The Pearl’s Guide to the Tastiest Korean BBQ
LA’s Koreatown has become synonymous with BBQ. And lucky residents of The Pearl can barely walk out the door without being seduced by the enticing aromas and exotic ingredients of the best Korean BBQ restaurants outside of Seoul. We’ve smoked out some of our favorites, from sleek urban eateries to traditional grills, and all-you-can-eat feasts. Feel like playing grill master at home? Take a cue from The Pearl’s very own KBBQ – two BBQ counter tops overlooking the pool deck, conveniently located near the Club Room for easy access and amazing views.
The Pearl’s List of Korean BBQ Faves
Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong 3465 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong was ranked one of “101 best restaurants” by food critic Jonathan Gold and named as one of the “99 Essential Restaurants” in 2013 and 2016 by LA Weekly. The name “Baekjeong” comes from the Korean word for ‘butcher,” and the restaurant prides itself on serving premium beef and pork cuts cooked before your eyes on signature tabletop grills. The restaurant is filled with traditional posters and furniture to create a unique ambience where customers can experience the Korean food culture, not only in their taste buds, but with all of their senses.
Quarters Korean BBQ 3465 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
Situated in the historic Chapman Plaza, Quarters is a full-service Korean BBQ restaurant with an inventive menu designed to grab your palate’s attention. Diners are encouraged to taste a wide array of dishes by ordering quarter-pound portions of meat or tapas off the menu. (Quarters derives its name from the term quarter-pounder.) Whether it’s classic Galbi Beef or the Spicy Back Rib Fondue, Quarters has something for everyone, and is sure to delight those who want a true Korean BBQ experience, or just grab a drink to hang out.
Park’s Barbeque 955 S Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006
Located in the heart of LA’s Koreatown, Park’s BBQ is widely regarded as the finest authentic Korean BBQ restaurant in Southern California. Chef Jenee Kim was born in Seoul Korea and graduated from Seoul Women’s College with a degree in Culinary Science. After moving to Los Angeles with her two children in 2000, Chef Jenee opened the acclaimed Park’s BBQ, marrying traditional Korean cuisine with her inventive view on flavors. With its commitment to the highest quality ingredients, Park’s has earned numerous awards and has been featured in countless media.
Genwa Korean BBQ 5115 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036
Genwa is a traditional Korean BBQ restaurant known for its high quality meats and plethora of extensively curated banchans. Genwa has been acknowledged as one of the best and truest Korean BBQ experiences in Los Angeles. With its premium meat and seafood choices, you’ll never be disappointed when you choose Genwa for special occasions. Order one of the set courses, all of which come with one or more cooked items like japchae (stir-fried potato-based glass noodles), soondubu, or bibimbap.
Sun Ha Jang 4032 W Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019
Get your ducks in a row! This unassuming BBQ joint in an easy-to-miss strip mall specializes in a duck-only menu, grilled at your table. Start with unmarinated slices of duck, then move on to spicy slivers of shimmering meat, finishing with kimchi fried rice made with charred bits of duck oozing with copious duck fat. The finale is a Korean duck “paella,” with crispy rice on the edges. Now that’s something to quack about!
Daedo Sikdang 4001 W 6th St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
An offshoot of a beloved ribeye steakhouse in Korea with a storied history, this high-end barbecue spot proudly serves Certified Angus Beef Prime, specially selected to be of the highest quality, amazingly tender, incredibly juicy, and full of flavor. Daedo Sikdang offers a variety of cuts served tableside with precision. Complement your meal with a selection of Signature cocktails and artisanal Soju. Daedo Sikdang has received accolades from KTLA 5, Eater, Los Angeles Magazine, Time Out Los Angeles, and more.
Chosun Galbee 3330 W Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90019
One of LA’s longest running Korean barbecue restaurants, Chosun Galbee is a unique and sumptuous dining experience nestled in the heart of KTown. Serving a range of authentic Korean dishes, the menu includes Angus prime sirloin steaks, beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and noodle soup, as well as crab, pan-fried fish, black codfish, and prime rib. Chosun Galbee offers a garden-like open-air dining area and indoor dining.
Jeong Yuk Jeom 621 S Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005
The name Jeong Yuk Jeom comes from jeongyukjeom, which means butcher shop in Korean. Indeed, Jeong Yuk Jeom specializes in hand-selected, premium dry aged meats, a process for beef designed primarily to intensify flavor, with a secondary benefit of promoting tenderness. The flavor development is shaped by a reduction in moisture, which correlates to a concentration of flavor. If you want to go beyond meat, the menu is rounded out by Korean staples such as crisp seafood pancake, soft tofu stew, short rib soup, and banchan (small side dishes served along with cooked rice).
Ten-Raku 4177 W 3rd St. Los Angeles, CA 90020
Located in the heart of Koreatown, Ten-Raku was listed as one of 2015’s “Top 15 Korean BBQ restaurants to try right now” by LA Eater and “The 14 Must-Try” Korean BBQ Joints in LA Magazine in 2017. Although largely known for their selection of quality meats, such Kobe style premium short ribs, USDA Prime short ribs, and USDA prime skirt steak, you’ll also find dishes such as Nakji Bokkeum (spicy marinated octopus with assorted vegetables in hot pot), Mul Nengmyun (cold noodle soup), and traditional Korean stews such as Kimchi Jjigae (kimchi stew), Doenjang Jjigae (Korean-style spicy miso soup), and Galbi Tang (short rib soup).
Mapo Galbi 1008 S St Andrews Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90019
Mapo Galbi specializes in dak galbi, a kind of spicy Korean stir-fried chicken. Tender chicken thighs are cut into small pieces and grilled in a large pan, along with cabbage, rice cakes, carrots, and plenty of gochujang sauce, a fermented Korean chili paste made from glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and red chili pepper flakes. The whole pan simmers and reduces over time, and the dish is finished with rice land toasted seaweed, creating a delicious, crusty bottom layer.
Photo #1: Chosun Galbee
Photo #2: Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong
Photo #3: Quarters Korean BBQ
Photo #4: Park’s Barbeque
Photo #5: Genwa Korean BBQ
Photo #6: Sun Ha Jang
Photo #7: Daedo Sikdang
Photo #8: Chosun Galbee
Photo #9: Jeong Yuk Jeom
Photo #10: Ten-Raku
Photo #11: Mapo Galbi