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Police Crack Down on Koreatown's After Hours Drinking Dens

Three arrested after police sting.

Sign outside Bongsoonghah, Koreatown
Sign outside Bongsoonghah, Koreatown
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Just like Fight Club, you do not talk about the after hours drinking dens in Koreatown. The obscure scene, which pervades certain parts of Koreatown with alcohol service well past 2 a.m. and often until the wee hours of the morning, is currently under police crackdown after locals have been complaining about the noise and disturbances.

The LA Times reports that Bongsoonghah Hak Dang, a restaurant and soju hall along Wilshire, had a secret entrance that allowed people in the know to get in after hours. Police were tipped off after online reviews dating back to 2011 pointed out that those looking for an after hours drink could get in through the kitchen door on the alleyway.

The Times writes that although police started cracking down on after hours bars back in 2004, the "practice has continued to grow through word of mouth along with Koreatown's popularity as a nightlife destination." An owner and two employees from Bongsoonghah were recently convicted to one year of probation and mandatory training on laws that regulate alcohol service.

City Attorney Mike Feuer said that raiding these after hours drinking spots were a top priority for police after neighbors complained about the noise. Feuer also said that the practice breeds other problems, such as sexual assault and drunk driving. Finally, the city attorney said that he met with Korean business owners to let them know they would coming down against the practice. At the moment, Bongsoonghah hasn't received any disciplinary action from ABC.