E-mail this story
Counter Intelligence: LàOn Dining
For all of the hundreds of restaurants in L.A.'s Koreatown, tucked behind untranslated signs and inside barely marked skyscrapers, in sleek malls and dusty strip centers, the area has never had much in the way of recognizable chefs. Generations of Los Angeles Koreans and Korean Americans have been going to Ham Ji Park for pork ribs and to Masan for monkfish soup, to Ham Hung for cold buckwheat noodles and to Mountain for abalone porridge, but the cooks have been mostly behind the scenes. It's the owners who host banquets, sit on community boards and fatten the rolls of the chamber of commerce. In a restaurant culture most famous for 3 a.m. noodles and grill-your-own barbecue, there hasn't been much room for culinary celebrity.
By Jonathan Gold
March 17, 2012