S. Irene Virbila likes to break it up now and then. This week, she heads to Koreatown's Park's Bar-B-Q for kimchi and grill-your-own marinated short ribs, which garners a big two stars for price, flava and a unique scene.
For my money, though, Park's Bar-B-Q on Vermont is the best of the genre. With its hard-edged contemporary décor — black walls and sleek stainless-steel hoods above the grills — it evokes modern-day Seoul more than a rustic place in the country. This is the new Korea, urban and fast-paced. Servers are mostly male and buff, dressed in black T-shirts and sporting the latest gelled coif. And instead of scrolls or country textiles, the walls are decorated with signed and framed photos of Korean television stars and athletes. When South Korean baseball player Chan Ho Park was pitching for the San Diego Padres, he was a regular here.It almost sounds like the Koi of Koreatown. By the way, Chan Ho Park pitched for the Padres in 2005, so this isn't a new restaurant. Miss Irene must be tired of the regular scene. She's also much more patient with international hospitality: While sitting on the second floor of the restaurant, the staff put up chairs and mopped the floors around her party. And it still gets two stars? If Spago did that, she'd be reeling. Today the "S." stands for "seared." [LAT]
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