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Where to go for Korean food & kitchenware in Koreatown, L.A.

By Maangchi

I’m in L.A. visiting YouTube this week, so I spent a few days beforehand exploring Koreatown. I’ve been to Los Angeles many times but never spent much time trying the food in Koreatown.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, to find such a wide variety of delicious Korean food! I had a really great time! I’ll be back in LA in early November and I’ll have a potluck party with my readers at that time. If you want to join, keep watching my website, or follow me on Facebook for the announcement and signup.

Some people asked me to report back on the good places that I found. Usually I don’t recommend Korean restaurants because I really don’t eat out very often: I prefer to make food at home. Also, my opinion of what makes a good restaurant seems to be different than other people’s, especially in New York.

But many people seem to be interested in LA’s Koreatown, so here’s my list. If you go there, these are some places that you gotta try. And if you have any more recommendations please let me know in the comments.

 

Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun
3185 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Many people recommended this place to me, and it was very busy – every table was full. They have their own style of naengmyeon, made with Korean herbs, which is really delicious. I liked the bibimnaengmyeon the best.

The best part might be the hot meat broth they keep in big tanks in the back – you just serve yourself and take as much as you like. It’s really savory and addicting, but I’m pretty sure they use MSG. What else can I do? It’s ok once in a while. ; )

naengmyeon

yucheon chiknaengmyeon

“yum yum!” : )

 

Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ (Palsaik grilled porkbelly)
863 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

This samgyeopsal place was recommended to me by one of my readers on Facebook and it’s awesome! Very very high quality and delicious.

samgyeopsal

It was surprising to me because I’d never seen this kind of presentation before, or tasted flavored samgyeopsal before. Each strip of pork was pressed and tender and had a different flavour – ginseng, herbal, spicy, etc. It was a lot of fun to try the different kinds, and they were all really good! I had a sampler, which was 8 different slabs of samgyeopsal for $45 and good for 3 people.

I really wanted to make a ssam wrap with their samgyeopsal, but they didn’t provide big lettuce leaves. They had shredded salad, garlic, and ssamjang, but no lettuce!

grilled-porkbelly

 

Mandarin House
3074 W 8th St (in Koreatown Plaza)
Los Angeles, CA 90005

This place is in the lower level of the Koreatown Plaza and is well known for it’s jjajjangmyeon and tangsuyuk. People line up waiting for it.

jinheunggak

The owner, calling out “number 5!” Customer number five! To the people waiting.

tangsuyuk

The jjajangmyeon was really good, but not fantastic. I sill prefer my own recipe. But their tangsuyuk was super-tasty and I’m still craving it. I’m going to experiment at home and see if I can figure out how they made such crispy and chewy batter. I’ll let you know if I can do it!

 

Lotte Kitchen World
982 S. Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006

If you are looking for Korean cooking utensils and kitchenware (like ttukbaegi) this is the first place you should come. It’s a restaurant supply store, so all the restaurant owners shop here. It’s cheap and high quality. The owner speaks English and is very nice.

I bought a shabu shabu pot that I’ll bring all the way back to New York!

kitchenworld

 

T Equals Fish 
301 S Western Ave
Ste 201
Los Angeles, CA 90020

I had a major sashimi feast here. The fish was super fresh, the service was friendly and warm, and I’ve never seen sea urchin this big!

The restaurant offers a kind of set menu where you choose the main fish you want and the size of your party. I had a large halibut platter which was more than enough for 4 people. There are so many side dishes and appetizers that by the time the halibut came out we were pretty full!

This restaurant is not cheap, but if you love seafood it’s totally worth it.

raw fish

side dishes: pickled mackerel and spicy salad with raw fish

hoe

sea urchins, sea squirt, oysters, abalone, sea cucumber, eel…

rawfish

Sliced raw halibut

sea-urchine

Bibimbap, made with sea urchin

 

BCD Tofu House
869 S Western Ave #2
Los Angeles, CA 90005

This place was recommended to me by many people and is well known for soondubu. It’s part of a chain, and I’ve been to BCD in New York and Toronto, but this one has the best soondubu. They also give each customer one fried corvina as a side dish, which was a nice touch.

The stew is served hot and bubbling to your table, and they also make nurungi soup from your rice as dessert. Totally delicious and satisfying!

bcdsoondubu

soondubu jjigae

Hot and bubbling!

fan

What a surprise! I met my readers Alina Keum and Howie Keum in the tofu restaurant. They are living in Hong Kong and traveling to LA. Alina said: “I always watch your videos with my Korean friends and make delicious Korean dishes!” You can imagine what an exciting moment this was for me.  : )

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