First time in K-Town
I am going to be downtown at a convention tonight, and thought I'd take my business partner for drinks and dinner in K-Town afterwards. Can anyone recommend an itinerary for a couple of newbies? BBQ would probably be the preferred dinner fare.
Park's BBQ seems to be the board favorite for beef (http://parksbbq.com/).
Palsaik Samgyupsal specializes in pork belly (http://palsaikbbq.com/).
I haven't been to either of the above. For newbies, I'd recommend one of these three places for BBQ, for 3 different reasons:
* Chosun Galbee (http://chosungalbee.com/) uses gas, if you and your business partner don't want to come out smelling like smoke. Easier for beginners to handle.
* Soot Bull Jeep (http://www.yelp.com/biz/soot-bull-jee...), on the other end of the spectrum will smoke you out. It's more old school, no frills decor.
* Soowon Galbi (http://www.soowongalbi.net/) is the Goldilocks of the three, in my opinion. Real coal, but not too smokey, accessible, friendly staff.
If you don't want to stick to BBQ, check out this thread for a plethora of other choices in Koreatown: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918747
Thanks for replies. K-town meal was postponed until tonight. The plan is to start with drinks at Da Sung Sa and then brave Soot Bull Jeep.
And now for a shockingly naïve question. Can you get red wine at a place like Soot Bull Jeep, or will they care if you bring your own bottle? Don't want to violate any etiquette.
Again, thanks for all the responses. Here's a recap of the evening.
Started the evening at dan sung sa for drinks. On the one hand, the place is very atmospheric - all wood, reminded me of the country inns in those old Kurosawa films. On the other hand, it is a restaurant and really didn't seem like a place for drinking. There is a sort of wooden bar surrounding the kitchen area, but no one was drinking there, and we finally felt uncomfortable and moved to a booth. Maybe you need to go later in the evening, but anyone expecting a lively drinking scene won't find it at 8:30 on a Friday night at this place . Are there good places for just drinking in K-Town, or is it always attached to a restaurant?
We then moved on to soot bull jeep for dinner, and this was a lot of fun. Neither of us were terribly bothered by the smoke, although when I got home my wife accused me of smoking. The heat was more noticeable. We ordered the short ribs and spencer steak, and they were very tasty. Our waitress pretty much cooked our food for us, which made us both feel a little embarrassed, like we were little kids, but it was nice. At both places, the crowd was pretty much Caucasian, not many Asians at all. Don't know if this means that better fare is to be found elsewhere, but we thoroughly enjoyed our evening.
I'm not up on the drinking scene, but there are certainly places that are drinking centric. Off the top of my head Beer Belly and Biergarten both do serve food and would probably fall more under gastropub than pure drinking...
Hmmm. Last time I went to SBJ was probably a decade ago and the clientele was nearly all Korean.
Glad it was fun night out. I probably should have mentioned, Asian bars/drinking places tend to also be greasy bar food heavy. It definitely picks up later in the evening. One of the most unusual Asian bars in LA is the Indian Restaurant in SGV (http://www.yelp.com/biz/uncle-yus-ind...). Think Asian Hooters dressed in skimpy native Indian outfits.
As for more Asian centric BBQ joints - Cholsun is probably 60/40, Palsaik 90/10, Dong-Il-Jang 90/10, Parks 40/60. The fact that Park's has high % of non-Asian does not diminish the quality of BBQ, however their banchan and kimchi is middling.
Alternatively some of the less mainstream restaurants are almost exclusively Asian i.e. Kobawoo, Jun Won, Jangchung-Dong Wong Jokbal