There isn't much Korean food where I live, so I'd like to get my fill when I visit LA + introduce my friends to some real and really good Korean food. We're ready for some Korean BBQ, noodle houses and heck, even markets (road tripping, so we can bring stuff home). Does anyone know of any good places?
Park's BBQ serves award-winning Korean barbecue that uses high quality USDA Prime and Kobe-style beef. They are committed to providing the most delicious and authentic Korean cuisine made with the finest ingredients. Highly recommended.
Toe Bang is also good. Army Soup and the spicy chicken wings are favorite menu choices and the late night drink specials make it a popular stop for locals.
Hwal A Kwang Jang also serves Korean food done right. Spicy and delicious.
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I have not been there yet, but it is on my list...I have heard that Park's Barbeque in Korea Town is the best spot in Los Angeles for Korean BBQ. It is supposed to be high-end but worth it.
Also, since you mentioned not having K food near you...If you have aTrader Joe's close by, they started selling Kimchi. It is cheap and delicious. Cannot recommend it enough.
Incidentally, I do have a lot of Korean food where I live, but on a road trip down to LA last year, a bunch of my friends still wanted Korean food because they said that their favorite Korean BBQ place is down there. After trying it, I can see why. Hae Jang Chon in Koreatown was the bomb diggity! Delicious salad appetizer, tasty little banchans and egg souffle/soup, plus a great assortment of meats and seafood to grill. So yum.
If you're looking for real and authentic Korean food, then head to Beverly Soon Tofu (2717 W. Olympic Blvd., #108, Los Angeles, CA 90006), a tiny place located in an unassuming strip mall. Like Lindsey said in her answer, soon tofu (which just means "soft tofu") is a bit more of an authentic adventure (although I LOVE and there's nothing wrong with going out for Korean BBQ).
You'll get a bubbling hot pot filled with a broth (you choose the level of spiciness), meat (seafood, chicken, beef), tofu and vegetables. To top it off, you'll crack and egg into the mix.
To go with it you'll get a ton of banchan (small side dishes) as well as a side of rice.
If all that's not enough to entice you to go, Anthony Bourdain went here on his show Part's Unknown.
Korean BBQ is obvious for the layman (no offense to the other Trippy answers), but Soon Du Bu or Soon Tofu is more of an adventure. It's a boiling hot culdren of amazing spices, broth and protien/veg/tofu of choice. The best happens to be the most obscure -
So Kong Dong: 2716 W Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3737. In the heart of Koreatown, open til 11pm, expect minimal ambiance. Even for the spicy hot lovers, I only recommend medium or hot. Crack the egg, let it boil, don't break the egg until your almost finished. Order as many little sides as you want - free of charge!
I'm wary of publicizing this spot too much but
The Corner Place (길목) on James M. Wood Blvd between Ktown and downtown is OUTRAGEOUSLY tasty. The small cold noodles will easily feed three people couple with the sizzling meat, so delicious.