When you think of Los Angeles, you probably think of sprawling skyscrapers, Hollywood fame, and opportunity.
While these features are certainly integral parts of LA culture, there’s more to the city than you might realize. LA is also home to a huge number of multicultural mini-cities – one of the most noteworthy of which is Koreatown.
Koreatown’s pretty big, and it can be tough to see the best parts of it in a day. Tough, but not impossible. In this article, we’ll tell you how to get the most out of Koreatown in a single day.
Getting Started – In the Morning
If you don’t mind splitting your morning into a couple of different stops, you’ll get the best coffee and baked goods in Koreatown.
Nestled between two Starbucks is the much-less-imposing Cafe Demitasse, known for its Kyoto Iced Coffees and cold brews. These will cost you about the same or less than a coffee at Starbucks. For the price, though, you’ll get an unforgettable atmosphere and a much more memorable treat.
Next, head on down to Brian Kito’s confectionary, Fugetsu-Do, for some baked goods that you won’t fuget about.
The Adventure Begins – Late Morning & Early Afternoon
Once you’re filled with caffeinated Korean beverages and pastries, you can really get started.
One of the most important cultural stops in Koreatown is the Japanese-American National Museum, which features World War II memorabilia, a look into the history of the difficulties faced by Asians immigrating to America, and much more.
Next, get ready for a bit of suspense. One of the most exciting and unforgettable parts of Koreatown is the Real Escape Game.
In the game, you play a character living in a suspense novel. You’re locked in a building, and your goal is to unearth clues and information about your predicament until you’re finally able to break free. (It’s harder than it sounds – less than 20% of players make it out before their time’s up!)
Snacks, Shopping & Cinema – Afternoon & Early Evening
The Koreatown Plaza, which has a fascinating history (it was used as a watchtower by the Koreans during the LA riots) now boasts an awesome array of shopping.
In the basement, check out the International Food Court for a wide variety of Korean foods. If you’re aching for other east-Asian food, you can also get Pho and Japanese food here.
A few blocks away, you can check out CGV Cinemas. If you’ve never feasted upon the juicy storyline and cinematics of a Korean movie, there’s never a better time to start than now.
Winding Down (or Winding Up) – Evening & Night
Sawtelle Boulevard is a great place to start your evening. The street is decorated with Korean and other east-Asian businesses (though it’s not technically a part of Koreatown).
In addition to the fantastic food that can be found here, there are some great night-life options like Max Karaoke Studio. This place is pretty mild but can be a good place to start off a rowdy evening.
Head back to Koreatown when you really want to get your night started. Venues like La Ddong Ggo are a great place to sip soju or have a beer. There are tons of bars in Koreatown where you can join locals and ex-pats in having a night on the town.
Again, there’s more to LA than the features everyone knows about. For a truly unique and memorable experience, pay Koreatown a visit.