Instead of waxing poetic for a million lines and showing off our B.A. in English, we’re going to keep things simple — LA is overflowing with quality Korean BBQ. All it takes is one quick trip down 6th St. to realize that. And with the number of incredible places, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be hard to know where to head first. That’s what we’re here for. Whether you’re looking for hard-to-find meats, something upscale, straight seafood, or a classic, smoke-filled atmosphere — but want to be outside and grilling — here are 7 spots where you can eat KBBQ outside.
These KBBQ spots are open for patio dining without the option to grill meats yourself, but are still worth checking out:
This is the gold standard of Korean BBQ in LA. While Parks BBQ might not have the party-like atmosphere of other nearby spots, and you’re definitely going to spend some money here, the quality of meat simply cannot be topped. Make sure to concentrate on the combo platters (listed as P1-P3), so you’ll get a meaty parade of all the bulgogi, short rib, ribeye, and banchan your heart could possibly desire. They’re currently open for patio dining, with an outdoor tent complete with gleaming, silver grills. Call (213) 380-1717 to make a reservation.
Unlike when you eat at Park’s BBQ, the game plan at this spot on 8th St. is to skip the combo platters and instead order a la carte. From paper-thin sliced beef brisket to thick cuts of kalbi and beef tartar, make sure to focus on the marinated beef options and then add in any pork dish that catches your eye. And although it might be hard, do try your best to not fill up on the banchan, like refreshing pickles and spicy fishcakes that are some of the best in the neighborhood. You’re going to want to save room for all that bulgogi, pork jowl, and beef ribeye. Magal BBQ’s signature circular grills are available for outdoor dining - call (213) 383-1909 for more details.
If you’re looking for peaceful views and one of the most unique outdoor dining experiences in their city, you’re in luck — Chosun Galbee has reopened its jungle-like patio. Large, granite tables outfitted with metal grills are surrounded by koi ponds and a literal forest of trees — a situation so peaceful and beautiful, you might just forget the fact that you haven’t acted like a normal person in public for close to a year. Make sure to focus on the excellent meat selection here — specifically lean slices of beef tongue, prime brisket cuts, and of course, the namesake chosun galbee. Call (323) 734-3330 to make a reservation.
You won’t find any bulgogi or brisket at this KBBQ spot — Jae Bu Do is all about seafood. And between the high-quality abalone, sea eel, and charcoaled hagfish, their menu is packed with so much fish and shellfish that you could essentially order the entire Monterey Bay Aquarium with just one visit. Their outdoor charcoal grills (and plenty of socially-distanced tables) are ready for all the shrimp, clams, and whole fish you can handle.
This spot in the San Gabriel Valley is the king of All You Can Eat — they do three tiers of AYCE, and they don’t skimp on any of the good stuff. That means as much dry-aged ribeye and prime short rib as you can handle, plus fantastic spicy pork belly, brisket, bulgogi, shrimp, and octopus, and sides that definitely don’t feel like afterthoughts. The trade-off is that prices tend to be a bit higher than some of the other spots on this guide (their top-of-the-line “Diamond” deal is $54). Still, TK92 is an equally good option for a la carte - we love the ribeye and marinated short rib. Plus, you get an excellent ice cream sandwich at the end of your meal… and that’s pure class. TaeKwon 92 is currently open for patio dining, call (626) 782-7496 for details.
Soowon Galbi is a rare, beautiful place where you’ll find short wait times, a high-energy atmosphere, and great platters of thinly-sliced beef tongue, sam gyup sal, and premium pork jowl — all of which can be eaten off their shining silver outdoor grills. There are some great combinations on the menu, the best one being Combo B, which has enough beef and pork to feed four (even if the menu only says two).
This legendary spot right on 6th St. has long been a mecca for drunk college kids, rowdy birthday parties, and every other big-group gathering in the neighborhood. And for that reason alone, wait times in pre-pandemic times could go longer than Gone With The Wind. Be warned that the lines here still aren’t short, but they’ve reopened for outdoor grilling, and their massive meat and pork combo platters make any wait worth it.