Anyone that lives in LA knows there are hundreds of Korean BBQ restaurants crammed into Koreatown’s 3 mile radius.
As much as it pains me to say this, I’ll never visit them all. No one could. And if they have, I HATE them.
So, I spend my time trolling top 10 lists, visiting only the most famous/popular spots. Probably missing out on a world of culinary opportunities.
I’ve eaten at so many restaurants in my time in LA, I deserve a medal. Not sure for what…biggest glutton? Resident who has invested the most money into the city’s restaurant community?
Soowon is always on the Top 10 lists.
High quality meat, upscale setting, great service (that’s often a rarity) and a nice selection of banchan (side dishes)
I have a love/hate relationship with banchan.
Banchan are little white bowls of free Korean appetizers. Every Korean BBQ place has them. They slightly vary from place to place, but there are many items that are pickled, at least one type of kimchi and always a potato salad.
Honestly, I consider the side dishes just part of the table decoration and just focus the meat and the sauces/marinades and rice paper or daikon radish slices to wrap said meat in.
It appears only the nicer places serve the daikon radish slices but if you’re on a low carb kick, that’s the way to go.
I could never properly review Korean BBQ. I never stray from the same few cuts of beef (Galbi, Bulgogi, Kkot Sal) never order anything unusual or different and rarely order anything from the other parts of the menu.
Sorry folks, I’m not going to eat things I find revolting just for your viewing pleasure. I just don’t care for you that much. Kidding, I love all of you. Deeply. And yes, in THAT way.
Soowon’s Kkot Sal (boneless short ribs) are not as tasty as Park’s BBQ but they are still quite excellent. Better than their Galbi specialty.
I didn’t love the grill, too much of the fat falls through and the meat ends up dryer.
The service was amazing, someone was always there cooking our meat or asking if we wanted more sides.
Often you have to beg for more sides and are made to feel shame for it.
Here, they’re happy to do it.
856 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Even on a blustery, Tuesday night, with no line, we still had to wait 20 minutes for a table.
Real wood charcoals
Banchan – Side Dishes
Beautifully marbled sliced beef rib eye.
Soo Won Wang Galbi
Our house speciality. Large beef short ribs in our signature marinade.
“Do NOT post that picture on your blog”