Posts tagged Koreatown
Posts tagged Koreatown
Restaurant Review : 8th St Live Fish Cuisine (Korean Sashimi) $$ *7 out of 10*
When I want Korean sashimi, I come here. It’s small, homey, and the owner is super friendly and often greets his customers at the tables. It’s reasonably priced, the fish is fresh, and the cooked food is quite decent.
Like all Korean sashimi places, ordering is easy. Small is $69.99, Medium is $89.99, Large is $119.99, and Special Large is $149.99. You pick according to the size of your party and on your hunger level and they will take care of the rest. If you’re not sure, ask your server. They will steer you the right way. For every combo, you get a choice of halibut sashimi (Koreans love halibut) or combo sashimi (I chose combo to break the monotony) along with a spicy fish stew. Then they will give you loads of side dishes which vary depending on the day…grilled mackerel, onion pancake, steamed egg, mussel soup, and some “banchan” to name a few. You will also get some extra sashimi that is only common in Korean places…sea squirt, baby octopus, and raw sea worms! Uni (sea urchin) and live abalone are always a welcome treat.
8th Street Live Fish Cuisine
3100 W 8th St #103
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Restaurant Review : Hansong Buffet (Korean buffet) $$ *6 out of 10*
Park your car around the back with valet and then enter through the magnificently traditional Korean gates of Hansong. Walk through their manicured garden complete with a man-made river and over the bridge to enter the buffet.
The buffet is large and clean and consists of a soup and salad station, a cold appetizer section, the warm meat section, the seafood section, the miscellaneous cooked section, a sushi section, and a dessert and ice cream section.
There’s plenty to eat but it’s a bit hit and miss. The Korean food is yummy, especially the Yuk Hae (Korean raw beef), the whole chili peppers with their awesome Sam Jang, their Kimchee, and their meats. The sushi counter could use a lot of work and is not something that I enjoy there at all. Their baked desserts are meager and dried-out but two thumbs up to their fresh fruit and soft serve + froyo machine!
Pricing is a bit stiff for what you get.
-Lunch is $16.95/person.
-Dinner is $25.95/person.
With so many delicious dining options in Ktown, I find it hard to pay the prices at Hansong for food that’s not always so consistent.
1925 W Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Neighborhoods: Westlake, Pico Union
Restaurant Review : BCD Tofu House (Korean) $$ *7 out of 10*
Good ol’ BCD is always there for me; day and night, rain or shine…a 24 hour Korean tofu house…how can you not appreciate that?
With its convenient location on Wilshire in the heart of Koreatown, paired with some decent food, BCD has found its way into the lives of LA locals as a staple. Their organic tofu is good, but I think the key to this place are the side dishes.
BCD serves their kimchee fresh and adds oysters to it. I love oysters in my kimchee but unfortunately, you don’t see this around much anymore. Another crowd pleasure is the fried Yellow Corvina fish. It’s teeny tiny but it really is an unexpected treat to have as a side dish at a tofu house. The marinated squid with the random chunks of garlic is tasty and the water kimchee is refreshing. Oh, and the rice cooked in a stone pot is definitely a must. Pour some water in the stone pot after you scoop out all the rice and have yourself some burnt rice porridge to round off your meal.
BCD Tofu House
3575 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Restaurant Review : Dan Sung Sa (Korean dive-bar) $$ *7.5 out of 10*
Dang Sung Sa…Smoky, small, dive-bar in Ktown that serves old-school Korean food with an ambiance that is reminiscent of a post war bunker. If you can’t read Korean, you will know that you’re at the right place when you see the mural of Kim Il Sung and the Korean flag outside. You’ll find yourself seated in a dark, wooden, terribly uncomfortable booth surrounded by graffiti left behind by old drunken patrons. The attitude is purposefully carefree and rebellious to the current times evident by the fact that they allow their patrons to smoke indoors!
The food is good too. You can indulge in some real hard-core Korean stuff.
What I like to get here…
-Makgeolli - unfiltered fermented Korean rice/wheat drink that will slowly get you drunk
-Corn cheese - cheese + corn = yummy
-Kimchee Gimbap - Kimchee roll - kimchee +rice+seaweed
-Skewered Ginko nuts
-Skewered Chicken Gizzards
-Seasoned rice ball
-Spicy+Sweet BBQ Pork Ribs
Things that I don’t order but you may want to try…
-Seasoned silkworm pupa
-Spicy chicken feet
-Soon Dae - Blood & Noodle Sausage
-Hot & Spicy Rice Cake w/ Ramen
Always complimentary is some form of Korean hot soup served in an old beaten tin pot just like we used to have at home way back when.
Valet is $2 in the same strip mall as Dan Sung Sa.
Dan Sung Sa
3317 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Restaurant Review : Hae Jang Chon (AYCE Korean BBQ) $$ *8 out of 10*
All you can eat Korean BBQ on a stone grill. The stone grill is angled so that the fat and grease from the meat empties out into a tray through the hole. Every so often when the hole gets dirty and clogged the server comes by with a bowl of shredded daikon to clean out the grill. A few moments later your grill is ready to start cooking again.
For $16.99 you get unlimited choices of your various meats ( I recommend that you try the pork belly) + your wraps (lettuce, radish, tortilla, rice cake) + your side dishes including steamed egg, doenjang (bean paste soup) and kimchee fried rice! The kimchee fried rice is served at the end of your meal and should not be passed up so try and save some room.
Be prepared because HaeJangChon gets crowded and there are often long waits. But in my opinion, it’s worth it. The meats are good, the service is usually competent, and I love the way they slap on some bean sprouts and kimchee to cook on your grill.
Valet parking is $2.
Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant
3821 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Restaurant Review : SeongBukDong (Korean) $$ *8 out of 10*
I swear, my mom makes the best galbi jim that blows SeongBukDong out of the water; WAY far out of the water. But since my mom lives in Korea and she doesn’t have a restaurant I will just have to get my galbi jim fix here. It is what they’re known for and it’s pretty darn good, better than most places. And their Braised Mackerel is stinky and pungent, just the way it’s supposed to be. So while this doesn’t live up to mom’s cooking, (I mean, does it ever?) this little hole-in-the-wall gets high marks for serving up some good grubby fare.
3303 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Restaurant Review : Pinkberry (Frozen Yogurt) *9 out of 10*
With the discovery of Pinkberry Blood Orange my passion for Pinkberry has returned. In my opinion Pinkberry has the best tasting, best quality yogurt hands down. The plain is simply amazing; perfect consistency, perfect tartness, perfect sweetness, perfect texture, and perfect temperature. Since I don’t do toppings the yogurt itself really matters to me and this is tops. But those of you who like toppings, Pinkberry has gotten even better. You can put as many variety of toppings as can comfortably fit into the container for a set charge.
Sadly, the Blood Orange has presently moved on to be replaced by the mediocre Lychee Lime but I still LOVE the plain and the mango is pretty darn good too.
Plain : 10 stars
Blood Orange : 10 stars
Mango : 9 stars
Lychee Lime : 6 stars
Pomegranate : 6 stars
Restaurant Review : Koffea (Korean Coffee & Tea) Ktown LA *5 out of 10*
Korean coffeehouses are the perfect place to drink your coffee and work, albeit a bit pricey. Koffea is one of those places; free Wifi, expensive drinks, semi-private seating, and an outdoor back patio for those who smoke. The servers leave you alone unless you push your wonderful “I want service call button” to let them know that you need something.
I’ve been coming here as for as long as I can remember. They did do a little remodel some time back but currently the interior is in its broken-in stage; still comfortable but a bit shabby. The last time I was there I ordered myself a Sweet Potato Latte (blended sweet potato and milk) for $6.99. They served it to me in a nice, chipped mug. The latte was decent; chunky and extremely filling. It made me feel like I had just drunk a meal.
If you order an herbal tea, they will serve it to you in a plastic dispenser pot along with a mug. You put the dispenser on top of your mug and tea will pour out from the bottom of it. I find it a little gimmicky but it’s a fun conversation piece for about 5 seconds.
Koffea also serve some simple foods (ramen, dumpling, sandwiches, fried rice, udon, rice cake stir fry, and bagels) along with cakes, waffles, Korean shaved ice, coffees & teas of course, fresh fruit juice, smoothies, ice cream, and iced teas.
Restaurant Review : Fat Fish (Sushi) Ktown LA *7 out of 10*
I actually like this place. It’s an ultra-modern Kaiten-zushi place where you watch the food go round and round on a conveyer belt and you pick up what you want from it.
The sushi pieces are teeny tiny but the fish is fresh and tasty. There are a lot of cooked rolls with fried stuff or mayo-ey dynamite stuff; you know, the usual American fare. What really wins me over is not the sushi itself but the prices. Here’s the low-down:
7 days a week :
Lunch : 11:30AM-3PM : Every plate is $2 (except for the uni).
Dinner : 5PM-7PM : 50% off everything.
Dinner : After 7PM-close: ever plate is $2!
So your best value is to go when it’s $2 per plate because there are no plates under $4 at full price.
Restaurant Review : Coffee House Heyri (Korean Coffeehouse) Ktown LA *5 out of 10*
Korean coffee houses are cute and comfortable. The service is usually good; you push a button and a server comes right over. Wi-Fi is usually always available and the ambiance is A-Okay. Unfortunately, the drinks are usually way too diluted or way too sweet and are definitely overpriced. Heyri is no exception to this.
I walked into Heyri with my husband and a couple of friends who frequent this place after having dinner nearby. I laughed at the tacky décor of white Christmas lights, palm trees, painted walls and mismatched décor. It was kind of charming in its own way. I could envision myself enjoying the day in their back patio while sipping on a latte.
Since it was late I didn’t want to overload on the caffeine so I ordered a Green Tea Latte for $6.50. Expensive, yes, but I was hoping that it was going to be good. Out came a small, rounded, kinda’ shallow mug…okay, it’s probably gonna’ be really tasty I thought to myself…sip, sip…Utter fail! The latte tasted like milk with barely a hint of green tea! It was served warm, not hot, and it was way too sweet! If they’re going to charge exorbitant prices for the lattes, at least make them good right? Sigh.
Our friend ordered regular diluted coffee for $5.35! They served this with a mug along with a thermostat. His justification for the price tag is that they give you free refills. I say again, if they’re going to charge exorbitant prices at least make it good!
Our visit was not a complete failure. The Coffee Prince Waffle served with a scoop of strawberry ice cream and a scoop of chocolate ice cream for $8.25 was pretty good. The waffle was perfectly crisp and the fruit was fresh. The ice cream and chocolate syrup were average wholesale supermarket quality but we enjoyed it regardless.
I can’t believe I’m feeling this way but given the selection of the coffee shops around this area, I might give this place another shot. I did like the tackiness of the patio enough to warrant that. Maybe I’ll get a glass of water and waffles or maybe even the shaved ice! LOL!
Restaurant Review : Dae Bok (Korean) K-town LA *7 out of 10*
This is the place for blowfish. It’s not a fancy place with pretty décor nor is it in the best neighborhood. It’s a place where you can have your Bok (Korean for blowfish) fix, pure and straight. For those not familiar with blowfish, it’s a clean, simple tasting fish that’s meaty with chewing texture. Yes, the fish itself is quite exotic but it does not have an exotic taste. It’s simple and satisfying.
We had the “Ji-ri” which is the blowfish in a clear broth with Korean vegetables and tofu cooked over an open flame at your table for $14.99. After you’re done with your fish and vegetables they use the leftover soup to cook you up some porridge, Korean style. This dish was healthy, tasty and it hits the spot. I would definitely get this again.
We also had the “bulgogi” style blowfish in the Korean red chili paste sauce. They grill the blowfish and serve it on a cast iron plate. The dish tastes like Korean pork ribs except that it is fish and not pork which makes it a great healthy alternative. My husband loves this one.
Of course you get your typical Korean sides but one side that does stand out is the Bok skin with watercress. The skin is chewy and a little jelly-like. It’s probably the most “exotic” thing you’re going to eat here.
Restaurant Review : Nak Won (Korean) Ktown *7 out of 10*
Hodori used to be crazy packed but when Nak Won opened their doors just next door, I was a bit skeptical. I am no longer skeptical. I find myself going to Nak Won more than I go to Hodori. The service is better, it’s cleaner, and it’s usually less crowded.
As for the food, it hits the necessary spots. It’s not the best but this is essentially Korean fast-food so I don’t expect more from it. It’s fast, cheap, easy, and open 24 hours.
Restaurant Review : O Dae San (Korean BBQ) Ktown LA *6 out of 10*
It’s another Korean BBQ restaurant that offers all-you-can-eat. Although here, you have the option of selecting a la carte items or meal options as well. I’ve been here twice and both times I’ve had the AYCE. For $9.99 lunch or $11.99 dinner, you can have AYCE pork and/or beef brisket. For $16.99 you can have a choice of 12 different meats and this is the one we always opted for.
Aside from the most attentive service I’ve ever had at a Korean BBQ restaurant from our server Mimi on our last visit, I have to say that our meal was very average. The sides are okay and the meat quality is just so-so. The restaurant itself is big with 2 floors but the aroma of Korean BBQ smoke fills the space from corner to corner. I felt like I was still wearing my dinner after I left!
Restaurant Review : Jae Bu Do (Korean Seafood Grill) Ktown, LA *4 out of 10*
Awh…I’m disappointed! I was looking forward to this but I’m not even sure if I want to go back. I LOVE seafood, and I love grilling; so grilling seafood on a charcoal grill is a plus+plus for me!
The dinner started off well enough. We had ordered combo #B for 3 adults and 2 kids for 69.99, which turned out to be plenty. My eyes popped open just from looking at all the seafood that was soon to be in my tummy. We started with the clams. They were great. After that, it was previously frozen scallops in about 4 different ways. Some of the scallops were gritty and I soon got sick of them. Everything else was decent (octopus, mussels, shrimp), and the sides were good. The cheese corn was really good and the kids loved it; that, and the steamed egg. But honestly, I would have given this place a 6 or 7 if it weren’t for the service.
The restaurant got packed so we weren’t really holding it against them that they never came to our table. We had to fend for ourselves with the hot shellfish-whatever! But what really upset us was that we had ordered Kal Gook-Su at the end of our meal. I am not exaggerating when I say that it took over 30 minutes for our noodles to come out! We were sitting there trying to have a conversation and ignoring the fact that we had been finished with our meal for a long time. After 20 minutes, we wanted to cancel our noodles but couldn’t wave anyone down to do so! It’s funny because I’m not one of those passive, serve-me-serve-me kind of diners, especially in a busy Korean place, but I seriously could not grab anyone’s attention!
So when the noodles finally came we didn’t want to eat it anymore. Besides, they were almost raw and clumped together. It would have taken another 10 minutes to cook them.