The 14 Must-Try Korean BBQ Joints In L.A.

Where you must go, and what you must eat
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For meat eaters, Koreatown is a hedonistic meat paradise. There are literally hundreds of Korean BBQ restaurants in Ktown, so it can get a little overwhelming when you’ve got that bulgogi craving and you’re trying to decide where to go. How can you tell good kbbq from great kbbq? By the freshness and marbling of the meat and by the banchan (side dishes). Based on this criteria, these 14 restaurants are the only kbbq restaurants you ever need to concern yourself with.

 

So go ahead, order up some meat, maybe a beer or soju, and get ready for a carnivorous feast!


Ong Ga Nae

Koreatown

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When you walk in this place, you’ll see huge mountains of meat, greens, and noodles in pools of broth on almost every table. Don’t worry. You’re not in the wrong place. This is kbbq, but maybe not exactly the kind you’re expecting. Their specialty is seng bulgogi, and it’s served in a style similar to shabu shabu by pouring broth on the sides of the grill and adding bulgogi, mushrooms, and greens. Once you make it thru most of the meaty stuff, they begin round two of the meal by adding noodles to the broth.


Chung Ki Wa

Koreatown

Chung Ki Wa’s specialty is actually their cold noodles. But it’s usually overshadowed by the marble-y, juicy black Angus beef galbi. It’s consistently good. Like really, really good. Every. Single. Time. That could explain their longevity and popularity over the past three decades. Another reason: the ambience. The petrified wood décor and funky fish tank create a cozy atmosphere that is lacking in most other kbbq joints.


Chosun Galbee

Koreatown


Chosun Galbee is one of the more upscale kbbq restaurants in ktown. Everything here is super high quality, especially their namesake dish marinated in their special sweet-savory sauce. It’s the kind of meat that makes you wanna go full Lady Gaga and wear it as a dress. Oh, and did we mention they have a full bar?


Beverly Soon Tofu

Koreatown

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Beverly Soon Tofu has been doing kbbq since back in the day, and you’ll be happy to know that they’re still as good as they’ve always been. They cook in the kitchen instead of at the table, so it’s faster, less expensive, and you leave without smelling like a chimney. We recommend the galbi or spicy squid combo with tofu soup.


Brothers BBQ

Koreatown


When you come to Brothers, please just try not to fill up on their delicious banchan before the meat is ready. The kimchi is bomb and the glass noodles are unreal. You may be tempted to keep eating the sides, but you don’t want to miss out on their meat. It’s high quality, marbled, and always super tender, which is rare for a place that has AYCE options on their menu.


Magal

Koreatown

This Korean import landed in Ktown in 2015 and has since gained popularity among Koreans and non-Koreans alike. Even though they’ve got a casual, kitschy atmosphere, they don’t compromise on their quality. Besides the servers in fedoras and Hawaiian shirts, another fun highlight of this place is their meat sushi that they cook with a blowtorch at your table.


Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong

Buena Park


Korean comedian and former wrestler Kang Ho Dong owns this popular kbbq franchise. Don’t let the word “franchise” (or the owner’s celeb-status) scare you away though. It’s totally legit. The fun and casual atmosphere only adds to their authenticity, as does their meat quality. But get there early. It’s so good and so popular that the wait times can be up to two hours.


Ten-Raku

Koreatown

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Why haven’t more people caught onto this place yet? We’d expect a line around the block, but Ten-Raku has somehow managed to stay under the radar for the past few years. That’s fine though – we don’t mind the short to non-existent wait times for their five-star quality meat, spicy octopus, and yummy banchan.


Soowon Galbi

Koreatown

If you haven’t been to Soowon Galbi yet, add it to your bucket list. It’s one of those “need to try before you die” places and a classic Ktown establishment. You know you’re about to eat some legendary kbbq when you’ve gotta squint from all the smoke while the meat is cooking over the natural charcoal.


Quarters

Koreatown

At Quarters, you order your proteins by quarter pound. So instead of ordering huge slabs of one type of meat and eating yourself into a galbi-coma, you can do it tapas-style and order several different kinds of meat or seafood. But the best part about this place – they have a full bar! Because the only thing better than kbbq is kbbq with cocktails.


Soot Bull Jeep

Koreatown

Get ready to wear that kbbq cologne after eating here. This is one of the last remaining OG all-charcoal kbbq places. It’s been around since the ‘80s and should really be considered as a historic landmark. It’s a smoky, meaty, char wonderland. Wear that scent as a badge of honor when you walk out.


Genwa Korean BBQ

Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills


Genwa is the only kbbq restaurant outside of ktown to make our list. It’s just a short drive down Wilshire to this upscale kbbq spot. They’ve got high quality meat that’s always succulent and tender, of course. But the best part is their banchan. It’s a seemingly endless array of sides (we counted 23!) and some that you may not find at other kbbq places. They’re all just as high quality and delicious as any of the marble-y, juicy meat.


Byul Gobchang

Koreatown

Byul Gobchang has the best gobchang in town. It’s their specialty, after all. This dish is succulent, a little chewy, and full of flavor. But what is gopchang? If the thought of offal doesn’t freak you out (which it shouldn’t), then this is a dish you have to try. Spoiler alert: it’s grilled marinated intestines.


Parks

Koreatown

While you’re waiting for your table at Park’s, check out their wall of fame with lots of pictures of celebrity diners. Can you spot the photo of Nicolas Cage? We know what you’re thinking. If Nic Cage eats here, it must be spectacular. Well, actually you’re right. The beef and pork are some of the best quality melt-in-your-mouth meats you’ll get in Ktown.


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