photo by Arjiel Joseph F, via La Eater
So you just received your Korean BBQ set. Nice work! But all of a sudden, you’re drawing a blank. What should you even make? You have no muse; you have no inspiration. The good news is that if you live in LA, inspiration can be found in a whole lot of places. Since we have the largest number of Korean people anywhere outside of Korea, you better believe our Korean BBQ game is unstoppable. Hit some of these fine establishments and gain the inspiration you’ve been so severely lacking.
It seems wrong to start anywhere else. Park’s is widely considered to be the best Korean BBQ in LA, and if you’ve been there, then you already know why. The quality of the ingredients Park’s is throwing your way is unparalleled and, though you’ll drop some more cash here than you normally would, it’s 100% worth it. And get extra bean paste, obviously.
What better spot to light the fires (pun only 50% intended) of your group cooking than the spot with the best group meal system? Soowon Galbi has perfected the multi-person meal combos, so bring an army of hungry friends and learn just what goes into filling up the table. Hint: it’s a lot.
Contrary to popular belief, a vegetarian actually can eat Korean food. There might be nowhere to better prove that than the Bourdain-approved, Beverly Soon Tofu. Once you’ve spent 200 years looking for parking, you’ll find your way into the cozy (and always packed) little house of soondubu-jjigae, or tofu stew. And don’t worry, all of the banchan you’d expect from a big, meaty restaurant show up right along side the steamy, spicy soup.
Perhaps you’ve gotten a bit too big for your britches and, despite the fact that you’re about to throw a KBBQ party, you’ve never actually had it. Baekjeong is a terrific place to start. The menu is pretty standard; meats, kimchi, and soju. Grab some carnivores, order far too much soju, and let the meat sweats begin. If it’s your first Korean BBQ experience, we can assure you that it won’t be your last.
Mere feet away from Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong, you’ll find Quarters, another heavy hitter bound to inspire your own grilling adventures. Served in quarter pound portions (per the name), the meats at quarters are hearty and satisfying. Study this meat well; it’s what you’ll want to replicate at your own Korean BBQ night.
Perhaps you’re like us: the person who’s generally still hungry after your friends are full. Say hello to Hae Jang Chon, one of LA’s best spots for All-You-Can-Eat. This the place you want to post up for a while at, and forget all about the normal stresses of life like “staying healthy” or “not overeating”.
Feeling hungry? Inspired? Try making Korean BBQ Night at home! Why go to a restaurant to cook for yourself, when you don't need to leave the house for that??