Probably the best thing about The South is its food. And what’s even better is when that food leaves The South for the rest of the world. Such is Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, which has made its way to Los Angeles. Of course, some might say Los Angeles is south, but it sure isn’t The South, which make’s Gus’s all the more lovely in it’s little corner adjacent to Koreatown (fine, Crenshaw).
Koreatown is so damn big that the only way you can possibly figure out which restaurants are good is by word of mouth. Thus, my buddy suggested Myung In Dumplings, which is essentially a Korean-ized Chinese dumpling spot right in the heart of Koreatown. I think he found it by watching some TV show, which generally means delicious food and I was hoping the TV would lead me right again.
All you can eat Korean BBQ is one of the greatest things (not just food things) ever created. It’s meaty, it’s flamey and it is interactive-y. Yet, not all KBBQ spots are created equally, with some charging a bit more than others. Oo Kook in Koreatown is one of those places that goes beyond the $20 mark, but I was hoping it would be worth it.
Korean BBQ, in all its meaty glory, is never a bad decision. Nonetheless, some is clearly better than other at certain things. For example, Ham Ji Park (surprisingly in Koreatown) specializes in pork. This should be obvious considering the word “ham” is in the name, but sometimes things are just too obvious, ya know?
While Pittsburgh is not devoid of Korean food, there is no city on earth outside of Korea that serves up Korean food like LA. With that in mind, I made my way to Road to Seoul in Koreatown for a final meal before catching a red-eye back to Pittsburgh. Hey, if I can’t give myself the meat sweats on a flight, why even sleep?
Two parts of LA’s beautiful food scene are its hidden gems and its seemingly effortless connection to its past. Taylor’s Steak House is both of these. Nestled in the heart of Koreatown, Taylor’s opened up in 1953, long before most Los Angelenos had ever heard the word “kimchi.” Yet, through the last 60 years, Taylor’s has endured and maintained an old-timey Hollywood charm.
After the ill-fated sojourn to Koji BBQ Buffet, I was in need of some good Korean BBQ to wash the bad taste out of my mouth. Fortunately, my friends were more than willing to join me and we ended up at Star BBQ in Koreatown, partly because we had heard great things, but also because it was the easiest place to pronounce. Upon arrival the place was empty, which meant we got personal service that meant not only faster meat, but a waitress to help us with the cooking of it.
Once upon a time, Koreatown boasted an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ joint called Manna and long before I had my own meat blog, I made my way to Manna for a protein-fest. The memory of this visit stuck with me as I visited the inferior Manna outpost in the Fox Hills mall. Granted, I wasn’t too disappointed, because you can’t really be disappointed with so much meat, but I knew there was something better out there. By the time I made it back to Manna in Koreatown, it was no longer Manna, but had become Meat, which is a far more appropriate name.
Two of the things I love most in this world are beer and my belly. No, I don’t have a beer belly…much, but when a gastropub in Koreatown called Beer Belly opened up, I figured I had to try it out. I was meeting a group of people, and arrived to find the place packed. And this was not a big place. Like about 8 tables and a few bar stools big, and all of them were loaded. Plus, it was first come, first served, so we got to hang around the tables like vultures surrounding a wounded gazelle. It was the tail end of happy hour, though, so I ordered a beer and hoped a table would clear out soon. Fast forward thirty minutes and we’re still waiting when a woman working the place asks if we’re waiting for a table. Uh, no, lady, we’re just standing here awkwardly for the hell of it. She then proceeded to ask us if we wanted to be on the list. This “list” was new to us, and apparently also new to her, as she told us she had just started it. Well, at least we wouldn’t have to stand awkwardly any longer.
Thanks to @DanJacobs81 for the guest blog. Follow him today!
Meat is a religion, and M Grill in Koreatown is the reason I’m anti-Semitic against vegetarians.
A friend of mine had an e-mailed discount from Yelp.com, and with this firmly entrenched in his soon-to-smell-like-meat hands, I went with him and another friend to the aforementioned all-you-can-eat Brazilian churrascaria. Authentic Brazilian food in K-Town? This I had to see taste.