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Anthony Bourdain Can’t Say Enough About LA’s Prodigious Koreatown

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His Parts Unkown show goes deep on the densest part of LA’s dining scene

'WASTED! The Story of Food Waste' Premiere - 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Anthony Bourdain
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Anthony Bourdain has long been a lover of Los Angeles, from In-N-Out Burger to the modern Mexican food revolution happening in Downtown. Now he’s set his sights even more firmly on Koreatown with his new expanded travel site called Explore Parts Unknown. The publication loosely tracks Bourdain’s travels and provides companion pieces, video excerpts, and more for the place he’s gone, and among the first to launch on the site is LA’s own Koreatown.

The whole thing is actually rather beautiful, and makes a point of telling different stories than what you might be used to. There’s even a quick glossary of terms that out of towners might find helpful, and a few quick-hit lists of where to go and what to do. The most impressive stuff, though, comes from the cultural deep-dives within.

Take for example this Perfect Day in Koreatown build-out, which clocks travelers from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., offering a full itinerary of possibilities. Sure the boundaries are a little skewed (they offer to have you start your day at Cafe Demitasse in Little Tokyo, for example), but with stops at Koreatown Plaza and La Ddong Ggo along the way, there’s still a lot of specifics to enjoy.

Sun Nong Dan
Sun Nong Dan, Koreatown
Farley Elliott

The website also tackles the SGV, LA’s love affair with Sizzler, and the cultural intersection of Koreans and the LA Riots. There’s a lot to dig into, and it’s nice to see someone like Bourdain (or at least his production company, in conjunction with CNN) try to get beyond what’s shown on television. Plus, who doesn’t love Koreatown?

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