Going out to Korean BBQ is a surprisingly daunting task. If you're not a Korean BBQ or KTown expert, it sometimes seems like you could just throw a dart at a Yelp review to choose where to eat. There are about a million (this is definitely a fact) BBQ spots in Koreatown, and with some of them having been around forever, you honestly can't tell which places are good or bad until you actually sit down to eat. K-Town is one of those places in LA where you stumble into the smallest hole-in-the-wall that looks like it was the first restaurant in LA, and it turns out to be the best Korean BBQ you've had (I find this is similar to sushi in certain parts of the valley). But we're trying to make that a bit easier for you. To kick off our new Neighborhood Guides (woot woot), we're putting together a BBQ guide for K-Town, selecting our 3 favorite spots.
1. Dong Il Jang
The definition of old school Korean BBQ, Dong Il Jang has been around since 1978, and still maintains its original redwood paneling and vinyl booths. The waitresses are dressed like they work in a 1950's diner, but none of this takes away from the excellent food. Slightly higher end than your average K-Town BBQ spot, the food is really high-quality (and the added butter on the meat doesn't hurt). Don't trust us? The restaurant was even featured on an episode of Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain.
2. OO Kook
A K-Town staple since it opened in 2010, Oo Kook specializes in a high-quality version of the All-You-Can-Eat variety of Korean BBQ. Unlike some of the older spots in the neighborhood, OO Kook has a spacious, nicely designed interior, and always has a line out the door. OO Kook is the perfect spot for a night out with a group of friends, and its fun cuts (like beef belly and octopus) make it suitable for both foodies and Korean BBQ newbies alike.
3. Soot Bull Jeep
One of our favorite spots that we keep coming back to, Soot Bull Jeep serves high-quality cuts in a smokey, low-key, intimate atmosphere. We love all of the variety of meats, and we also love that we can usually walk in on a Friday night without a crazy wait. The banchan, salads, and noodle dishes are all lovely accoutrements for those that aren't as carnivorous, but definitely come here for the meat!