The 18 Best Korean BBQ Restaurants In Los Angeles guide image


The 18 Best Korean BBQ Restaurants In Los Angeles

LA has one of the most incredible KBBQ scenes in the world—here are the top spots.

All it takes is one quick trip down 6th Street in Koreatown to confirm that LA is overflowing with quality Korean BBQ. But if you don't know what you're doing, finding the perfect restaurant to match your KBBQ mood can be tricky. This guide has options ranging from upscale spots to smoke-filled party atmospheres, with details about what to order at each restaurant. Behold, these are our 18 favorite spots for Korean BBQ in Los Angeles.



As you've probably guessed by now, Pigya in Koreatown is big on pork. It's also big on feeding you to the point where you'll contemplate asking a friend for a piggyback ride out of the restaurant. Dinners here are all about fatty pork cheek and brick-sized pork belly that caramelizes on the grill. We like to order the $98 pork gyu combo, which feeds four people and comes with both aforementioned dishes as well as beef short rib and a silky, yuzu-drenched wagyu carpaccio. The staff handles the grilling, so you can chill, drink beer, and take in the room of loud friend groups and secondhand bacon smoke (also known as the air diffuser of our dreams). And just when you think you've hit your wall, perfect kimchi fried rice and a pot of spicy hangover ramen will enter the chat.

There are plenty of high-end KBBQ spots in LA, but AB Steak works especially well for anyone who appreciates flashy meals and being doted on by a personal steak concierge. With giant booths and golden chandeliers, AB Steak looks like it belongs on the Vegas Strip. (In reality, it sits on the ground floor of the Beverly Center, next to the valet entrance on Third Street.) Expect Hennessy cocktails with bubbles on the rims, smokeless grill tops, and the option to add truffles by the gram. The steak, as you might guess, is pricey and high quality. Most of the cuts are aged in-house, with options ranging from ribeye and sirloin to wagyu brisket and prime boneless short rib. Throw in some kimchi fried rice or japchae to supplement your steak and banchan, and you'll be in good shape for a special occasion group meal.

After years of packed nights at their Buena Park location, King Chang opened a second KBBQ restaurant right in the middle of Koreatown. This place specializes in gopchang—you'll see golden-brown offal served over bowls of udon or sizzling next to a medley of chopped veggies on a steel table grill. If you're looking to streamline your order with a combo, get the $89 beef set that comes with plenty of banchan, gyeranjjim, and three rounds of slightly sweet bulgogi, juicy boneless kalbi, and our favorite of the bunch, the god-tier marinated short ribs. You'll likely have to wait 30-ish minutes for a table on the weekends. But that still makes this a great backup option when you can't get into Ahgassi Gopchang next door (it's been jam-packed since BTS grabbed dinner there in 2022).

Equal parts barbecue spot, drinking den, and informal nightclub, Mun is an upscale Korean steakhouse where you’ll dine on boneless short ribs, beef tartare bibimbap, and kimchi pancakes glued together with molten cheese. The energy here is fork-in-the-socket electric and the menu mixes traditional dishes and inventive takes: thick-cut steaks, truffle shrimp, Wagyu beef brisket, kimchi “bomb” noodles (an ice-cold soup akin to naengmyeon), and cheese fondue. We typically like to balance premium meats (the $200 variety combo serves four people and includes flat-iron steak, honeycomb-cut pork belly, pork jowl, and short ribs) with those fun a la carte items.

Some KBBQ spots function like nightclubs disguised as meat-themed restaurants. But this small Ktown restaurant is great for group dinners that call for a slightly more controlled party. (You know the middle ground we mean: K-Pop bangers playing in the background and neon signs galore, no one throwing up in the bathroom.) We like the $82 beef combo, which comes with an extremely light soybean soup, wagyu brisket that melts, and sweet-marinated short ribs with the marbling of Italian granite. The staff handles the grilling while you eat sides like kimchi fried rice and cool, salty naengmyeon with young radish. If you're like us, you'll ultimately be thinking about the a la carte dishes on the car ride home.

Magal strikes the ideal balance between the rowdiness of Ahgassi Gopchang and the high-end nature of Parks. Plan to skip the combo platters and instead order a la carte at this industrial spot on 8th Street. We’ve found that you get better cuts of meat for the same amount of money. Focus on the marinated beef options and then add in any pork dish that catches your eye. And do your best to not fill up on the banchan—it’s some of our favorite in the neighborhood.

Plain and simple, Parks BBQ is the gold standard of Korean BBQ in Los Angeles. Sure, the place may not have the party-like atmosphere of other nearby spots, and you’re going to spend more here than you might elsewhere in the neighborhood (if you're sharing combos and drinking, we'd guess your meal will cost around $50 or $60 per person). But when it comes to the quality of meat, Parks can’t be topped. Concentrate on the combo platters (listed as P1-P3) and watch as a glorious parade of meats like bulgogi, short rib, ribeye, and all the necessary banchan arriv at your table. Reservations are mandatory, especially on weekends.

Koreatown is not lacking in noisy BBQ spots filled with even noisier groups gathered around the grill, but our favorite is Ahgassi Gopchang. The massive spot on 6th Street is a little complicated to locate (you have to enter through a back parking lot behind a row of commercial buildings), but once you do, you’ll enter into a smoke-filled rager that goes until midnight on weeknights and 1am on weekends. Lines can get long at peak times, but just know that you’re waiting on some of the finest cuts of meat in the neighborhood. The skirt steak, marinated short rib, and large intestine are all must-orders.

The moment you walk into Sun Ha Jang, you’ll be confronted with countless photos of ducks. It’s not because they’re really into Aflac—duck is pretty much the only thing they serve here. Our favorite is the sliced breast, brought to your table and then cooked to order and dished out by an extremely strict server. You eat it with some radish, onion, and lettuce, and once it’s all gone—and you’re already full—they’ll bring over a huge plate of rice, which they cook with kimchi in the rendered duck fat. You’ll go home extremely full on duck, which is one of the best kinds of full.

With granite tabletops, koi ponds, and a huge outdoor patio that feels like you’re in a rainforest, Chosun Galbee is one of the more upscale KBBQ restaurants in all of Koreatown. Yes, that means prices are higher, but it also means really good meat and a space where you could bring your boss or a big deal client. Plus, they have one of the only full bars in the area, which is ideal if you swore off soju in 2018 after that one weird night. Concentrate on any of their prime combos, and if you’re looking for private dining, that’s available as well.

Not all KBBQ experiences involve giant grills filled with meat. This legendary spot specializes in seafood that’s harder to find on restaurant menus around town, like foil-wrapped croakers and abalone that's still dancing while it sizzles. The seafood at Jae Bu Do tastes notably well-sourced—clams are so fresh they spew out a little ocean water in your mouth when you bite in. And there’s a specific rush that comes with eating hot fish straight off the grill, especially when it's being grilled by the experts and you get to watch.

We like Jeong Yuk Jeom for a couple of reasons. For one, even during peak weekend hours, you can almost always find a table in their massive, two-story space off Western. Secondly, their selection of dry-aged cuts and prime-grade short ribs are both tremendous. If you’re rolling in with a large group, you’ll be tempted to get one of the “Butcher’s Pride” combination platters, but they don’t fully showcase the prime dry-aged beef, so we recommend just ordering a couple of the prime cuts a la carte. Fill out your meal with a few seafood pancakes and you’ll be set.

One of the only barbecue spots in Koreatown that still cooks with charcoal, Soot Bull Jeep specializes in marinated baby back ribs that are sweet, tender, and not too fatty. The old-school grills give the meat a distinct smokiness—as oils and fats drip onto the fire, they sizzle back up into your food, adding another layer of flavor. The spicy pork and beef short ribs are also great, and the banchan spread (especially the bean sprouts) goes well with all the charred meat. Soot Bull Jeep is one of the more laid-back KBBQ restaurants in town, packed with families and neighborhood regulars. Just know that you’re going to walk out smelling like a campfire. Consider this a souvenir.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong took a straightforward premise—unfussy, high-quality KBBQ—and turned it into a mini-chain, complete with its own trademark (yes, they own the phrase “We Meat Again”). Nowadays, you can find Baekjongs in Torrance, Rowland Heights, and Irvine, but when we’re in the mood for massive meat and pork combo platters, we usually head to their flagship location in Koreatown. This rowdy spot on 6th Street (the entrance is through the back parking lot) has long been a home for drunk college kids, birthday parties, and every other kind of big-group gathering. And for that reason alone, wait times often balloon. Stay strong though, because their gorgeous displays of cast-iron prime ribeye and boneless short ribs make the lines worth it. Or, you can just do what we do and walk over to Toe Bang for a few rounds of soju until they call your name.

Short wait times, a party atmosphere, or great food. Usually, when it comes to Korean BBQ, you have to pick two. But Soowon Galbi is that rare place where you can have all three. Come on any random night, and you’ll see people in suits hosting meetings next to UCLA kids having a study break with a few Hite pitchers. Everyone’s having fun, and there are some great combinations. The best deal is Combo B, which easily feeds four people for $160 (even if the menu only says two). The staff grills each course for you, including rolls of foot-long beef ribs marinated with soy and garlic. If you want something heartier than banchan to go with your meats, get the scallion pancake that’s thick, golden brown, and so big it gets sliced like a frittata. 

Jin Ju’s specialty is marinated pork ribs. We're talking hefty slabs marinated in a slick, glossy sauce sweetened with pear juice (it’s a family recipe that’s been passed down through three generations). The owner’s parents opened the first Jin Ju in South Korea and now you can find the same comforting dishes in a Koreatown strip mall. If you see the $89.99 special combo with sirloin on the menu, please opt in. It comes with a big curl of kielbasa and chopped vegetables, all cooked tableside and followed by a kimchi fried rice finish. It’s quite a show. The two sisters who run the place take turns at the grill, carefully dicing and slicing the steak, then sautéing the bell peppers and mushrooms and onions and potatoes until the whole room smells like sizzling fajitas at a Mexican restaurant.

This is the first—and only—US location of Daedo Sikdang, a legendary Seoul steakhouse with an outpost in Koreatown. You’ll find the restaurant in a huge, sleek building on 6th  Street (trust us, there will not be parking) filled with rows of identical light wood tables and glistening metal grills. The menu is short, with a focus on premium cuts like marinated angus beef, dry-aged strips, and the ribeye roll, a super tender cut of alternating layers of lean meat and marbled fat. Things can get carnivorous fast, so we recommend ordering a few sides to go with your meal. Go for the crispy orange kkakdooki fried rice and yolmu cold noodle soup, which comes with thin rice noodles and blocks of ice right in the bowl.

Soh is a Korean BBQ spot in Pasadena with plenty of parking, reservations, and a menu section dedicated entirely to sorbets. Besides all of these perks, the quality of the meat makes Soh stand out (so does its location, frankly). Order one of the combinations, which can easily feed two, four, or six people. These include our two favorite cuts: beef belly—a lesser-seen cut with a buttery texture—and pork jowl that tastes like a slab of cured bacon hot off the grill. If you’re going to add one thing to your meats and banchan, make it the kimchi fried rice topped with bacon and a fried egg.

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photo credit: Krystal Thompson

The 18 Best Korean BBQ Restaurants In Los Angeles guide image