Our most recent family adventure took us to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Downtown Los Angeles has many interesting places to visit; right adjacent in the downtown area is Olvera Street, China Town, and Little Tokyo. We have visited Olvera Street dozens of times, but we felt we should deviate from our normal pattern and try something new. And I am glad we did!
Parking on a weekend in Little Tokyo was only $4. That was the first thing that made me happy. Upon arrival we began to saunter about trying to find somewhere delicious to eat. There were many noodle houses, sushi restaurants, and other traditional Japanese establishment that serve Udon, curry bowls, Ramen, teriyaki, and tempura. Many places looked delicious, but several were closed until the dinner hour. As we sauntered about we found a little Hibachi Korean grill that appeared to have decently priced lunch specials. Since we were traveling as a family, budget is important! Six adult portions really start to add up.
We were seated immediately and given lemon ice water which was refilled as soon a we gulped it down. Los Angeles , along with much of the rest of the world, has been sweltering. The lunch choices were limited: teriyaki, Korean BBQ, and some Japanese and Korean appetizers. Basically, you just order what meat you want in what style: teriyaki or BBQ. Among the six of us we ordered beef BBQ, pork BBQ, chicken and beef teriyaki, and unagi (eel).
Our lunch came 10-15 minutes later, each order served on a large tray. The lunch special included a huge sizzling platter of meat on a bed of caramelized cabbage, a green salad, steamed greens, sesame oil bean sprouts, a large bowl of rice, and kimchee.
This was the lunch special? Each for about $9.95 a piece? It was more like a lunch feast! Here is a picture of my son’s unagi:
The next twenty minutes or so consisted of us unceremoniously snarfing pretty much everything in front of us. Even my ten year old ate just about everything; she even tried kimchee! My beef was sliced very thinly and had been marinated in a flavorful concoction. The rice was perfect. The kimchee was spiced perfectly–strong and flavorful but not overdone. I loved the sesame flavored crunchy bean sprouts. The food came out piping hot. In addition to the delicious food, the older couple running everything was very kind and friendly.
It has been a long time since I have eaten Korean food. When we lived in Chicago we ate it as often as poor starving grad students could muster, and I had a darling classmate who was Korean and would bring me delicious dishes to try on occasion. I will admit Korean food is hard to come by in Idaho. So believe me, this little family owned restaurant will be on our “must return” and “eat lots more” lists. Here is the info:
Korean Kitchen Hibachi BBQ
135 Japanese Village Plaza Mall
Los Angeles 90012
What Korean food have you tried or what restaurants do you like?