Where To Get Great Korean BBQ In Los Angeles

The best spots around Los Angeles to have someone grill meat at your table.
Where To Get Great Korean BBQ In Los Angeles image

photo credit: Krystal Thompson

All it takes is one quick trip down 6th Street in Koreatown to confirm that LA is overflowing with quality Korean barbecue. 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 temples of high-end meat to smoke-filled party spots, with details about what to order at each one. Behold, these are our 15 favorite spots for Korean BBQ in Los Angeles.


photo credit: Jakob Layman



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Plain and simple, Park's is the gold standard of Korean barbecue in Los Angeles. Sure, they might not have the party-like atmosphere of other nearby spots, and you’re going to spend some money here, but when it comes to the quality of meat, Park's can’t be topped. The large menu can be overwhelming, but 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 starts arriving at your table. Reservations are mandatory, especially on weekends.

K-Team BBQ in Koreatown comes from the same owners as Park’s, but it fills a different and very useful niche. Here you'll find a premium KBBQ experience where cuts are roughly half the price of Park’s and the ambiance is more lively, without feeling like you're in a smoke-filled nightclub. Focus on the pork cuts from their a la carte menu (there’s beef, too, but you’re here for piggy). The on-top-of-it staff grills marbled pork jowl until it chars around the edges, and slices of pork belly (thick or thin) that render in delicious pools of fat. Meats come with a nice spread for ssam wrapping, including sweet perilla leaf, raw garlic, and spicy soybean paste. Balance the pork onslaught with a bowl of chilled acorn noodles that come in handy halfway through this hearty meal.

As you've probably guessed, 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 after dinner. Meals here involve fatty pork cheek and brick-sized pork belly slabs that caramelize on the grill. Go with the $98 pork gyu combo, which feeds four and comes with the aforementioned cuts, plus beef short rib and a 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. 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.

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— famously name-checked by BTS a few years ago— is a little complicated to locate (you have to enter through a back parking), but once you do, you’ll find a room filled with smoky tabletop grills and clanking soju glasses that goes off until 1am on weekends. Order one of the combo sets (either prime beef and pork, or their signature tripe sampler), then witness banchan arrive in waves and servers handle sizzling meats like surgeons. Finishing the night with the “cheese mountain” fried rice cooked tableside is non-negotiable.

Magal strikes a nice balance between the rowdiness of Ahgassi Gopchang and the high-end steakhouse feel 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—or do actually, it’s some of our favorite in the neighborhood.

Equal parts barbecue spot, drinking den, and informal nightclub, MUN is an upscale Korean steakhouse where you’ll share plates of 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 is a mix of homerun traditional dishes and fun creations: thick-cut steaks, creamy bang bang shrimp, Wagyu beef brisket, kimchi cold noodles, and cheese fondue. Meals should balance premium meats (the “OMG” variety combo serves four people and includes flat-iron steak, honeycomb-cut pork belly, pork jowl, and short ribs) with whimsical a la carte items.

This small Ktown restaurant is great for group dinners that call for controlled party vibes and K-Pop bangers. Nights at Dae Sung Ro feel like drinking beer in a cooler version of your friend's backyard shed (with glowing neon signs and the smell of barbecued fatty brisket rather than old fertilizer). The beef combo is a good deal for the amount of food you'll get, and includes a light soybean soup, wagyu brisket that melts like a snowflake, and sweet-marinated short ribs with the marbling of Italian granite. Plan on ordering the kimchi fried rice and cool, salty naengmyeon with young radish, both a la carte. They're ultimately what you'll be thinking about on the car ride home.

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.

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 serious 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. A meal here means going 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 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 rooms, those are available as well.

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After years of packed nights at their Buena Park location, King Chang opened a second KBBQ restaurant 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 chopped veggies on a steel grill. If you're looking to streamline your order with a combo, the beef set 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 weekends, but that still makes this a great backup option when you don't brave the longer lines at Ahgassi Gopchang next door.

  This fancy KBBQ spot/steakhouse sits on the ground floor of the Beverly Center, and with giant booths and gleaming golden chandeliers, it has all the glamor of a ballroom on the Vegas Strip. Expect smokeless grill tables where servers cook and slice your meat tableside, and cocktails are topped with smoke-filled bubbles. The steak, as you might guess, is of incredible quality and pricey. Fancier cuts are aged in-house, like a giant tomahawk steak, displayed in a window near the entrance. And while the spread of housemade banchan here is solid, get the spicy kimchi fried rice or japchae to round out your meal. Come here for a glitzy meal with people who love top-shelf meat, or for an intimate dining experience with someone who appreciates being doted on by staff.

Not all KBBQ experiences involve grills filled with pork and beef. Enter Jae Bu Do: This legendary spot specializes in grilled seafood dishes that are harder to find on restaurant menus around town, like foil-wrapped croakers and abalone that is still dancing as it sizzles on the grill grates. The seafood at Jae Bu Do tastes notably well-sourced—clams are so fresh they spew out a little ocean water when you bite in. 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. Just be careful not to burn yourself on any hot shells.

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.

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. 

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