Gamja Bawi is a tiny stall inside the Koreatown Plaza mall, a destination in its own right and a place that feels like you stepped into a time machine and got off somewhere in the early ’80s. Neon signage, light-up elevators, and synchronized fountains - it’s a sensory dreamland that’s only heightened when a steaming pot of Gamja Bawi’s heamul dolsoat bebeembap hits your table. Filled with a variety of fresh seafood ranging from squid to shrimp to giant clams, we absolutely love how the brininess of protein pairs with the sweet and spicy gochujang sauce mixed in. That said, the best part of the meal comes at the end, when you get to scrape off the thin layer of crispy rice that’s been slowly cooking at the bottom of the pot, and mix it with whatever’s left in the bowl. It’s a secret second meal that’s absolutely worth finding room in your stomach for.
Where we've featured it
More spots in KoreatownSee more
The HMS Bounty
The HMS Bounty is not cool, but this nautical-themed dive bar in Koreatown is cheap, lively, and just plain fun.
More Korean spotsSee more
Seongbukdong is a casual restaurant in Koreatown serving one of our favorite bibimbaps in town.
The Prince in Koreatown is one of LA’s oldest bars. It feels like the rich people floor of the Titanic, except it also serves great Korean food.
Suggested by our writers
Sun Nong Dan
This spot on 6th Street is open 24 hours, and is always packed with groups huddled over one of our favorite dishes in Koreatown - their galbi jjim.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more