Korean Cuisine

Koreatown's Black Friday: LaOn, Don Dae Gam Close + Jeon Ju Down for the Count

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Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge Remodeling at Jeon Ju? - T. NGUYEN
  • T. Nguyen
  • Remodeling at Jeon Ju?
It was a rough day for K-town yesterday -- Both LaOn Dining, which introduced modern Korean tapas to L.A. to much critical praise, and it's next door sister restaurant Korean BBQ specialist Don Dae Gam, shuttered -- to the dismay of food fans everywhere.

There is some bright light at the end of the tunnel though. Chef-owner Jenee Kim, who also owns Park's BBQ, is preparing for her new venture called Oleego, located in downtown's Fig at 7th complex, where it join a brand new Loteria Grill, a Michael Mina-run café, and an upcoming burger joint called "Juicy Lucy."

It seems that deconstructed gujeolpan, and haute bulgogi ssam wraps didn't catch on with Koreatown clientele as much they did with L.A. food aficionados, but we're guessing that downtown will provided a better home of Kim's elegant and authentic Korean fare.

More perplexing is Jeon Ju, the bibimbap specialist known for its super-hot sizzling stone rice bowls, which apparently closed for a massive renovation last week.

A large sign written in Korean seems to indict that the restaurant planned to be closed only for a week, but a drive-by by one Squid Ink contributor revealed that the kitchen and dining room looked to be completely gutted, a job that will obviously last much longer that this upcoming weekend. Our guess? Someone finally heated one of those stone bowls a little too hot and the dining room was wiped in a ferocious wave of kimchi shrapnel. In any event, there is an important lesson to be gleaned from yesterday's events -- gather ye galbi while ye may.

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