Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Food

Recession Obsession: No-Prep Korean Dinner

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


Here Squiddy, Squiddy...
The Official Recession has enveloped us for fifteen official months. It’s still no reason we can’t enjoy life. This is LA -- we have a ton of inexpensive options! A Recession Obsession is somewhere fantastic, whether times are good or not, because it's that damn good. We last loved on Peruvian-style chicken and Leimert Park's Papa West. Today, we...

I once heard that Los Angeles has more Koreans than anywhere outside of Korea. I regurgitated that fact so many times that one might assume I donated years to such research. Not true. But I have been lost in K*town many times. It seems like a really big place, and there are clearly a great many Korean people. It's during these times when I marvel at all of the places to eat. (We’ve been before.)

Koreatown has some seriously wonderful culinary options. Price-wise, the grub ranges from the posh Korean barbecue joints (best left for expense accounts) to the low-cost markets devoid of tourists. At most of these markets, a couple can take home a feast for about $10. Good news. There’s no cooking required.

Support for LAist comes from

Taking up a full block of Western Ave is the California Market. There’s a bazaar in the parking lot, an adjacent taco truck (which makes a mean burrito,) and an outdoor Korean rice pancake stand (they’re $1 each, sweet as hell, and wonderful.) Let's go inside.

The Grub

Walk to the back of the store and you’ll find the pre-made, ready-to-go food items. I hope you like spicy food, because most of it is. A multitude of types, and sizes, of kim chi is this section's cornerstone. Discover something new, or go with a traditional favorite.

There is a lot of seafood too -- cooked mackerel, cooked cod, seasoned crab, and of course, squid. Throw in some mungbean pancakes and you’ve got a party. Well, maybe not a party, but good times.

Head home and enjoy your cheap, good Korean food with another. With the unemployment rate in Los Angeles now a staggering 20% (allegedly), you can’t afford the restaurant-version of this same grub.

Photos by Caleb Bacon for LAist

  • California Market | Koreatown | 450 S. Western Ave | Los Angeles 90020
  • * (213) 368-1410 | Open daily 7 a.m. ‘til 2 a.m.

Have you been to the California Market? Comment below!