Give Me Your Koreatown-Centric Los Angeles Recommendations!
December 28, 2015 2:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm spending tomorrow in Los Angeles with some family and friends. We usually park the car in a couple different places in some adjacent neighborhoods and explore denser neighborhoods on foot. We'd like suggestions for places to visit and things to do in Koreatown, Hollywood, and the surrounding areas (but not DTLA).

Previously in this trip we've parked the car in Little Tokyo & done the whole pedestrian mall & Weller Center, got happy hour chicken karaage & icy Kirin at Ebisu, and saw the Matthew Barney exhibit. Or, a different day, we parked the car in Silverlake and went to Vacation Vinyl, Secret HQ, & got a coffee at Intelli, then drove to Chinatown and saw a weird-awesome exhibit at Human Resources and got dinner at Pok Pok LA. I'm trying to plan a similar itinerary for us tommorrow.

Drinks: The lobby bar at that new Roy Choi hotel thing? HMS Bounty? Some secret cool place? We all geek out over a dope mixology program, I'll drink whatever shit beer but my sister only likes sweet stuff so having at least cider as an option is good.

Food: One of my companions is vegan but I kind of wanted to hit a Big Tofu House or whatever anyway? Any particular recs for places that do hot pot in the blazing hot clay bowls that do veggie broth? Other recommendations for food welcome - does NOT have to be a strictly vegan restaurant as long as there are enough options for her to cobble together a decent meal.

Shopping: Comic book or movie nerd shit is good, books are good, cute things are good, so are skate shops and occult bookstores and botanicas. We did Amoeba already.

Art: I think the projections of furry porn at Human Resources or all the piss and jizz in River of Fundment was a bit much for my mom (lol) but we all love weird contemporary art and movies and art house shit and museums. I love garage and punk and DIY scenes.

Karaoke: We usually do this on Sawtelle, any good private room (preferably BYOB) karaoke in K-Town?

I've read all the Los Angeles threads but K-Town has changed a lot in the past year since the last thread was posted & we have the unusual vegan + karaoke wrinkles.
posted by Juliet Banana to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
BCD claims to do vegetarian on request, thats where I usually go for Sundubu jjigae. Of course there are lots of other places, I suspect vegetarian options will vary widely. [I remember during my stint as a vegetarian/vegan, but before I knew much about Korean food/culture, thinking "Tofu house? That sounds great!"....]
posted by thefoxgod at 3:37 PM on December 28, 2015

Here's Eater Magazine's Best Korean Restaurants in Los Angeles, 2015 Edition. I like the Eater magazine articles in this vein because they put all the locations on a google map, so you can eliminate some based on location.

Not on Eater's list, but maybe Beverly Soon Tofu? Here's their yelp. I haven't eaten there, but Anthony Bourdain did, so it's gotta have something going on.

You might consider doing lunch in Koreatown, messing around for a little bit there, then going directly North to Thai Town to have dinner at Jitalda.
posted by bluecore at 3:48 PM on December 28, 2015

-This is more like ktown adjacent, but if you are looking to walk, check out the mural alleys off of Beverly Blvd east of Virgil.

-The Line Hotel is a clusterfuck at night from what I can tell. Busy enough that I haven't wanted to deal with it walking past. People I know who have been there like what they've had.
-HMS Bounty has unfancy beers in bottles, old people cocktails and a certain nautical charm.
-I like Beer Belly for craft beer as long as I sit outside (it is loud inside). It has some ciders and wine in addition to beer. The food is bacon-laden. Iota Cafe next to it could be fun (kpop on giant screens, fancy coffees and desserts, wine and other food I've not tried).
-Hotel Normandie has some fancy/tasty drinks, no idea how much of a clusterfuck it is. Some of it is reservation only. I've never been, but I am curious!
-The Prince is interesting in a specific ktown way. My memory is hazy, but I swear your choice of alcohol was Hite or Johnny Walker. That was years ago, perhaps things have changed? It also used to allow smoking inside, but yelp now indicates otherwise. The food is ~ok~. Or was.
-I've heard good things about Copper Still cocktails, but it is closed Monday and Tuesday.

-BCD Tofu House is good--there are a couple of locations. Beverly Soon is also tasty (a++ woodsy interior) and, I think? the og soon tofu house in Los Angeles. Vegan food in ktown is sort of impossible given that most kimchi has fish in it.

Possibly unhelpful section:
-I don't have a ktown karaoke room recommendation, but I've done byob at Max Karaoke in Little Tokyo Galleria multiple times. Bonus: it is one floor down from Shojin (slightly spendy vegan Japanese food).
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 4:28 PM on December 28, 2015

Guelaguetza was recently named as James beard American classic.
posted by brujita at 6:58 PM on December 28, 2015

Guelaguetza unfortunately is 1 part delicious delicious mole, 5 parts chicken. Beer Belly has some alright vegetarian options (spicy Caesar salad, other well seasoned cooked veggies) but otherwise is pretty meaty. There are a lot of boba/tea/drink places if that works better

There's an art walk once a week in the heart of Koreatown depending on which days you are there.

Like others said, vegetarian/vegan is tough, and Hollywood will be easier :)
posted by Red Desk at 12:47 AM on December 29, 2015

I went there several months ago; the menu lists several vegetarian items among their Oaxacan specialties.
posted by brujita at 5:57 AM on December 29, 2015

Pollo Ala Brasa on Western. Best chicken I've ever eaten.
posted by Fimbaz at 11:32 AM on December 29, 2015

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