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Seafood restaurant in koreatown

does anybody swear by any seafood restaurants in koreatown? yizhang?

my korean neighbor has offered to treat me to a night out and i want to avail myself of her ability to speak korean!

(i don't eat meat nor poultry)
also, the last time we went out we went to Ondal, so if it could be a different restaurant this time around that would be good

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    1. Wesside we like emc seafood

      Check out menu emcseafood.com

      1. Btw. What's the name of the joint with seafood dumplings or mandu in Koreatown ???????

        1. Yeo woo bi for grilled Kstyle seafood.

          T fish for best bad Korean sushi.

          Island seafood for set course k-omakase with crappy halibut.

          But hey, wtf do I know, I'd take Seafood Village over any of the 3 above.

          Emc is owned by Wokcano team. It tastes of overpriced SGV seafood and Korean's seafood naïveté.

          7 Replies
          1. re: TonyC

            It sounds like there's nothing even decent here by your estimation.

            1. re: kevin

              Having been there I would not portray it as Vile which TonyC seems to be implying. Dommy! and I thought it was decent and so did many of the reviews which came out when it opened.

              The photos are of the Fried Oysters. Crab Cake, broiled 1/2 Lobster. Blue Crab Lettuce cups [best dish of the night] and an order of garlic noodles which Dommy! likes. I want to go again to see if the consistency is there or if we come across the problems which TonyC has seen.

              EMC is more of a western-style slightly fusion-y Seafood restaurant. if you want Korean or Chinese style seafood, go elsewhere.

              Would this be a good fit for Westsidegal? I think some of the other places in this thread would be better suited and I have added them to our list to try.

            2. re: TonyC

              I think you've misunderstood wsg's request.

              She wanted seafood restaurants you would swear *by* -- not seafood restaurants you would swear *at*.

              Prepositions can be so, so tricky.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                i don't know what you guys are talking about panning emc -- it's a great oyster bar with good specials and atmosphere and other interesting dishes. Have you been ipsidixit?

                1. re: jessejames

                  I'm not panning EMC (at least not on this post).

                  I will say, however, that the rec for EMC is a bit odd (even funny) in this situation, as I don't really see wsg needing her neighbor's korean language skills at EMC.

                  From wsg's original post:
                  >>my korean neighbor has offered to treat me to a night out and i want to avail myself of her ability to speak korean!<<

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    it was full of korean when i was there and it is seafood, and good, and newish...

                    but glad you found my recommendation odd and even funny...

                2. re: ipsedixit


                  I remember eating the hwe dup bap at A-won -- which was a critic's recommendation -- and cursing at the grizzled mashed tuna posing as seafood.

                  Anywho, re-read WSG's Q, and came up with

                  Won Jo Kokerang Arurang. I haven't been personally as the crab stew starts at $60, but since OP enjoyed Ondal, this would be comparable, and the menu is far deeper, with less English spoken; bring a group. Note: at these hot potting joints offering S/M/L, the difference between S and L is typically trivial, so a small would suffice for a group of 4 after the requireds stir fried carb course comes at the end.

              2. I've had good reports on Wassada from a Korean friend. Anyone been?

                Wassada Restaurant
                377 N Western Ave
                Los Angeles, CA 90004
                (323) 464-3006

                1. I can't be of much help on this one. I've never really liked any of the Korean seafood restaurants I've tried.

                  I agree with TonyC that EMC is pretty terrible (the cheaper oysters are preshucked and taste disgusting) and overpriced.

                  Island Seafood is a good value but you don't need a Korean speaker and the quality is so so. When I went there 2 years ago, it was only $60pp and we were stuffed beyond belief. The moving octopus tentacles that sucked on the inside of my mouth and the still-moving lobster were the most interesting parts of the meals.

                  You mention that you've been to Ondal. After making attempts at 2 different Korean crab stew places, I realized that I just dont get the dish.

                  The only other idea I have is:
                  Jae Bu Do (seafood BBQ)
                  474 N Western
                  Los Angeles, CA 90004
                  It's ok; don't get your hopes up.

                  Sorry :(

                  Oh...how about Boiling Crab? I know you don't need your neighbor for this one but at least it tastes good.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: yizhang

                    "EMC is pretty terrible (the cheaper oysters are preshucked and taste disgusting) and overpriced."



                    "After making attempts at 2 different Korean crab stew places, I realized that I just dont get the dish."

                    Doubly this.

                    1. re: TonyC

                      I think we must have been to a different emc from your reports. We had fresh and clean oysters and several kinds.

                    2. re: yizhang

                      rumor has it that Boiling Crab will soon be on the westside.
                      i can have the "everything" option and reek of garlic for a week afterwards.

                      i'm going to run some of these names past my friend and she'll decide.

                      thanks so much!!!

                    3. How about A-won for al-bap and hwe dup bap? It's not seafood in the traditional sense but they make the best seafood over rice combinations in Ktown.

                      1. Dae Bok has good Korean seafood dishes, in particular their eundegu jorim (은대구 조림)

                        1. I only eat fish and have found korean restaurants that cater to that. Jun Won on 8th is primarily seafood. excellent Cod, spicy sautéed squid, pollack casserole (soup). really friendly service. this place is one of my favorites.
                          Also, if you want korean bbq, soot bull jeep has excellent shrimp and eel for the bbq.
                          We've gone to Parks bbq and grilled shrimp & mushrooms (not as awesome as the shrimp at soot bull jeep) and also ordered the cod (excellent).
                          Seongbukdong has braised mackerel which I liked and seems to be a popular dish there.
                          hope this helps!

                          1. I hate to predict what people will say about a place but not this time - wsg will not like EMC's fish, she may like the cocktails if she';s drinking. Over-and-out.

                            Mapo would be my choice. They have a very good grilled mackerel, and fantastic hand cut noodle sauce in a seafood broth. BiBimBop with veggies also quite good.

                            There are seafood BBQ places but I don't know them well.

                            1. i wouldn't call it a seafood place, but jun won does fish really well. i recommend the black cod but what i saw of their broiled fish (on just about every other table there) looked really good. IIRC the seafood pancake was also pretty good, though a little bit different than one i really liked at kobawoo house. the squid is also supposed to be very good

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: barryc

                                Just wanted to say thanks for recommending Jun Won. Went there for the first time, had the bean paste jjigae and the steamed cod. My wife has been thanking me for days.

                              2. Really kind of depends on what you're looking for, right?

                                For raw dishes, and a pretty solid set meal someone below recommended A-Won, which I prefer to Masan both for quality and atmosphere.

                                I really love JaeBuDo for grilled seafood. It s a damn fine deal and the medium will feed 3-4 people. Long lines at night but worth it.

                                1. Stick to stewed, braised or grilled fish items. Raw seafood Korean style is nothing to write home about. The Japanese do that a 1000x better. Most "Korean sushi" places mentioned here serve spicy fish stew. It's spicy & funky and that's how it's supposed to be. IMO black cod stew (eun daegu jorim) is THE representative Korean seafood dish. That and maybe grilled mackerel. If you're not into these 3 items, chances are Korean seafood just isn't your thing. There's a place on Western (11th/12th street-ish but can't remember the name) that does sea squirt stew. If you're into that stuff, by all means... I'm not into exotic sea creatures so (oysters are probably the most exotic I'll go).

                                  Korean seafood generally is more focused on seasoning, not quality of the seafood. Come to think of it, I think that applies to a lot of Korean food. A gross generalization, of course, but that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: soniabegonia

                                    more focused on seasoning, not quality of the seafood
                                    fascinating. would you say this is true for home cooks in the US? can't be, right? recently, i had a pot of kkotgae tang, with fresh blue crabs so commonly found being discounted at korean markets. the soup was simply seasoned (sweet soy, dab of gochujang) and stuffed with herbs. that pot was the best korean food i had all year, and it was made by a non-cook.

                                    1. re: TonyC

                                      As I said, that was a gross generalization and more of a relative concept than an absolute one - to explain further, Japanese cuisine (sushi, kaiseki) is more ingredient focused (by ingredient I mean main ingredient, not seasonings). Korean food is more about heavy, assertive seasoning, such that even if you have an inferior product to work with, you kind of mask it with delicious seasoning. I've seen it in Korean households & restaurants. A prime example is the hwe dup bap, which takes poorly cut pieces of raw fish (almost always previously frozen) and swirls it around with enough gochujang, masago, etc and makes a damn delicious and satisfying dish. Inferior fish but a fine meal. Certainly could use the best sashimi for this dish but why would you? Once it gets mixed with 19 other ingredients, it just becomes part of the symphony. Would you notice a single Stradivarius playing among 20 cheapie violins? (ok, maybe, but you get my point). Same can be said for a lot of Korean dishes. Doesn't mean you can't use the best ingredients but the quality of ingredients isn't front & center in many Korean dishes by the time you add all the seasoning and braise, boil, broil, grill, etc. You may have noticed that there aren't a lot of raw dishes in Korean cuisine.

                                      These are *my* observations only, not as someone who is versed in the history or art of Korean cooking, but as one who grew up on the stuff and now having been exposed to many other types of cuisine by virtue of having spent nearly 30 years in Los Angeles. Over the years I have formed the opinion that there are 2 broad categories of cuisines: ones that are ingredient-driven and ones that are seasoning-driven. Korean falls into the latter.

                                      Again, my thesis, my story, and i'm sticking to it.

                                      1. re: soniabegonia

                                        seasoning driven cuisine makes sense when your ingredient quality is limited. the use of chilis in the SW with limited refrigeration, etc. heavy handed use of cumin and peppers in the northern chinese regions. but with technology advances you'd imagine that to start to fade where the standard of living allows it.

                                        1. re: barryc

                                          "but with technology advances you'd imagine that to start to fade where the standard of living allows it."

                                          Of course then your restaurant's food gets excoriated on sites like this one when a bunch of purists rip you a new one for not being "authentic"

                                          1. re: Servorg

                                            lol. but in the actual regions of northern china, i wouldn't go as far as to suggest that prosperity has reached there. plus we chinese are pretty traditionalistic. if we're used to crusting something with cumin, the main reason we'd stop is if cumin was no longer affordable. and we'd still find a way if it was related to a holiday or some sort of ancestral observance.

                                            but that's part of what i like about some cuisines, the rustic heritage so the meals aren't finessed but over the top with spices or size. even if it means "slumming it" by some absolute culinary standard. still, a place like las ruinas managed to do so and gained a lot of fans in the process.

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              Of course then your restaurant's food gets excoriated on sites like this one when a bunch of purists rip you a new one for not being "authentic"
                                              I see the opposite problem. People who rip a restaurant for being "bad" not understanding that it's actually more authentic and different from the Americanized versions they are used to. That to me is the real tragedy.