Loading...
BBQ

10 Best Korean BBQ Restaurants in Los Angeles

Comments (0)

By

Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge grilled pork belly at Palsaik Samgyeopsal - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • grilled pork belly at Palsaik Samgyeopsal
Los Angeles' Koreatown probably doesn't need another BBQ place -- well, at least not another Korean one. There seems to be a restaurant with tabletop grills in every plaza, strip mall and food court, cannibalizing another one's business two doors down or across the street. Let's be blunt: Entrepreneurial first-generation Koreans are noted more for their work ethic and competitive streak than for their originality. Still, we love Korean BBQ and can't complain about having so many specialty restaurants to choose from. Turn the page for our picks for the 10 best Korean BBQ places in town.

click to enlarge yukhwe bibimbap from Oo Kook - SUSAN PARK
  • Susan Park
  • yukhwe bibimbap from Oo Kook
10. Oo-Kook:

This is the only AYCE place -- that's all-you-can-eat -- to make our list. It made the cut for using higher-quality meats and offering a more interesting variety of proteins, such as beef belly and octopus, than its competitors. Service can be slow and the selection of banchan (the small side dishes that come with Korean meals) tends to be sparse, but that's the tradeoff for unfettered access to Angus and Kobe beef. The same meal would cost at least $100 in Seoul. It's also one of the few Korean BBQ places, AYCE or otherwise, that makes an excellent yook-hwe bibimbap (bibimbap topped with Korean steak tartar). 3385 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles; (213) 385-5665.

click to enlarge Soot Bull Jeep - ANNE FISHBEIN
  • Anne Fishbein
  • Soot Bull Jeep
9. Soot Bull Jeep:

The stark décor and minimalist service style haven't changed much since Soot Bull Jeep opened in 1983. It's all about charcoal grilling and ssam, or lettuce wraps, at this Koreatown institution. Meat portions tend to come in generous hand-cut slabs, instead of machine-cut, paper-thin, frozen wisps. The banchan selection is straightforward and old-fashioned, because the real point here is to eat the BBQ as ssam: Take a leaf of lettuce, add a dollop of bean paste, a spoonful of rice, a little shredded green onion, a sliver of grilled garlic and a piece of beef, fold in half and try to eat the whole thing in two bites like my grandmother. 3136 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles; (213) 387-3865.

click to enlarge Honey Pig exterior
  • Honey Pig exterior
8. Honey Pig:

Domed grills are designed to collect meat juices from bulgogi or rendered duck or pork fat. Since Honey Pig specializes in, well, pig, not a drop of pork fat is wasted. Hunks of samgyeopsal (pork belly) are cooked in the center of the dome and eaten as ssam, while a moat of kimchi and bean sprouts along the perimeter of the grill cooks in rendered pork fat. Pace yourself, because the pickled vegetables are being prepped for an elaborate kimchi fried rice. Just when you think you can't manage another bite, the waitress will unceremoniously dump large bowls of lettuce and rice onto your grill to be mixed with charred bits of pork belly, kimchi, bean sprouts and, of course, lots of pork fat. 3400 W. Eighth St., Los Angeles; (213) 380-0256.

Turn the page for #7, etc...

Related Content

Now Trending

  • The Joy of Goat at Mirak in Harvard Heights

    It’s no secret that Koreatown’s restaurants are often a one dish affair. If you find yourself at a restaurant that specializes in cold noodles – say, Yu Chun – you are almost certainly eating nothing but naeng myun and kimchi. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that you may...
  • Free Burgers Today in Silver Lake

    Haché LA has been in soft-open mode for a few weeks now on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, but the hours have been dinner-only. Today marks the restaurant's grand opening, and they're marking that milestone with new hours and a burger giveaway. Haché is owned by Michael Schepers, who also...
  • Artificial Sweeteners May Raise Blood Sugar

    A new study published Sept. 17 in the journal Nature says that artificial sweeteners found in diet soda, yogurt and other foods consumed by millions of people may actually raise blood sugar levels instead of lowering them, the Wall Street Journal reports, contributing to the development of diabetes and obesity...