photo credit: Jakob Layman
EMC Seafood And Raw Bar
People tend to get weird about seafood restaurants. Either they assume they’re all either sushi bars with intimidating menus, cheesy themed chains in mall parking lots, $400 meals of foam, or the stuffy, white-tableclothed graveyards from childhood with nightly specials including overcooked cod and secondhand cigarette smoke. EMC Raw bar, on the other hand, is a lively Ktown spot that shatters all preconceived notions of what a seafood restaurant can be.
Located on the ground floor of a mall in Koreatown, EMC is, above all else, a hell of a good time. It has a big, modern feel, flat screen TVs on the wall playing soccer, and a very solid beer and cocktail list. So, it’s a sports bar? Hardly. Take a look around and you’ll spot everything from a handsy first date in the corner to a family of four enjoying a rare night out of the house, to a big group of friends downing sake like it’s mineral water. Oh, and The Spice Girls are blasting over the soundsystem. It’s weird and cool and entirely different than anything else you’ll find in LA. And the menu is just as wonderful.
Anyone who’s attempted to plan a group outing to a seafood restaurant knows people get pretty particularly about their fish. But at EMC, the menu is so varied that if somebody doesn’t walk out happy, it’s their own fault. Want to go all-in on some oysters and salmon carpaccio? Play it closer to home with a lobster roll and fish tacos? You can go either way, because all of it is good. There’s also a decent meat section, and a garlic noodle you shouldn’t be embarrassed about ordering. The best thing on the menu, however, is the creamy uni pasta, and you simply can’t leave here without ordering it for the table and then actually just eating all yourself.
EMC is one of those rare casual restaurants that’s good for everything and everyone’s price point, but also interesting and fun. The fact they’re serving very solid seafood is almost just a bonus. So skip your boring group hang spot this week and go to EMC for a meal you’ll actually remember. Secondhand smoke not required.
This is the best thing on the menu. Uni is very polarizing, but this dish will convert just about anyone. It’s rich, creamy, and everything you want after a long week.
Mini Lobster Roll
Lobster rolls are expensive in LA, and most of the time, not worth it. EMC’s is worth it. Massive chunks of lobster with very little butter and no distracting toppings to cover anything up. And at $13, it’s a steal.
Get some for the table. Not only because they’re good, but also because every day from 4 - 7pm and 10pm - close, they’re a dollar each.
Clams In Abalone Broth
Basically just a big bowl of clams, this is an ideal early order item when everybody’s hungry and just needs to get their hands on something.
EMC has a bunch of different seafood carpaccios, but the salmon is our favorite. Topped with ponzu sauce and truffle, it’s light but fantastic.
Not the best tuna tartare we’ve ever had, but you need to order this simply for those wonton chips on the side. We’ll take these in an industrial-sized bag to-go, please.