Korean Food, Cafe’s, And Karaoke
I don’t know where to begin with discussing this sub-city of Los Angeles. I first discovered that Los Angeles has the largest Koreatown in the United States a little after I went to my first Korean BBQ restaurant.
Before I started enjoying Korean BBQ I would drive through the sub-cities like Little Tokyo, Little Italy, and Little Ethiopia and never stop to explore. However, once you become open to one cuisine your palette suddenly becomes willing to try others.
I have wanted to write this post ever since I’ve returned from South Korea. However, I never felt that I could completely cover the area properly without writing a lengthy post. I am in the midst of writing a “Complete Guide To Los Angeles Koreatown.” For now, I will write a brief overview of the places I like to visit.
If you’re looking for places to eat, sleep and have fun in Koreatown than check out this list.
Korean Pavilion: Dawooljung
Address: 1000 Normandie Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone Number: (213) 480-1115
A traditional Korean pavilion is located on the northeast corner of Olympic and Normandie. It’s across the street from where Koreatown first began with a Korean grocery store in the late 1960’s.
The pavilion is surrounded by California flowers and plants. Inside of the pavilion, there’s a nice seating area to watch the Los Angeles traffic. The square was dedicated to Dr. Lee an Olympic medalist who won a gold medal in diving.
Wilshire Park Place – Radio Korea Building
Address: 3700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone Number: (213) 382 -1762
Wilshire Park Place is located on Wilshire Boulevard between Oxford and Serrano Avenue. It’s an office building that has a plot of trees and grass in the front of the building. It’s also home to Radio Korea a radio station that broadcasts Korean language programming.
Many public events occur in front of the building, including the World Cup and the Olympics. For more information on Radio Korea check out their website here.
Alfred Hoyun Song Monument ~ Wilshire/Western Station
Address: 3775 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone Number: (800) 366-6883
The monument is located in front of the Wilshire/Western metro station. Alfred Hoyun Song, (Korean name: 송호윤) was the first Korean American politician to be elected to the California State Senate. He enacted more than 200 legislative laws that centered around equality for all regardless of race and religion.
The monument is engraved with a speech given by Mr. Song that’s written in both Korean and English.
To view pictures of the memorial monument and read more about the dedication check out the Source metro blog post here.
Seoul International Park
Address: 3250 San Marino Street, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Phone Number: (213) 383-7549
Across the street from the Dawooljung is the Seoul International Park. The park has fitness equipment for an outdoor workout area to complete morning exercise routines. There’s also a basketball court and baseball field for sports activities.
In addition, the park has a recreation center, an auditorium, children’s playground, picnic tables, and a community room.
Event Tip: The Los Angeles Korean Festival is held every fall at the park. The park has a free parking lot in front of the recreation center. To find out more information about Seoul International Park check here.
Aroma Spa & Sports
Address: 3680 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
Information Phone Number: (213) 387 – 2111
This facility has an indoor/outdoor golf course, spa, and fitness programs. The Aroma Spa & Sports facility is located right next to the Wilshire Park Plaza building.
If you want more information about the golf course, spa and fitness programs check out their website here.
CGV Movie Theatre ~ Madang Mall
Address: 621 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
If you want to watch Korean movies with our without subtitles then you should check out CGV Movie Theatre. Located on the third floor of the Madang Mall complex it’s the perfect area too if you want to visit multiple places in one location.
To see a current listing of movies showings, and dates check out their website here. Special tip: Tuesdays are special discount days and the movie tickets are reduced.
PLACES TO STAY
Address: 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone Number: (213) 381- 7411
The Line Hotel is centrally located and a popular destination for out of town guests. Lobby bar and restaurant located on the first floor is a favorite nightspot for local residents. Special tip: Happy hour is seven days a week and goes from 2:30 p.m until 8:00 p.m.
Whether you’re a hotel visitor or just stopping in you can go to the second floor of the hotel. There’s a garden terrace if you prefer a quiet area to relax and soak up the sun.
Or you’re looking for a more lively hangout, you can go to the pool area and have a cocktail. There’s also a restaurant, dance bar, and karaoke for additional activities to experience during your visit.
For more information on room reservations, and activities at the Line Hotel check out their website here.
Instagram tip: Located on the wall outside of the Line Hotel is a nice mural for an Instagram worthy pictures.
PLACES TO EAT
BCD Tofu House
Address: 3575 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone Number: (213) 382- 6677
Only a short distance from the Line Hotel is BCD Tofu House. The restaurant is open 24 hours for the late night party goers. If you want a taste of authentic Korean food than this restaurant should be one of your first stops. Whether you’re in the mood for bibimbap, hot stews (Original BCD Soon Tofu) or you’re a vegan there’s something for every taste bud.
The second BCD Tofu House restaurant is located at 869 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005. Check out BCD Tofu House website for both locations, hours of operation and menu here.
Address: 400 S Western Ave #102, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone Number: (213) 365 – 1040
This restaurant is a little off the beaten path, but if you’re looking for a variety of kimbap to sample then this is the place to visit. A great alternative to having a light breakfast or grab a roll for later.
The restaurant opens at 6:00 a.m. so it’s perfect if you start your day early. My favorite is the tuna kimbap, but there are also the classic and vegetarian options available.
Kyo Dong Noodles ~ Madang Mall
Address: 621 S Western Ave Suite 303, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: (213) 380 – 0664
Solo dining option: These Korean-Chinese fusion dishes are perfect if you want to try Korean food that’s not too spicy. Or if you’re like me and while watching variety shows you suddenly get a craving for Jjajangmyun.
My favorite dish is the 불고기 덮밥 (Bulgogi Teriyaki) that includes that includes Beef Teriyaki with vegetables, rice, and a spicy soup. For more information on Kyo Dong Noodles restaurant check out their website here.
*Madang Mall: For any K-pop fans there’s also a k-pop store located within this complex. In addition on the lower level, H-mart (a Korean grocery store) is located.
Hae Jang Chon ~ All You Can Eat Korean BBQ
Address: 3821 W. 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Phone Number: (213) 389 – 8777
Group dining option: All you can eat Korean barbeque is the perfect place to go if you’re in a large group and want a variety of selections. Favorite items include the steamed egg, kimchi pancakes, and the thinly sliced pork belly. If you’ve ever been curious about Korean beer than this is also the place to order a bottle of soju.
Tip: Try to avoid peak periods because the restaurant can get very busy. For more information on Haejangchon check out their menu here.
Coffee & Pastries
It wouldn’t be a list about Koreatown if I didn’t mention cafes. If you’re into sipping on a cup of coffee and eating not too sweet pastries than these are the places to visit.
Paris Baguette ~ Madang Mall
Address: 621 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone Number: (213) 368 -0404
This French-inspired bakery specializes in fresh baked goods and coffee. My favorite combo to order is a small black coffee, berry cream pastry, and a soft strawberry cake. There’s a seating area both inside and outside within the mall courtyard.
For menu options and more information about Paris Baguette check out their website here.
Address: 5670 Wilshire Blvd., #760, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone Number: N/A
If you’re looking for a cafe to visit for a more leisure experience than check out Caffee Bene. I tried the Tiramisu Cake which was not too sweet and had a nice chocolate flavor with a small coffee. If you want to sample a Korean dessert try the red bean ice flakes.
Overall, this is a nice cafe to have a cup of coffee and enjoy the relaxed vibe ambiance. For menu information and additional locations check out Caffee Bene website here.
Address: 3785 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Phone Number: (213) 375 – 7143
If brewed tea or juice is more your style than check out Gong Cha. Their black pearl toppings added flavor to their freshly brewed tea. Additional toppings include white pearl, rainbow jelly, and red bean.
Healthier options include a matcha smoothie with a fruit smoothie probiotic. My favorite is the standard earl grey milk tea with black pearls.
For more information on the Gong Cha menu and hours of operation check out their website here.
I included places and locations that would maximize your time spent in L.A.’s Koreatown. I want visitors to experience a brief history on a select few of the buildings, and taste the local cuisine.
I didn’t include any of the nightlife activities in this post. Please let me know in the comments below if you want more information in a future post.
In addition, if there are any suggestions you feel I should include in this post please add in the comments down below. I will be updating this post as I continue to visit Koreatown.
If you like this story check out similar stories on the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California Experience and Downtown Los Angeles: Gentle Monster And Sightseeing.
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