Though KJ is more on the side of gentrified, circa-1990s Korean food, that’s precisely what makes it great. I can take all my relatives here, including the ones who won’t touch soondae (blood sausage) or gopchang (grilled intestines). If I put a plate of bulgogi or spicy fried pork in front of my cousin, and a donkatsu (fried pork cutlet) or bulgogi kids meal in front of his kid, they’re happy to finish it all. Whenever I bring people here who typically don’t like Korean food, they’re all singing a new tune of how much they love big hearty bowls of galbitang (beef short rib soup) and samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) before I know it. And the banchan is well-done, which is always a marker of how much to love a Korean spot - from crunchy coins of cucumber kimchi to soft-to-the-bite gamja jorim (braised potatoes).
Where we've featured it
More spots in PasadenaSee more
The Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse
The Royce is a fancy steakhouse inside the even fancier Langham Hotel in Pasadena, but it’s food is worth the price tag.
Cluck2Go, despite it’s on-the-go name, is a casual Chinese sit-down restaurant in Pasadena.
Shandong Dumplings in Pasadena serves good noodle dishes, a few great dumplings, and a fantastic scallion pancake.
More Korean spotsSee more
Big Rice Korean Cuisine
Big Rice is a Korean spot in Temple City where you should definitely order some rabbokki.
Stark’s Hot Chicken
Stark’s Hot Chicken in Koreatown combines Nashville and Korean flavors in their chicken sandwiches.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more