Grill Outdoors at These 12 Korean Barbecue Spots in Los Angeles

Outside Tenraku in Los Angeles
Matthew Kang

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 the region’s lifestyle. Here now are 12 Korean barbecue restaurants in LA offering outdoor grilling.

Removed: Morangak, Sookdal, Oo Kook, Soot Bull Jeep, Soh Grill House

Added: Chosun Galbee, Jeong Yuk Jeom, Yangmani, Soowon Galbi, Chadolpoong

A number of LA restaurants have resumed outdoor dining service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns for all involved. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Los Angeles Public Health website.

Sun Ha Jang Restaurant

4032 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Sun Ha Jang is still the ideal change-of-pace play for seasoned Korean barbecue vets. Specializing in both spicy and unmarinated oree (duck) that’s grilled over an iron pan, the fried rice with buchu, or flat garlic chives, that comes after is a masterstroke. For a neat hack, make sure to add in all the raw garlic into the grill with the rendering duck fat. The area in front of the restaurant is currently a covered outdoor dining patio.

Chosun Galbee

3330 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

The original classy Korean barbecue establishment, Chosun Galbee endures with excellent service and a commitment to quality meats, including the gorgeous kkotsal laid out on a tray. The space has always had a semi-outdoor dining area. Don’t forget to order the cold Korean naengmyeon noodles.

Chosun Galbee kkotssal
Chosun Galbee

Yellow Cow Korean BBQ

1835 W Redondo Beach Blvd
Gardena, CA 90247

Gardena’s popular Korean barbecue spot has a sizeable covered outdoor dining room in its parking lot that can accommodate plenty of diners. The angle here is more on the high end, with everything from entire prime cuts of ribeye steak to boneless short ribs.

Jeong Yuk Jeom Korean BBQ

621 S Western Ave #100
Los Angeles, CA 90005

One of the newer Korean barbecue players in LA, this impressive restaurant focuses on expensive cuts of premium beef served in sampler trays. It’s one of the few Korean spots to offer aged prime beef along with offal meats.

Grilling beef at Jeong Yuk Jeom
Wonho Frank Lee

Magal BBQ

3460 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Magal is still serving up cuts competitive with Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong and Soh Grill House — and the kkotsal joomooleok (marbled, lightly marinated short rib) is the tastiest cut between the three places, hands down. Don’t forget the pork skin with the bean powder and the volcano kimchi fried rice. Currently only offering outdoor seating.

Magal BBQ

Ten-Raku

4177 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Tenraku is a high-end Korean barbecue spot that has taken over its front parking lot with covered tables and camp stoves for comfortable outdoor grilling. Combo meals are good for two to four people.

Tenraku, Koreatown
Matthew Kang

Chadolpoong

3470 W 6th St #3
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Chadolpoong is one of the newer wave of Korean barbecue spots that like to focus more on offal and intestines than standard steak cuts. While the situation here isn’t quite traditional Korean barbecue, it’s still very much seared, grilled cuts of intestines served mostly cooked on a hot stone platter. The ddukgalbi, or marinated patty, is another approach to Korean “barbecue” here.

Mixed intestines platter at Chadolpoong
Matthew Kang

Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong

3465 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

If Korean barbecue is simply meat, a couple sides, and a steady stream of somek (a combination of Korean beer and soju), Kang Ho Dong is the minimalist’s mecca. Snappy hanjungsal (pork jowl), thick slabs of samgyeopsal and that marinated beef short rib are really all anyone needs to get the soju flowing. Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong grills the meat in kitchen and brings it out for those dining-in.

Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong

Park's BBQ

955 S Vermont Ave G
Los Angeles, CA 90006

For the most significant Korean barbecue restaurant in LA, it’s hard to argue with Park’s BBQ. From the deft execution of Korean cuisines standbys like kimchi jjigae and galbitang, to that perfectly snappy ohgyeopsal paired with the just-sour-enough amber-colored grilling kimchi, even the supporting cast is worthy of top billing. As for the star of the show, the marinated Park’s galbi is ever the balanced trinity of sweet crushed pear, salty soy sauce, and fatty beef rib — the best rendition likely available in the United States. There’s outdoor seating in front of the restaurant.

Soowon Galbi

856 Vermont Ave B
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Now a bona fide K-Town classic, Soowon Galbi has adapted with a handy outdoor dining area in its parking lot, offering high-end cuts of short rib and other beef that would impress anyone from the KBBQ veteran to the first-timer.

Yangmani

2561 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

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.

TK92 Korean BBQ

250 W Valley Blvd ste p
San Gabriel, CA 91776

This high-end Korean barbecue is one of the most talked-about spots in SGV, with a massive outdoor area that feels like a streetside party in Seoul. Previously an all-you-can-eat situation, the menu is now combination oriented with different cuts of expensive beef and pork portioned out for groups.

TK92 Korean BBQ

Comments

I’d add Jae Bu Do to the list since they are one of 2, that I know of, that offers seafood bbq over charcoals.

Did EATERLA confirm with oo-kook that it’s still AYCE right now?
I called them about 3 weeks ago and they said it is not AYCE at the moment

Really? You can’t find anywhere in the San Fernando Valley for us to eat? Please try, so I don’t feel like I live in a complete wasteland….

You go on in order your food, spend the whole night cooking your food and then you pay for it. Soon they will figure out a way, for a nominal service charge, to tour the kitchen and wash the dishes for them.

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