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New Restaurant Guides Seek to Clear Paths Through Downtown and Koreatown

Korean Restaurant Guide Los Angeles

Korean Restaurant Guide Los AngelesPhoto: The Taste of Korea

This coming Monday, L.A. Downtown News will release it annual restaurant guide to the neighborhood, seeking to charter a clear route into its longstanding icons and recent restaurant explosion. The 60-page guide will be available as a supplement in the paper, featuring over 100 suggestions for brunch, snacks, and a sit-down dinner in the district, while an online version can be found right here starting Monday. Over in Koreatown, where even faithful fans of the engaging dining scene can have trouble distinguishing its great strip mall restaurants from its strip mall law offices, a 200-page guide to Korean food in L.A. is now available at The Korean Cultural Center and through download on The Korean Food Foundation's website. What's inside?

The guide was edited by an intrepid O.G. of L.A.'s eating scene, Barbara Hansen, and written with the help of local bloggers like Fiona Chandra and Javier Cabral.

After eating her way through dozens of restaurants and not gaining a single pound, Hansen says that the resulting guide is more representative than comprehensive, as it leaves out quite a few KTown classics to diversify into a few mentions of Korean restaurants serving Marina del Rey, Buena Park, Garden Grove, Pasadena, and Los Feliz that don't necessarily do things better than they do in Koreatown.

The result still makes a strong case for the diversity, health benefits, and beauty of Korean cuisine found in L.A., with 40 recommendations (Oo-Kook, Soban, Honey Pig, Kobawoo, and Park's are just a few among the restaurants making the cut) bearing striking color photography and easy-to-read, educational summaries of each restaurants' strengths, spelled out in both English and Korean.

In addition, the guide stocks a great illustrated glossary of Korean dishes and food terms in its final pages, making it an essential asset for any recent devotee to Korean food.

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