What to do near Koreatown in LA
December 16, 2010 2:16 AM   Subscribe

LA Filter: I'm in Los Angeles on a short trip. I'm staying in Koreatown on Wilshire with NO car. I have an event this evening but have the morning, afternoon, and Friday morning free to explore. What should I do?

I will probably never be back in LA and don't care to do the typical tourist things. I like museums, art/design/fashion, hiking & nature walking, and anything unique/quirky/offbeat or of cultural interest. I'm open to bus rides and short taxi rides. I'm already planning on seeking out some good Korean food and tacos and love ethnic food. What else can I do on my abbreviated stay?
posted by lychee to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, LA (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, being where you are means that you probably have access to the Red Line. The rail system is all right for getting around on; the bus system...not so much.

So, stuff you can do while not having to deviate much from the rail maps:

--Pasadena. The Huntington Library and Gardens (directions) are a bit of a walk from the rail (the buses in that area are a bit too irregular for me to recommend over a 1.5 mile walk, though YMMV), but they are totally worth it if you have even a passing interest in botany, art, or books. There's also the Norton Simon (directions), which is more art-focused.
--Little Tokyo, which has a ton of very tasty Japanese food at every price point. Pick a place that is within your budget and has a good rating on Yelp. Be warned that a lot of places do close between about 1-5, so go squarely within lunch or dinner hours.
--Downtown really only has MOCA and Philippe's; you could do both within an hour or two, and neither of is "essential" (though Philippe's is awfully delicious.) It's within walking distance of Little Tokyo, though, so if you're killing time before dinner or something, that works.
--Highland Park (on the Gold Line) has a ton of great taco trucks/stands, though there are some very good ones up in Koreatown as well. There's also Galco's, if you like odd/hard to find soda.

Have fun! LA is a jaded cynic with a heart of gold; it's easy to dismiss her, but once you fall in love, it's forever.
posted by kagredon at 3:09 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Did you check out LACMA? Nice museum and there's a ton of other stuff to do in the direct surroundings. It shouldn't be too difficult to get there from where you are.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 3:48 AM on December 16, 2010

Seconding LACMA and/or its neighbors (La Brea Tar Pits, Petersen Automotive Museum). Just take the bus straight down Wilshire. (The buses are fine; it's just that they have to wait in traffic like everybody else. And you'd only be going 3-4 miles or so.)
posted by equalpants at 4:07 AM on December 16, 2010

There are a lot of things to see in downtown LA. My favorite thing to do in a new city is to just wander around and see as much as possible. A lot of people discount downtown Los Angeles but I used to work there and I really enjoyed it. I would recommend going on a weekday, however, because it's sort of dead down there on the weekends.

The Museum of Neon Art is interesting, as are Chinatown and Olvera Street. You could go to the MOCA and check out the awesome central library and the Grand Central Market. I like the Pershing Square area (they have ice skating!), where the gorgeous historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel is located, and from there you can hop back on the train.
posted by something something at 7:54 AM on December 16, 2010

Best answer: If you like kimchi, visit Kae Sung Market, a kimchi emporium. The woman who runs it makes more kinds of kimchi than I knew existed.

Another Koreatown recommendation is the delicious Beverly Soon Tofu restaurant (they have excellent barbecued meats as well if you are not into soondubu). I know you didn't ask for restaurant recommendations, but thinking about Koreatown makes me miss this place a lot.

If you have the means to get there (I have no idea how easy it would be to bus from where you are, but the MTA trip planner could tell you), I think you would enjoy the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City.

The only hiking relatively close to you is in Griffith Park, where one of the many options is to hike up behind the Hollywood sign.

If you go downtown, the Fashion Institute of Design has a museum and both a museum shop and a discount clothing store.
posted by unsub at 8:12 AM on December 16, 2010

Best answer: Yep, you could actually walk down to the LACMA and the Page Museum (I have done this and it is kind of a nice walk). See the Tar Pits, go to the museums and then across the street there is the Craft Folk Art Museum, which I really like. Down the street a little farther (Fairfax and Wilshire) is the Automotive Museum. For lunch, The Counter, which is a pretty popular hamburger joint just opened on the corner of Curson and Wilshire (next to the LACMA).
posted by teamnap at 9:04 AM on December 16, 2010

Oh, on second thought...go to BCD Tofu house on Wilshire for lunch. It isn't close to the LACMA but I don't think the LACMA opens until 11 or 12 anyway.
posted by teamnap at 9:07 AM on December 16, 2010

If you like fashion then Santee Alley is a must see.
posted by skewedoracle at 10:23 AM on December 16, 2010

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