We’ve Uncovered All Of Koreatown’s Hidden (Yummy!) Gems

Foodies have been flocking to Koreatown in droves over the past few years, anointing it L.A.'s newest culinary mecca. And why not? Smokey barbecue joints, the divey-est dives, and a bit of the gastro new wave all call the cool K-Town home. It's an exciting time to dine in the neighborhood, where old and new mingle, and ancient hole-in-the-wall spots stand stalwart next to the new up-and-comers. So, whether you need a cold glass of soju or a perfectly tender macaron, we have you covered. Here's the ultimate rundown of where to go in this Mid-Wilshire historic enclave!
Photo Via Soowan Galbi.
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If duck fat fries and a pint of the Bruery's Mischief sound like a great night to you, then this gastropub nestled in the heart of K-town will become your new go-to. Wood-paneled walls and a cozy, intimate vibe make this a on-point spot to meet up with friends or grab a bite after work.
Beer Belly, 532 South Western Ave (between West 5th and West 6th streets); 213-387-2337.

Photo: Via Beer Belly.
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A cold glass of shoju or Hite awaits you just past the North Korea-inspired entrance to Dan Sung Sa—and "dive-y" barely scratches the surface of this old-school spot. Elderly ladies busy themselves with the grill in the center of the bar, prepping skewers of rice cakes, or chicken with an atomically spicy sauce. Make sure to load up on Korean pancakes to balance out the heat!
Dan Sung Sa, 3317 West 6th Street (between South Catalina and South Berendo streets); 213-487-9100.

Photo: Via Dang Sung Sa.
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Intelligentsia beans and expert baristas are a foolproof combination, and Bourbon St. Cafe delivers on not only delicious coffee, but a charming ambience to match. Try Thursday nights for live jazz and a green tea latte, or if you're feeling under-caffeinated, order a Fat Americano (a shot of espresso plus Coca Cola).
Bourbon St. Cafe, 698 South Vermont Avenue (between West 7th Street and Wilshire Boulevard); 213-388-7888.

Photo Via Bourbon St. Cafe.
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Yeah, yeah, the speakeasy fad has come and gone in L.A., but R Bar has enough divey-ness to pull off a secret password. Plus, with karaoke and trivia nights during the week, there are more fun reasons to stop by than the strong drinks.
R Bar, 3331 West 8th Street (at Irolo Street); 213-387-7227.

Photo: Via R Bar.
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When it's cold outside, sometimes you can't help but get into a soup mood. A bowl of the Gamja Tang, a scarlet red mixure, cradles fall-off-the-bone pork neck, and is spicy, hearty, and just…yum. Add an order of the spicy pork ribs, and you will be in gastro heaven.
Hamjipark, 3407 West 6th Street (between South Catalina Street and South Kenmore Avenue); 213-365-8773.

Photo: Via Hamjipark.
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These affordable macarons in a variety of exotic flavors will keep you nibbling for a long time. Royal Milk Tea? Lavender? Shinsan Sea Salt? All are wonderful, not too sweet, and perfectly tender, but pistachio remains a favorite. And, don't forget to check out the delicious ice box cookies, little shortbreads sandwiching fresh buttercream and served chilled.
12 Centimeter, 429 North Western Avenue. Suite 5 (between Rosewood and Elmwood avenues); 323- 871-8393.

Photo: Via 12 Centimeter.
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Is your inner carnivore growling? Then get to this smokey, savory, absolutely delicious Korean BBQ joint stat! With generous portions (the side dishes are meals to themselves), and Soo Won Wang Galbi, a tender marinated beef, this resto is to live for. If you've already had your fill of BBQ, go for the Galbi Tang, a rich and sumptuous short rib soup.
Soowon Galbi KBBQ Restaurant, 856 South Vermont Avenue, Suite C (at West 9th Street); 213-365-9292.

Photo Via Soowan Galbi.