Chego. Photograph by Lisa Romerein
The glazed pork belly rice bowl, stocked with no less than a dozen ingredients, looks like something made by a cook cleaning out his fridge. But Kogi guru Roy Choi weaves in culture-mashing toppings like cotija cheese, water spinach, pickled radish, roasted peanuts, and fried eggs in a way that somehow makes sense. The rice bowl, it seems, is the new melting pot. » 3300 Overland Ave., Palms, 310-287-0337.
Gui Rim Korean BBQ
Few Korean barbecue destinations can match the deals available for carnivores here. The waitresses are perky, the little plates of banchan are plentiful, and the glistening strips of short rib and pork belly are slapped onto hot grills by the platterful until the room is thick with sumptuous smoke. » 3977 6th St., Koreatown, 213-387-5459.
Ham Ji Park
This divey haunt has an unwritten rule: On your table must be either a bowl of the hearty pork neck and potato stew known as gamjatang or a sizzling plate of the charred sticky pork ribs called dweji galbi. The dishes form a meaty foundation for a night of soju-fueled revelry and aid your recovery afterward. » 3407 6th St., Koreatown, 213-365-8773.
Han Bat Shullungtang
Speaking of hangover cures, there seems to be a science to sul lung tang, the soothing, cloudy stew made from vitamin-rich beef bones that are boiled for a full day. It’s like bovine-based Gatorade. Han Bat is Koreatown’s top sul lung tang slinger, and the Saturday night karaoke crowds slurp here on Sunday mornings. » 4163 W. 5th St., Koreatown, 213-388-9499.
Yu Chun Chic Naeng Myun
This bare-bones Korean dining hall—as bustling as an ice cream parlor in summer—serves the best bowl of naeng myun in town: a heap of pitch-black arrowroot noodles swimming in an icy beef broth. Spicy mustard is on hand should you wish to singe your sinuses while cooling off. » 3185 Olympic Blvd., Koreatown, 213-382-3815.