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15 Korean BBQ Hot Spots to Try Right Now

Steer clear of crowded mainstays and eat barbecue like a real Korean.

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You can't spit without hitting a Korean BBQ restaurant in Koreatown, but what makes all these places different? For one, there's your well-established mainstays, like Park's BBQ, Genwa and Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. But these already popular places draw massive crowds, and subsequently crippling wait times. Plus, let's be honest — a lot of the great places have gone mainstream, and maybe it's time for something new.

So what's new, exciting, or downright unheard of in Korean BBQ? How about grilled offal, baby octopus, or duck? A place that has a Korean school kid's lunch as a side dish? Could there be a new king of the grill on the rise, or a Kang Ho affiliated hot spot with a full bar? Patience, your questions will soon be answered: Check out these 15 Korean BBQ hot spots you have to try right now.

[Note: Koginara has been removed from this list]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ahgassi Gopchang (아가씨곱창)

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3744
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 249-9678
Yes, that is a cardboard cutout of famous Korean wrestler and television personality Kang Hodong, and no, this is not Kang Hodong Baekjeong. Though the familiar wire mesh grill grates are present, this is definitely not your typical Korean BBQ joint. The weirdly named Ahgassi Gopchang, or “Young Lady Small Intestines,” serves up chitterlings (from cows, Hannibal) for the city’s most hardcore flavor-nerds and Korean BBQ aficionados.

2. Bak Kung Korean BBQ 2

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233 S Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(213) 385-1500
Bak Kung might be the second branch of another Korean BBQ restaurant a stone’s throw away, but the location further north might appeal to residents of nearby Hollywood, who won’t have to travel too far down Vermont during peak hours (where a mile’s worth of driving translates into 20 minutes of traffic and at least one near-death experience) to get some affordable, All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ.

3. Byul Yang Gopchang

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There’s nothing awful about the offal at Byul Gopchang. Already a venerable institution in the eyes of knowledgeable Koreans, the restaurant specializes in grilled intestines (gopchang). Gopchang is particularly conducive to the open-fire treatment, with the sear giving the intestines a nice crunchy crust reminiscent of the best tripas tacos — only at Byul Gopchang, the beer is on hand and plentiful. Those who are offal shy can opt for a solid selection of more traditional Korean BBQ options, including thick cuts of samgyeopsal. Don’t forget to leave room for the kimchi fried rice.

4. Gwang Yang BBQ

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3435 Wilshire Blvd Ste 123
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 385-5600
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This swanky looking newcomer just east of Wilshire and Normandie boasts some of the highest quality meats in Los Angeles, including an amazing, thick-cut samgyeopsal and a bulgogi that’s prepared — wait for it — “Gangnam Style.” Before you decide to do your horse dance and scream “AYYY Sexy Lay-day” all the way to the restaurant, though, bear in mind that the restaurant is no dressed-down affair. Sleek booths outfitted in dark, luxurious woods abound, and there are multiple private rooms for those who want to take in the scene without being seen.

5. Hong Dae Ip Gu

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3871 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
21323806500
Hong Dae is known as being the college district in South Korea, and it contains one of the more active bar and restaurant scenes in a city that’s already famous for its nonstop nightlife. With an arrangement of circular stainless steel tables and smallish chairs, Hong Dae Ip Gu in Koreatown definitely channels the uniquely laissez-faire attitude of Hong Dae. Looks can be deceiving, however — the restaurant’s laidback charm belies a respectable meat selection including a fantastic pork rib and prime quality beef included in the restaurant’s reasonably priced All-You-Can-Eat-Menu.

6. Hong Galbi

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3132 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 500-3139
Traditionally galbi refers to beef ribs, which means its tasty cousin the pork rib often gets the short shrift. Enter Hong Galbi, a restaurant where two styles of pork rib outclass some of the city’s best beef ribs in the flavor department. Don’t forget the stews (including a surprisingly good doenjang jjigae) to round out a unique a la carte, back-of-house Korean BBQ experience genuinely reminiscent of the ones in Korea.

7. Jjukku Jjukku

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3377 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90010
This strangely named Korean BBQ restaurant makes a lot more sense with a little translation: Jjukumi, or “baby octopus,” is the specialty at this restaurant, which also offers some very high-quality land-faring meat options. Samgyeopsal is cut at widths resembling a spare rib and might be the thickest in the entire city. If you want to try the house specialty, though, it’s the baby octopus with pork belly, a dish that isn’t so much supposed to be grilled as it is stir-fried on the circular hot plate provided at the table.

8. Man Soo Korean BBQ

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3429 West 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Deung Sim refers to ribeye steak, and Man Soo Deung Sim might serve up some of the best in town. If the limited amount of ribeye steaks offered at all-you-can-eat Korean BBQs leave you wanting, you might want to consider Man Soo so that you can dip your ribeye strips in that incomparable sesame oil and salt mixture. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-gather banchan bar concept, not unlike a salad bar. Unlimited cucumber kimchi without the awkward exchange of ringing a bell and receiving patronizing glances from the wait staff? Count me in.

9. Mirak 2

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1101 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA
Mirak took over the old Jinju Kalbi space on Vermont and transformed it into a duck and goat specialist barbecue joint. The clean, spartan interiors have an old school, workmanlike charm and the prices are more than fair. If you’re craving something different and truly authentic to Korean palates, it might be high time to pay these duck meat and goat specialists a visit.

10. Quarters Korean BBQ

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3465 W 6th St # C-130
Los Angeles, CA 90020
It’s going to take a lot more than loose change to dine at this Kang Hodong-owned BBQ establishment. Located in the same plaza as Kang Hodong Baekjeong, Quarters is a more American-friendly joint, with English-speaking servers, a tapas-style menu and meat quality identical to its more famous cousin. It also puts a lot more emphasis on the booze — primarily through its full bar (a general rarity in Korean restaurants) and a special “Hang Over” menu based around meats paired with the beverage options. The wine list is short, but intriguing, and the waits have already started to grow longer at this “competitor” to Kang Hodong Baekjeong.

11. Stone Grill

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703 Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Stone Grill is a Korean BBQ/Shabu Shabu concept that allows diners to select their meats from a small adjoined butcher next door and then eat them in the restaurant, a concept built upon the philosophy that diners who spend considerable premiums on beef should be allowed to inspect their meats before it arrives at their table. The grill system at Stone Grill involves the eponymous stone, or dolpan, and a side burner for making shabu shabu. Also, there's a $42.99 option for all-you-can-meat AND drink beers and sojus (2.5 hour limit, which is more than enough for most sane people). Yes, you read correctly, all you can drink. If you plan on taking full advantage of this special, it’s definitely going to take some stones.

12. Ten Raku

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4177 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 380-8382
Tenraku is an upscale Korean BBQ joint offering beautifully arranged, marvelously marbled meats. It errs on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for, with beef so thoroughly adulterated with fine marbling that the resultant drippings are used in preparation of one of the city’s better kimchi fried rice dishes.

13. Yangmani

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2561 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 249-9292
Though yang technically refers to tripe, or cow’s stomach, the carnivorous treat of choice at Yangmani is on daechang, or large intestines. Delivered to the table in longer columns and later cut to ensure uniform grilling, it’s an awful lot of offal, but it’s also surprisingly beefy and tasty. If you’re not a fan of offal, then just do what everyone else does: wash it down with more soju and beer.

14. SSAM - 쌈

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1040 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(323) 737-9292
Prior to the tteok-bossam craze established by Shik Do Rak, Koreans wrapped grilled meats in lettuce and accompanied them with fresh slices of garlic and Serrano chiles. This wrap, called “ssam,” remains the popular method to eat Korean BBQ prepared at Korean-native households the world over. Newcomer Ssam takes this concept and hopes to introduce it to the Korean BBQ-eating masses. With pristine environs and an impressive menu of a la carte meats, this isn’t your typical all-you-can-meat experience, but an intriguing throwback concept that might leave some Korean L.A. transplants truly homesick.

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1. Ahgassi Gopchang (아가씨곱창)

3744, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Yes, that is a cardboard cutout of famous Korean wrestler and television personality Kang Hodong, and no, this is not Kang Hodong Baekjeong. Though the familiar wire mesh grill grates are present, this is definitely not your typical Korean BBQ joint. The weirdly named Ahgassi Gopchang, or “Young Lady Small Intestines,” serves up chitterlings (from cows, Hannibal) for the city’s most hardcore flavor-nerds and Korean BBQ aficionados.
3744
Los Angeles, CA 90005

2. Bak Kung Korean BBQ 2

233 S Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Bak Kung might be the second branch of another Korean BBQ restaurant a stone’s throw away, but the location further north might appeal to residents of nearby Hollywood, who won’t have to travel too far down Vermont during peak hours (where a mile’s worth of driving translates into 20 minutes of traffic and at least one near-death experience) to get some affordable, All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ.
233 S Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90004

3. Byul Yang Gopchang

Los Angeles, CA 90020
There’s nothing awful about the offal at Byul Gopchang. Already a venerable institution in the eyes of knowledgeable Koreans, the restaurant specializes in grilled intestines (gopchang). Gopchang is particularly conducive to the open-fire treatment, with the sear giving the intestines a nice crunchy crust reminiscent of the best tripas tacos — only at Byul Gopchang, the beer is on hand and plentiful. Those who are offal shy can opt for a solid selection of more traditional Korean BBQ options, including thick cuts of samgyeopsal. Don’t forget to leave room for the kimchi fried rice.

4. Gwang Yang BBQ

3435 Wilshire Blvd Ste 123, Los Angeles, CA 90010
This swanky looking newcomer just east of Wilshire and Normandie boasts some of the highest quality meats in Los Angeles, including an amazing, thick-cut samgyeopsal and a bulgogi that’s prepared — wait for it — “Gangnam Style.” Before you decide to do your horse dance and scream “AYYY Sexy Lay-day” all the way to the restaurant, though, bear in mind that the restaurant is no dressed-down affair. Sleek booths outfitted in dark, luxurious woods abound, and there are multiple private rooms for those who want to take in the scene without being seen.
3435 Wilshire Blvd Ste 123
Los Angeles, CA 90010

5. Hong Dae Ip Gu

3871 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Hong Dae is known as being the college district in South Korea, and it contains one of the more active bar and restaurant scenes in a city that’s already famous for its nonstop nightlife. With an arrangement of circular stainless steel tables and smallish chairs, Hong Dae Ip Gu in Koreatown definitely channels the uniquely laissez-faire attitude of Hong Dae. Looks can be deceiving, however — the restaurant’s laidback charm belies a respectable meat selection including a fantastic pork rib and prime quality beef included in the restaurant’s reasonably priced All-You-Can-Eat-Menu.
3871 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

6. Hong Galbi

3132 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Traditionally galbi refers to beef ribs, which means its tasty cousin the pork rib often gets the short shrift. Enter Hong Galbi, a restaurant where two styles of pork rib outclass some of the city’s best beef ribs in the flavor department. Don’t forget the stews (including a surprisingly good doenjang jjigae) to round out a unique a la carte, back-of-house Korean BBQ experience genuinely reminiscent of the ones in Korea.
3132 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

7. Jjukku Jjukku

3377 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 105, Los Angeles, CA 90010
This strangely named Korean BBQ restaurant makes a lot more sense with a little translation: Jjukumi, or “baby octopus,” is the specialty at this restaurant, which also offers some very high-quality land-faring meat options. Samgyeopsal is cut at widths resembling a spare rib and might be the thickest in the entire city. If you want to try the house specialty, though, it’s the baby octopus with pork belly, a dish that isn’t so much supposed to be grilled as it is stir-fried on the circular hot plate provided at the table.
3377 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA 90010

8. Man Soo Korean BBQ

3429 West 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Deung Sim refers to ribeye steak, and Man Soo Deung Sim might serve up some of the best in town. If the limited amount of ribeye steaks offered at all-you-can-eat Korean BBQs leave you wanting, you might want to consider Man Soo so that you can dip your ribeye strips in that incomparable sesame oil and salt mixture. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-gather banchan bar concept, not unlike a salad bar. Unlimited cucumber kimchi without the awkward exchange of ringing a bell and receiving patronizing glances from the wait staff? Count me in.
3429 West 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90005

9. Mirak 2

1101 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Mirak took over the old Jinju Kalbi space on Vermont and transformed it into a duck and goat specialist barbecue joint. The clean, spartan interiors have an old school, workmanlike charm and the prices are more than fair. If you’re craving something different and truly authentic to Korean palates, it might be high time to pay these duck meat and goat specialists a visit.
1101 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA

10. Quarters Korean BBQ

3465 W 6th St # C-130, Los Angeles, CA 90020
It’s going to take a lot more than loose change to dine at this Kang Hodong-owned BBQ establishment. Located in the same plaza as Kang Hodong Baekjeong, Quarters is a more American-friendly joint, with English-speaking servers, a tapas-style menu and meat quality identical to its more famous cousin. It also puts a lot more emphasis on the booze — primarily through its full bar (a general rarity in Korean restaurants) and a special “Hang Over” menu based around meats paired with the beverage options. The wine list is short, but intriguing, and the waits have already started to grow longer at this “competitor” to Kang Hodong Baekjeong.
3465 W 6th St # C-130
Los Angeles, CA 90020

11. Stone Grill

703 Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Stone Grill is a Korean BBQ/Shabu Shabu concept that allows diners to select their meats from a small adjoined butcher next door and then eat them in the restaurant, a concept built upon the philosophy that diners who spend considerable premiums on beef should be allowed to inspect their meats before it arrives at their table. The grill system at Stone Grill involves the eponymous stone, or dolpan, and a side burner for making shabu shabu. Also, there's a $42.99 option for all-you-can-meat AND drink beers and sojus (2.5 hour limit, which is more than enough for most sane people). Yes, you read correctly, all you can drink. If you plan on taking full advantage of this special, it’s definitely going to take some stones.
703 Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005

12. Ten Raku

4177 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Tenraku is an upscale Korean BBQ joint offering beautifully arranged, marvelously marbled meats. It errs on the pricier side, but you get what you pay for, with beef so thoroughly adulterated with fine marbling that the resultant drippings are used in preparation of one of the city’s better kimchi fried rice dishes.
4177 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

13. Yangmani

2561 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Though yang technically refers to tripe, or cow’s stomach, the carnivorous treat of choice at Yangmani is on daechang, or large intestines. Delivered to the table in longer columns and later cut to ensure uniform grilling, it’s an awful lot of offal, but it’s also surprisingly beefy and tasty. If you’re not a fan of offal, then just do what everyone else does: wash it down with more soju and beer.
2561 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

14. SSAM - 쌈

1040 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Prior to the tteok-bossam craze established by Shik Do Rak, Koreans wrapped grilled meats in lettuce and accompanied them with fresh slices of garlic and Serrano chiles. This wrap, called “ssam,” remains the popular method to eat Korean BBQ prepared at Korean-native households the world over. Newcomer Ssam takes this concept and hopes to introduce it to the Korean BBQ-eating masses. With pristine environs and an impressive menu of a la carte meats, this isn’t your typical all-you-can-meat experience, but an intriguing throwback concept that might leave some Korean L.A. transplants truly homesick.
1040 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90006

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