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Neighborhood Watch: The Koreatown Edition

Koreatown is one of the most dynamic cultural enclaves in Los Angeles, which—if you’re behind the notion that LA is the new cultural capital of the US—is really saying something. From foodie destinations to day spas, K-town is home to some of the city’s most alluring hidden gems. In the spirit of all things bespoke, LAC editors assembled a tidy edit of our favorite spots between Western and Vermont. Take a day off, why don’t you?


Best Authentic Mexican

Guelaguatza | 3014 West Olympic Boulevard

Great Mexican food can be found in nearly every LA neighborhood—even Koreatown. Just ask Jonathan Gold. The Pulitzer Prize-winning LA Times food critic calls K-town’s Guelaguatza “the best Oaxacan restaurant in the country.” The red-orange mole sanctuary located at the intersection of Olympic and Irolo boasts the most authentic Mexican fare in town with dishes like grilled cactus and sautéed grasshoppers, grilled goat, Especial de Carnes, tlayudas, life-changing mole options, and you guessed it, an epic mezcal bar.

Best Place to Unplug

Aroma Spa and Sports | 3680 Wilshire Boulevard

Shiatsu massage, rigorous body scrubs, cryo-thermo soothing…and a driving range? There’s something for everyone at Aroma Spa and Sports on Wilshire. The full-service spa and 150-yard driving range is chock-full of leisurely options, making it the perfect local getaway for folks looking to disconnect for the day. Book a spa appointment and enjoy complimentary drinks, hot baths, and traditional Korean body scrub, or head over to the golf range’s third floor and indulge in their healthy juice bar and breathtaking scenery.

Hippest Variety

The Line Hotel | 3515 Wilshire Boulevard

You’ve heard the hype, but sneaking away to The Line Hotel for an overnight trip, dinner, or even just an afternoon, is a guaranteed treat. Not only is the Brutalist lobby an IRL mid-century modern Pinterest board, famed chef Roy Choi’s critically acclaimed dining program—POT, POT Café, POT Lobby Bar, and the greenhouse-inspired, veggie-centric Commissary—is a well-rounded medley of culinary bliss. And if you’re lucky enough to book a staycation at The Line, expect some of the best décor and city views in town.

The Best Dive

R Bar | 3331 W 8th Street 

You aren’t a true Angeleno if you haven’t spent a dark night inside the R Bar. Marked only by an “R” out
front, the Koreatown speakeasy is a true hidden
gem, requiring a password to gain access (check their social media). Once inside, you’ll be treated to one of the best dives in the city: a solid beer list, stiff cocktails, intimate vibes, and a consistently interesting crowd to boot. Known for its great live music, stellar karaoke, and generous happy hour menu (offered 7 days a week), R Bar recently started serving brunch Wednesday-Friday. Pro trip: try The Triathlete— peanut butter, applewood smoked bacon, bananas, and a scrambled egg topped with maple syrup.


Best Noodles

Western Doma Noodles | 429 N. Western Avenue 

Sure, K-Town is not without ramen and pho offerings, but Western Doma Noodles is home to one of the best noodle menus in LA. Tucked away in a strip mall, the banchan staple is owned and operated by the same woman who does all the cooking and serving. If it’s greens you’re craving, we suggest the No. 25 on their main menu. A separate menu offers a variety of noodle options that aren’t necessary soup-inspired, or even hot. The soybean soup is both delicious and filling—one of the healthiest options around. If you’re on the hunt for something unique, try the chilled potato starch noodles, which are made without flour and covered with chopped lettuce and cucumbers, and topped with sesame seeds and a hard-boiled egg. Want more spice? Pass the kimchi.


k2la rooftop deck koreatown

K2LA | 688 S. Berendo Street

Without a doubt, one of the best parts about posting up in Koreatown is the neighborhood’s stunning views. And with the rise (literally!) of luxury communities in the area, residents are able to score some bang for their buck. Located in the heart of K-Town, K2LA offers some of the best scenery around well as a ton of walkability, access to 24-7 entertainment, and epic amenities. Head to their #LiveK2LA Sneak Peek event on October 15th and catch a free yoga class on the roof deck 4-5pm, drop by the fresh juice & snack bar, enjoy a chair massage, meet local vendors, and tour the notable luxuries of Koreatown’s premiere VIP units.   


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