With a history that spans over a century, the Michelin guide is globally acclaimed for its star-system, but what’s the difference between a restaurant having a Michelin star and a restaurant being recommended in the Michelin Guide? To receive a Michelin star, there are five areas that are judged: quality of ingredients, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in the cuisine, value for money, and consistency. On the other hand, establishments included in the Michelin Guide may not have stars, but instead have other Michelin symbols acting as a culinary guide.
Michelin accolades or not, food is subjective, but if you trust the word of those behind the judgment of what gets this kind of recognition, you need to make your way to Koreatown and get your seat at the table at these places.
See more LA restaurants in the Michelin Guide here.
4001 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
Soban translates to a small portable table that is traditionally used in Korea without chairs for a more communal and intimate dining experience. Amid the countless Korean restaurants you’ll find tucked in Koreatown, Soban shows out for its banchan. Even the Parasite cast can attest to it since they had partied here after the Oscars last year. Eat like the Oscar award-winning cast with a table set with galbi jjim (braised short ribs), eundaegu jorim (braised spicy black cod), sautéed eggplant, and more.
3330 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
In Koreatown, you’ll find restaurants that have long waits, but are worth every minute because of the food. Chosun Galbee is one of those restaurants. Not only do the servers wear traditional garments to heighten the classic feel in an upscale modern setting, but their extensive menu including the Galbee junullk which are the short ribs prepared with their own house “secret” soy sauce, seared in front of you with onions and mushrooms.
Dha Rae Oak
1106 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90006
5 words—duck roasted in clay pot. This is not a game of duck duck goose, it’s the real deal. You even have to order it at least a day in advance because this signature platter requires a bit of time. This delicacy is stuffed with chestnuts, sweet potatoes, rice and herbs, then wrapped and roasted for hours, and served with a spicy dipping sauce and seasoned salt accompanied by a light duck broth. Couldn’t plan ahead in time? You can still indulge in their smoked duck and other specialties.
Jeong Yuk Jeom
621 S. Western Ave., Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90005
With a name that stands for the Korean word for “butcher,” it’s no surprise that this KBBQ spot serves only the most premium beef, specifically hand-selected dry and wet aged meat. Come for their traditional dishes, like maybe their seafood pancake or marinated galbi, but if you want a more worthwhile experience, order the tomahawk, and bring one or two people to help you get through it.