It’s Friday night and your significant other is giving you some serious side-eye because you just suggested a romantic dinner of frozen Pop Tarts. You can see the question in their eyes: how did I ever fall in love with this sad lump of forgotten dreams? Luckily for you, we happen to live near a thriving cultural mecca famous for its wide array of amazing restaurants; Koreatown, Los Angeles. Here’s your guide to the perfect date night with your yuh bo in Ktown. (That’s Korean for honey!)
1. Ham Ji Park
For dinner, you can never go wrong with Korean barbecue at Ham Ji Park. Extremely popular with locals, Ham Ji Park is famous for its amazing charboiled and glazed pork ribs.
Its most popular item, the pork spare ribs, is a mouthgasmic combination of sweet and savory-the first bite sings with sweet tanginess, followed by a kick of charred BBQ smokiness and a hearty note of salty flavor. Your lover will re-fall-in-love when you feed them a mind-blowing bite of hot, juicy pork paired with spicy, cool kimchi (fermented vegetable-we promise it’s delicious) from one of the many banchan dishes (small side dishes of food served with rice at the beginning of the meal). This is not your typical candle-lit fare; make sure to come ravenous and don’t be afraid to get messy.
You can also take this opportunity to impress your sweetie with your sexy chopstick skills. Imagine what else I can do with these nimble fingers, wink wink nudge nudge. Service is excellent and speedy; Korean joints are known for their “hands off” service though, so don’t be afraid to flag down your waiter if you need something. Be prepared to stand in line outside for around 20 minutes during peak rush hours-the popularity of the restaurant ensures there’s a constant stream of people waiting in front. Upon arriving, make sure to walk inside to the front desk and jot your name down along with the number of people in your party-the waiters will come out and call you when it’s your turn to chow down. (That’s how Korean restaurants roll.)
2. Hwa Sun Ji Teahouse
After all that hot and steamy barbecue action, it’s time to cool down with dessert. Take your beloved to the charming Hwa Sun Ji Teahouse; the cozy ambiance is perfect for affectionate cuddling. The decor is traditional Korean; beautiful bamboo shades give each table some privacy, and there are booths where you can take off your shoes and sit on a matted floor.
Order the patbingsu (Korean dessert made of shaved ice and fruit toppings). This refreshing dish comes with green tea ice cream that you can spoon lovingly into your darling’s mouth along with sweet cubes of watermelon, honeydew, and chewy mochi. The mellow flavors of the fruit go along nicely with the creamy ice cream, in addition to the sugary red bean mix and brown sugar dusting. Overall, a zen dish. Don’t be alarmed by the pool of water around the table-that’s your dearest melting in your arms.
After dessert, make a romantic pit stop at Madang Plaza, a beautiful square with a stunning stone walkway decked out with gorgeous Japanese statues. The square features cafes, ice cream stores and a movie theatre-all perfect endings to a perfect date. You can send us a thank-you letter after the wedding. You’re welcome.
Ham Ji Park
3407 W 6th St #101c, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Mon-Fri (11 am to 10pm) (Come earlier around 6pm to avoid long lines outside!)
Hwa Sun Ji
3960 Wilshire Blvd #100, Los Angeles, CA 90010
Mon-Sat (12pm-12am), Sun (12pm-11pm)
621 S. Wesetern Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90005