Our Critics' Picks



4001 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Critics' Pick
Soban +

Anne Fishbein


  • Daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • $$
  • Lunch, Dinner
  • No Alcohol
  • Parking Lot Available
  • Reservations Not Accepted
Soban is a slightly odd institution, nice in a way that's probably closer to the way your mom's best friend's kitchen is nice than to any decorator-driven slickness, run by a couple who speak minimal English but seem to make themselves understood; not especially cheap, but full of families. The cooking would go brilliantly with a glass of lightly chilled Beaujolais or an icy bottle of soju, but alcohol is neither served nor permitted. The menu is pretty small, but a lot of customers seem to come several times a week. The English-language picture menu is even smaller, yet there always seems to be something you've never spotted before. (If anybody gets to try the dish where you wrap meat and vegetables in big ggaenip leaves, which seemed to be on half the tables last time I was in, let me know how it is.) - Jonathan Gold Read our full review.

Related Stories (5)

  • A Meal With Koreatown: A Cookbook Authors Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard
    Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 7:54 a.m. by Besha Rodell

    "You've got to get to Korea," Matt Rodbard urges me as we sit over a plate of ganjang-gejang at Soban. Deuki Hong, who sits across the table from us, nods his head in agreement as he slurps from his bowl. Rodbard continues excitedly...

  • Soban: 99 Essential Restaurants 2013
    Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 3:30 a.m. by Garrett Snyder

    Soban is the type of place that could be easily overlooked. It's a minimalist but cozy mom-and-pop restaurant, the kind with old, lacquered wood tables and weathered pictures of soups and stews on the wall. It's not until the meal b...

  • 86: Galbi Jjim at Soban
    Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 3:49 p.m. by Garrett Snyder

    Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes. 86: Galbi Jjim at Soban. Walk into any cozy Korean mom-and-pop restaurant, the kind with the ...

  • Jonathan Gold's 10 Best Dishes of 2011
    Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 3:30 a.m. by Jonathan Gold

    Click here for Anne Fishbein's slide show. Roast marrowbones with prawn sambal In a year when Los Angeles cooking came together with a coherence it probably hasn't seen since the mid-1980s, this dish at Spice Table seemed to express...

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