The Multiple Faces of Koreatown

March 5, 2016

Koreatown is an iconic and historic district of Los Angeles, more ethnically diverse (only one third is Asian) than the name suggests. With multiple public transit routes running through this area, it’s easy to access without a car. K-town, as it’s referred to, has many different faces, and this semester I’ve had a chance to explore three of them.

Because I often needed random electronic components to complete lab projects for one of my classes, I became good friends with the Radio Shack on Wilshire. They always had the parts I needed, and it was easy to find reasonably priced street parking nearby.

The second face of K-town is undoubtedly the karaoke bar. You can book a room, sing your favorite songs (the lyrics are on the TV screen), and enjoy the background Korean pop videos that create a weird and hilarious backdrop for your singing. This is what a group of us did to celebrate the birthdays of a few of our BME friends. It was a blast as usual. Food and beverages (including alcoholic) are provided and many places check ID.

Last, but not least, my friend, Varsha, and I savored delicious and authentic Korean food on another visit to K-town. Because the lines were too long at the good Korean BBQ places, we decided to try other Korean food, like bibimbap, at Yangji Gamjatang. It was a great decision!

We ate awkwardly and slowly with chopsticks, but laughing at each other was worth the effort. They provided a range of side dishes, called “ban chan,” that are meant to cleanse the palate in between bites. One of my favorites tasted like fermented pineapple with a kick. I asked my Korean friend afterwards and it turns out the dish was actually fermented, spicy radish. Nevertheless, it was yummy!

The restaurant also had many vegetarian options.

Can’t wait to see what I find on my next trip to K-town!

Published on March 5th, 2016

Last updated on August 16th, 2018