (for cold noodles)
                  5. Kobawoo (boiled pork & kimchi)

                  The list goes on and on, but I'll stop here. Hope this helps!

                  25 Replies
                  1. re: nelehelen

                    you seem to know your stuff: any comment on Yong SuSan?

                    1. re: ns1

                      YongSuSan is okay... it's definitely got a go-to place for regulars because it's pricey and the food is more for celebratory times (i.e., birthdays, etc.). The food is upscale food that is served in same style as when they used to serve kings and royal court back in the olden days. The food is good, but sometimes it's a hit or miss.

                      If you haven't been, I suggest you try once for the experience. You'll probably like some dishes more than others, but they do give you a lot so keep that in mind when you pick your course.

                      1. re: nelehelen

                        thanks, I haven't been but I've always been curious.

                        1. re: ns1

                          Yongsusan is way better with a group if you can put it together.

                    2. re: nelehelen

                      Please don't stop. Always wanted a list of K-town gems beyond the BBQ stuff. Crab stews, pork neck stews, noodle specialists, etc.!

                      1. re: Porthos

                        crab stews:
                        ondal (1 or 2)
                        there's one on western in between 6th and 5th street, but i totally forgot the name. my bff swears by this place.

                        hand-cut noodles:
                        ma dang gook soo (their kimchi is also well-known)

                        black goat stew:
                        mirak (their fried rice is really good after the stew)

                        soon doo boo:
                        so kong dong

                        braised short ribs:
                        seung book dong (this place has gotten VERY popular so there is always a wait and prices are up, but their short ribs & braised mackerel is still one of the best in the city)

                        ok, that's all i can think of for now... :)

                        1. re: nelehelen

                          Where do you like to go for mandu?

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            i rarely get mandu when i eat out. i always get it when i eat at korean-chinese restaurants though... something about jja jjang myun and manu together that's so hard to resist! :)

                            1. re: nelehelen

                              I can see it now, jia jiang myun mandu. Who wouldn't want noodle filled dumplings?!

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Sign me up!

                                1. re: JAB

                                  I'm going to talk to some people I know and see what they can do for us!

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    I'm thinking glass noodles.

                                    1. re: JAB

                                      My mom actually makes vegetarian dumplings with Chinese cellophane noodles or 粉絲 (and other stuff of course, like black ear fungus, bean sprouts, tofu, marinated stir-fried shiitakes, etc.)

                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                        I love your mom.

                                        1. re: JAB

                                          Me too.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                          "My mom actually makes vegetarian dumplings with Chinese cellophane noodles or 粉絲 (and other stuff of course, like black ear fungus, bean sprouts, tofu, marinated stir-fried shiitakes, etc.)"

                                          Wow, where can we get these Veggie Dumplings at a restaurant if even possible ?

                                2. re: nelehelen

                                  where would you rec for veggie mandu ???

                                  sorry, i'm a little slopping with the names here.

                              2. re: nelehelen

                                Black goat stew! You're so money! Many thanks!

                                Marking this thread now.

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  Mandu? Try http://visitkoreatown.org/shinurang-o...

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    One place I've heard good things about as far as mandu is concerned but haven't gotten to yet is:

                                    Myung Dong Kyoja
                                    3630 Wilshire Blvd
                                    Los Angeles, CA 90010
                                    (213) 385-7789

                                2. re: nelehelen

                                  seung book dong

                                  i think that's the one the times lovingly reviewed a couple years back.

                                  1. re: nelehelen

                                    there's one on western in between 6th and 5th street, but i totally forgot the name. my bff swears by this place.
                                    ========================

                                    Won Jo Kokerang Agurang?

                                  2. re: Porthos

                                    Any thoughts about Myung In Dumplings, where Roy Choi took Anthony Bourdain for a bite?

                                    I do want to add Palsaik Samgyupsal on Western for Pork Belly Korean BBQ. Set menus with 8 flavors of pork belly...

                                    1. re: TripleAxel

                                      Myung In is great. I prefer the Kimchi wang (king) mandoo to the regular pork. These are not more bao than what most people would call dumplings (although they also have steamed dumplings there). I take some home and freeze them for a quick snack/breakfast on the go.

                                    2. re: Porthos

                                      For something different, there's Dha Rae Oak on South Western that serves stuffed duck baked in clay. Duck is stuffed with different kinds of rice, chestnuts, etc. and baked whole in a clay shell. Requires 24 hours notice to order.