Travel

Koreatown Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Hangari Kalguksu
3470 W. 6th St., Koreatown
A hearty, rich noodle soup in chicken stock, dak kalguksu is a Korean comfort food that’s perfected at this bright, airy restaurant. The steaming bowls are flavored with garlic and onions and thickened with potatoes. Protein options include Manila clams, crab, and game hen, and each order comes with sides of radish and cabbage kimchi. Be aware that wait times can be long here, especially during cool weather, when people feel like warming up with something nourishing and hot.
Gwang Yang
3435 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown
Bulgogi is one of the most ordered dishes by visitors who come to eat in Koreatown, and Gwang Yang serves a version that’s been three generations in the making. A family-owned restaurant founded in Korea, this is the only US location. The marinated, thin, barbecued slices of beef are perfectly smoky and tender and usually accompanied by a variety of side dishes, like bibim naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles in a chilled beef broth) and crisp kimchi pancakes.
Here’s Looking at You
3901 W. 6th St., Koreatown
If we could recommend only one dish here, it'd be the tomatoes: juicy, deep-red Momotaro tomatoes sliced fresh, served with crème fraîche, and topped with candy-like crispy fried Chinese sausage. The dish is unexpected and indulgent. It's also what co-owner Lien Ta says keeps her regulars coming weekly. But in truth, every item on the menu is worth ordering—we’re suckers for the crispy, umami-esque Brussels sprouts finished with a savory, smoky miso sesame sauce and the hot shishito peppers perfectly wilted and charred atop a creamy tonnato dip. Ta and co-owner and chef Jonathan Whitener (they met while working at Animal) serve an unparalleled seasonal menu that showcases flavors inspired by their favorite global foods and family recipes, including jerk spice, Asian fish sauce, coconut milk, and tamarind. The space is tiny and incredibly popular (make a reservation), but the servers are friendly and helpful and the cocktails are as incredible as they are inventive. (The pungent, sweet Arroyo Seco—a blended malt scotch kissed with raw buckwheat honey and bitters—is a goop favorite.)
The Prince
3198 1/2 W. 7th St., Koreatown
Opened in the 1920s (originally as the Windsor), the Prince is a kind of time machine you visit for the atmosphere as much as the food. The entire place is swathed in crimson, including its leather banquettes and wallpaper, with stained-glass windows and oil portraits that give it an old-school gentlemen’s club vibe. It’s no wonder the Prince is a popular film location (it appeared in the 1974 film Chinatown, as well as several episodes of Mad Men), and the food is great. The specialty is Korean-style fried chicken, and the cocktails (margaritas, kamikazes, Midori sours) aren’t anything groundbreaking but are strong and expertly made.
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