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14 Under-The-Radar Koreatown Restaurants to Try Now

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2008_10_hasmaps.jpgKoreatown has a multitude of excellent eateries, most of which can be found on this guide here. But there are some that serve regional specialties or rare dishes that literally can't be found anywhere else in America. The quality and breadth of Korean cooking in Los Angeles rivals even Seoul itself. Here now, a guide to under-the-radar restaurants in Koreatown that are worth trying now.


·All Koreatown Coverage [~ELA~]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Dha Rae Oak

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1106 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 733-2474

This restaurant doesn't have an easy descriptor, except that it has a variety of traditional dishes to go along with some specialty duck dishes of note. In particular, there's a table-top grill where smoked duck breast might be one of the most unique preparations around. And there's a whole roasted duck stuffed with glutinous rice and other aromatics, though it must be ordered four hours in advance. It's worth the wait.

2. Eighth Street Soondae

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2703 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 487-0038

This soondae specialist does the Korean blood sausage right, with the classic sliced preparation that makes a great snack or good hangover cure. It can also be ordered in a large soup or stir-fry that's good for sharing.

3. DGM - Dwit Gol Mok

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3275 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 382-8432

This bar looks straight out of Seoul, with a dingy interior that feels like a streetside pub. There bites are authentic, flavorful, and true to the motherland. Get the bossam or tofu kimchi and wash it down with Hite and soju.

4. The Prince

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3198 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 389-2007

This midcentury dive has been converted to a dark drinking den where fried chicken rules the roost. Korean fried chicken, of course, with perfectly crackly skin and addictive pickled daikon cubes.

5. O Jang Dong Korean Restaurant

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4031 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

There aren't many places that specialize in naeng myun, cold Korean buckwheat noodles, but the ham hung or skate wing version here that's tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce is pretty amazing.

6. Myung In Dumplings

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3109 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 381-3568

The massive wang, or king dumplings, were featured on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, but that doesn't mean the other dumplings aren't worth ordering. The handmade specialties are still a treat.

7. Zzamong

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4255 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 739-2747

Korean-Chinese fusion is a unique variant of the two cuisines that has certain special dishes, like cha chang myun, which are hand-pulled noodles tossed with a thick black sauce and ground pork. The version here is worth trying, in addition to the other staples of the fusion cuisine.[Photo: Table Conversation]

8. Keungama Korean Restaurant

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3498 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 365-6788

An all-night diner, Keungama's suhl lung tang, or beef bone soup, has a bit of a lustier, more intense flavor than some of the other shops around the city, but it's hard to compete against the expansive interior and its near-crumbling room when it's 4 a.m.

9. Myeong Dong Donkatsu

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698 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 365-2200

Wako gets most of the attention when it comes to Korean-style tonkatsu, or pork cutlet, but the version at this Kobawoo-adjacent restaurant is pretty respectable, and very reasonably priced for lunch.

10. Feng Mao

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414 S Western Ave, #E
Los Angeles, CA 90020

The lamb and other skewers at this Chinese-style restaurant in Koreatown are a fun thing to share with a table of friends, washed down with ice cold Korean beer.

11. Bonjuk

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3551 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 380-2248
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When you're sick or just need some pure comfort food, it's hard to beat the rice porridge and their terrific variety here. The pumpkin version is great, but the abalone juk is the reason to come in.

12. Ttu-Rak

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125 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA
(323) 960-0853

The hefty cauldrons of jon gol are intense, but they make for a great shareable meal with friends and family. There's fried rice, classic stew pots like kimchi jigae, and plenty of other home-style preparations that aren't toned down in flavor.

13. Yanbian

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4251 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 283-5959

This rather bizarre restaurant is no place for the neophyte Korean foodist, but there are some dishes here that can't be found anywhere. Named after the region between North Korea and China, this place mainly caters to immigrants. Try the stir-fried dried pollack or the "lamb stew."

14. Chugajip

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3602 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

This fried chicken specialist is a great place to take down a few pitchers of beer with spicy Korean wings and more. The rather authentic environs don't hurt the experience either.

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1. Dha Rae Oak

1106 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006

This restaurant doesn't have an easy descriptor, except that it has a variety of traditional dishes to go along with some specialty duck dishes of note. In particular, there's a table-top grill where smoked duck breast might be one of the most unique preparations around. And there's a whole roasted duck stuffed with glutinous rice and other aromatics, though it must be ordered four hours in advance. It's worth the wait.

1106 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006

2. Eighth Street Soondae

2703 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

This soondae specialist does the Korean blood sausage right, with the classic sliced preparation that makes a great snack or good hangover cure. It can also be ordered in a large soup or stir-fry that's good for sharing.

2703 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

3. DGM - Dwit Gol Mok

3275 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

This bar looks straight out of Seoul, with a dingy interior that feels like a streetside pub. There bites are authentic, flavorful, and true to the motherland. Get the bossam or tofu kimchi and wash it down with Hite and soju.

3275 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

4. The Prince

3198 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

This midcentury dive has been converted to a dark drinking den where fried chicken rules the roost. Korean fried chicken, of course, with perfectly crackly skin and addictive pickled daikon cubes.

3198 W 7th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

5. O Jang Dong Korean Restaurant

4031 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

There aren't many places that specialize in naeng myun, cold Korean buckwheat noodles, but the ham hung or skate wing version here that's tossed in a sweet-spicy sauce is pretty amazing.

4031 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

6. Myung In Dumplings

3109 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

The massive wang, or king dumplings, were featured on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, but that doesn't mean the other dumplings aren't worth ordering. The handmade specialties are still a treat.

3109 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

7. Zzamong

4255 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

Korean-Chinese fusion is a unique variant of the two cuisines that has certain special dishes, like cha chang myun, which are hand-pulled noodles tossed with a thick black sauce and ground pork. The version here is worth trying, in addition to the other staples of the fusion cuisine.[Photo: Table Conversation]

4255 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

8. Keungama Korean Restaurant

3498 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

An all-night diner, Keungama's suhl lung tang, or beef bone soup, has a bit of a lustier, more intense flavor than some of the other shops around the city, but it's hard to compete against the expansive interior and its near-crumbling room when it's 4 a.m.

3498 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

9. Myeong Dong Donkatsu

698 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Wako gets most of the attention when it comes to Korean-style tonkatsu, or pork cutlet, but the version at this Kobawoo-adjacent restaurant is pretty respectable, and very reasonably priced for lunch.

698 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005

10. Feng Mao

414 S Western Ave, #E, Los Angeles, CA 90020

The lamb and other skewers at this Chinese-style restaurant in Koreatown are a fun thing to share with a table of friends, washed down with ice cold Korean beer.

414 S Western Ave, #E
Los Angeles, CA 90020

11. Bonjuk

3551 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

When you're sick or just need some pure comfort food, it's hard to beat the rice porridge and their terrific variety here. The pumpkin version is great, but the abalone juk is the reason to come in.

3551 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

12. Ttu-Rak

125 N Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA

The hefty cauldrons of jon gol are intense, but they make for a great shareable meal with friends and family. There's fried rice, classic stew pots like kimchi jigae, and plenty of other home-style preparations that aren't toned down in flavor.

125 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA

13. Yanbian

4251 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90004

This rather bizarre restaurant is no place for the neophyte Korean foodist, but there are some dishes here that can't be found anywhere. Named after the region between North Korea and China, this place mainly caters to immigrants. Try the stir-fried dried pollack or the "lamb stew."

4251 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90004

14. Chugajip

3602 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

This fried chicken specialist is a great place to take down a few pitchers of beer with spicy Korean wings and more. The rather authentic environs don't hurt the experience either.

3602 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

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