LA is huge, so we wanted to highlight some of our favorite neighborhoods … i.e. the ones closest to our communities – yes we’re biased! This round we’re giving you a local tour of Koreatown, a hidden gem adjacent to Hollywood that offers amazing food and culture, and where you also can visit one of our newest communities: Beverly.
Dan Sung Sa
You can’t come to Koreatown without eating at a Korean restaurant, and this one is hugely popular not only for the Korean small plates, but for the soju drinks and atmosphere as well. The later it gets, the roudier the crowd (it’s open until 2am), and that’s encouraged at a restaurant where you can literally scribble all over the wooden walls. With graffiti on the walls, smoke from the grill, and dim-lighted booths, it feels like you’re at a pocha (street food vendor) in Korea.
Menu recommendation: the Dumbbells with the house sauce are a must-have
Address: 3317 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Photo source: The Infatuation
Famous for their mole (and they flaunt it, with their website being ilovemole.com!), don’t miss this authentic Oaxacan restaurant in the middle of K-town. The restaurant was first opened in 1994 by a husband and wife team from Oaxaca, and they’ve continued to stay true to their family recipes and authentic Oaxacan ingredients. They even offer a family feast called Botana Oaxaquena, which feeds 8 and includes oaxacan cheese, 14 memelitas, chorizo, tasajo, cecina, chile relleno, carnitas, guacamole, frijoles de la olla with nopalitos. And don’t forget the drinks, including mezcal cocktails and tastings, Micheladas, and margaritas.
Menu recommendation: order the Festival de Moles to try all of the different moles, family style
Address: 3014 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006
Photo source: Guelaguetza
If you’re looking for the best bibimbap in LA, this is it. And if you’re not sure what bibimbap is, it’s a hot-pot of crispy rice, veggies, galbi (meat), and authentic Korean hot sauce – aka the most delicious traditional Korean dish EVER. It’s cooked and served in a sizzling-hot, earthy stone bowl called “dolsot,” along with several different small side dishes (like kimchi). The menu includes 7 different varieties of bibimbap for you to choose from, including 2 vegetarian options. They also offer a variety of traditional Korean soups that are hard to find elsewhere, as well as Korean BBQ. Don’t sleep on this hidden gem!
Menu recommendation: you can’t go wrong with any of the bibimbap options, so order whichever catches your fancy!
Address: 2716 W Olympic Blvd Ste 101, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Photo source: gastronomyblog.com
Alchemist Coffee Project
This sleek industrial cafe offers high-end brews that even coffee aficionados would fall in love with, and includes the regular assortment of coffee drinks, plus a few extras like nitro cold brew and single-origin pour-overs. You can also find sweet dessert drinks here, like the Spanish Latte that’s sweetened with condensed milk and cinnamon, and a large variety of tea drinks, including matcha and milk teas. They have a surprisingly large food menu as well, with sandwiches, toasts, and salads, and many delicious add-ons (such as prosciutto, truffle oil, and burrata), and baked goods.
Address: 698 S Vermont Ave Ste 103, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Photo source: Voyage LA
At this coffee shop you can find high-end coffees, teas, and matcha, as well as some unique creations, such as a drink called the Dry Kapp (an iced and shaken espresso sweetened with house simple syrup and topped with foam). Other popular unique drinks here are their Rosemary Bee Latte (a honey and rosemary flavored latte with house-made syrup) and the Tangerine Brew (a fresh tangerine slush topped with chocolatey cold brew concentrate). They also offer delicious pastries and toasts. You know you’ve found a gem when the sign outside tells you to “Get Your Bomb Ass Coffee.”
Address: 4059 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, CA 90020
Photo source: Yelp
Alfred Coffee Koreatown
If you want to be a cool kid, you have to visit Alfred Coffee in LA, and the Koreatown location is inside the stunning LINE LA Hotel. If you haven’t heard of Alfred, you have, because they are the ones that coined the hashtag #butfirstcoffee, as well as #iloveyousomatcha. Alfred Coffee is quintessential LA, and this location is paying homage to the neighborhood by offering milk teas with boba. As you might’ve guessed, they’re also famous for their matcha, and are super famous on Instagram, where you’ll find endless inspo images from influencers, celebrities, and us normal folks alike.
Address: 3515 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90010
Photo source: Alfred Coffee Koreatown
Lock & Key
Lock & Key is a Great Gatsbyesque 1920s-themed speakeasy, with an outdoor patio and delicious food, hidden behind a sketchy door in a random part of Koreatown. When you first enter, you’re met with a large amount of doorknobs, and you have to choose the right one to actually enter the bar. Their mixed drinks are top-notch, with creative combinations like the Torpedo, which mixes pear vodka, maple syrup, ginger juice, lime, and three dots of sesame oil to add a unique look and flavor. A great spot to start your night on the town, while you can still look put-together.
Address: 239 S. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, California 90004
Photo source: Discotech
Known as “Koreatown’s Gastropub” and voted one of the best sports bars in all of LA, Biergarten LA is the perfect mixture of German culture and Korean food. With 25 rotating local craft beers on tap, and 11 TVs playing sports, this place is every guy’s dream come true. The food doesn’t disappoint either, with the perfect mixture of traditional German, Korean, and American pub food, such as the Schnitzel Katsu Burger, Military Soup (Korean ramen with German sausage), and Biergarten Nachos with housemade kalbi (Korean meat).
Address: 206 N Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90004
Photo source: Yelp
The Normandie Club
A popular cocktail bar/lounge on the bottom floor of the landmark Hotel Normandie, circa 1926, the Normandie Club features a full menu of both classic and updated cocktails, with a staff of professional mixologists who boast making you a custom drink of your choice if you aren’t excited by the menu items. With a daily happy hour from 6pm-8pm, you can enjoy drinks in the iconic space, lounging on dark leather chairs surrounded by painted brick and low lighting. The unique flair added to classic drinks will give you a new appreciation of flavor, such as Old Fashioned with coconut bourbon, apple brandy, spiced almond demerara, and angostura bitters. There’s also a generous selection of global liquors, including brandy, Irish whiskey, Japanese whisky, mezcal, tequila, and cider on tap.
Address: 3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
Photo source: Conde Nast Traveler
Immerse yourself in Korean culture by exploring the Koreatown Plaza, Koreatown’s first American-style shopping mall. The shops here sell everything from Korean health and body products and housewares to international brand handbags and shoes – and there’s even a shop for K-pop lovers, with merch from the most popular bands (just expect to stand in a line of excited teenage girls). There’s also an international food court that resembles street food vendors in Korea – a great choice for quick and delicious eats.
Address: 928 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Photo source: Dave’s Travel Corner
Leave some room in your stomach after lunch or dinner so you can head to this popular dessert destination for Korea’s most popular dessert: shaved ice. With your choice of Seoul style or Tokyo style shaved ice, Anko features a large selection of flavors and toppings, so you can enjoy flavors like Cheese Berry (Cheesecake chunk and blueberry), Black Sesame, Oreo Choco, and Popcorn Macaron. They also offer classic and custom dessert coffee drinks (like Caramel Cream and Green Tea Cream Lattes) and Alkalinade (a house-made flavored soda drink similar to Italian soda) with flavors such as Pink Peach and Mojito Shower, as well as baked goods such as Nutella Cheesecake and Milk Fondue Waffle.
Address: 400 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90020
Photo source: Yelp
Aroma Golf Center
If you’re an avid golfer (or just curious to try), this is a must-go. It’s considered LA’s most expansive semi-indoor driving range, and features a four-level, 150-yard range that gives golfers amazing views of the city. The Aroma Golf Center also boasts a state-of-the-art fully automated tee-up system, and is equipped with a computer-aided swing teaching and monitoring device with height adjustment. After a long day of practice, they also offer in-house spa service such as massages, nail care, and a barber shop.
Address: 3680 Wilshire Blvd Unit 301., Los Angeles, CA 90010
Photo source: Pinterest
Did we miss your favorite spot? Comment below. Visiting soon? Tell us in the comments which place you want to try first!