Korean barbecue has become an integral part of Southern California’s culinary and cultural fabric. There's something appealingly primal about the experience — grilling rosy-red slabs of impossibly well-marbled beef atop hissing coals. Add to that the beer- and soju-fueled conviviality that’s characteristic of the cuisine, and it's easy to see why Korean barbecue has become an enduring part of dining in LA. Here now are 17 of the finest KBBQ spots around town, from high-end premium restaurants to everyday all-you-can-eat extravaganzas.Read More
The 17 Finest Korean Barbecue Restaurants in Los Angeles
A celebration of meat, smoke, and soju in the country’s best KBBQ scene
ABSteak by Chef Akira Back
When Akira Back, who has multiple restaurants in Asia and Las Vegas, opened a steakhouse in LA, the original idea was to do a sort of Korean fusion with a focus on grilled beef. Now it’s an unabashed high-end Korean barbecue, with banchan and requisite side dishes that give it a complete Koreatown-style experience, only more west. At the moment, there might not be a more impressive place for Korean barbecue, from the sleek ambience to the helpful service.
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Sun Ha Jang Restaurant
An originator of grilled duck barbecue in Los Angeles, this now-classic restaurant on the western edge of Koreatown still has some of the most delicious and remarkable Korean barbecue that doesn’t feature beef, pork, or chicken. Everything about the meal, from the banchan to the finishing fried rice on the tabletop grill, is engineered for maximum flavor.
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Mapo Dak Galbi
With a spartan interior and bustling dining room, Mapo Galbi is a spicy chicken specialist, grilling tender chicken thighs cut into smaller pieces along with cabbage, rice cakes, carrots, and plenty of gochujang sauce. The whole pan simmers and reduces over time, with servers finishing meals with a fried rice loaded up with perilla leaves and seaweed laver.
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This very intentional Korean barbecue spot from Seoul serves just American-certified Angus prime beef, and only ribeye steaks at that. Seared on specialized cast iron skillets, diners will try ribeyes sliced into three distinct cuts and served with kkakgudi and other banchan that are fermented in Korea and shipped to the U.S. Try the cold yeolmu guksu to wash it all down.
A higher-end Korean barbecue restaurant when so many places seem to change hands or vary in quality, Chosun Galbee is a family favorite for the Korean community when they want solid service, a nicer ambience, and excellent beef. The cold naengmyeon is a must-order.
Jeong Yuk Jeom Korean BBQ LA
Opened just before the pandemic and still holding onto premium-level meat, this sprawling, dimly lit Korean barbecue restaurant has a little bit of everything. Jeong Yuk Jeom’s best offering is dry-aged beef, something of a rarity in Koreatown these days. The butcher’s pride sets take a page from New York City’s award-winning Cote, with prime and dry-aged cuts at three different prices. Jeong Yuk Jeom is a good high-end KBBQ alternative for those who are tired of Park’s, Daedo, or AB Steak and want to try something new.
Prime K BBQ
This dimly lit but sleek restaurant tucked into a weirdly laid out commercial property feels almost hidden along a busy stretch of Western Avenue. But inside, find heaping plates of very high-end beef sliced and grilled for you at the table. The smallest combination comes in at around $140 and feeds two to three people easily. There’s nothing otherwise remarkable here except great meat and straightforward service, and the dining room full of mostly Korean-only speakers proves the community likes Prime’s simplicity.
A big chain in Asia, Magal BBQ continues to prepare some of the best mid-range Korean barbecue in town, featuring flavorful off-cuts and non-primal selections that still offer plenty in the way of flavor. The combination plates work best for groups of four or more. The egg and fried rice volcano is a fun way to cap off meals here, too.
One of the older, more established premium Korean barbecue spots, this focused restaurant has fantastic lunch specials and versatile dinner combinations that won’t break the bank. The mostly Korean crowd considers this one of the most reliable restaurants in town. Ten-raku also has a new AYCE spot in Lynwood.
Yerim Korean BBQ
All-you-can-eat Korean barbecue is a staple of the genre, but few execute the concept as well as Yerim, which offers very good sub-$40 menus with a wide array of high-quality meats like marinated short rib, beef tongue, and intestines. After a few drinks, tax, and tip, expect to pay $60 a person, which is a solid deal these days.
Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong
Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong has proliferated around Los Angeles, and still remains a fun place to gather with friends, sip shots of soju, and partake in mostly very good meat on the tabletop grill. Some people prefer its neighbor Quarters, which is operated by the same restaurant group, but Kang Ho-Dong is the O.G.
When people ask what the best Korean barbecue is in Los Angeles, most people will mention Park’s BBQ first. It’s hard to argue against over 20 years of excellence, with an energetic vibe inside and fantastic meat quality from start to finish. Chef and owner Jenee Kim does an amazing job with the non-meat dishes as well, like the delicious spicy braised black cod or the gochujang jjigae. Park’s is truly one of the most consistent Korean barbecue meals in LA.
Ong Ga Nae Korean BBQ Restaurant
With new management from Yangmani owner Jennifer Choi, Ong Ga Nae has been spruced up from top to bottom, with Choi’s husband now designing upscaled Korean barbecue dishes like an immense bulgogi jeongol laced with spinach, or hulking cuts of short ribs on the bone. Ong Ga Nae might not have the history of its prestigious neighbors Soowon and Park’s, but it’s a solid contender for a city always craving new Korean barbecue spots.
Classic Korean barbecue Soowon might get a little overshadowed by its neighbor Park’s BBQ down the street, but the longtime restaurant still excels with high-quality beef and attentive service. A reliable star in the galaxy of Koreatown barbecue.
Corner Place Restaurant
This classic Koreatown spot is a tad run down, and perhaps too bright, but that doesn’t deter families and locals from digging into the ample portions of marinated galbi and unmarinated beef tongue (the house specialty), finished with heaping bowls of cold dongchimi noodles. At this point, there’s no better old school Korean barbecue spot in Los Angeles.
Hanu K BBQ
Hanu’s trick might be the banchan robots roaming the space, but the restaurant placed on the ground floor of one of LA’s larger spas serves some of the neighborhood’s best Korean barbecue menus. The smallest combination feeds potentially four people, and comes with an impressive array of jun, or fried vegetables and fish filets, and even galbijjim as a part of the package. The included galbijjim isn’t world-beating, but it’s nice to have on the table. Servers grill better-than-average meat (don’t expect Park’s or Chosun-level) but the whole table filled with dozens of different bites is what makes Hanu a fun meal.
One of Koreatown’s most reliable barbecue spots, Yangmani has an expansive outdoor tented area for quality beef, pork, and offal cuts that younger diners tend to prefer in the neighborhood. Yangmani might be the best place if you want to take down bottles of beer and soju, and just have a good time with friends or coworkers.