Publication Date: 2012
Olympic Boulevard is considered the main street of Koreatown LA. This is where historically Koreans started the businesses that would form the core of the community.
The first official “Koreatown” sign in L.A. was posted at Olympic & Vermont in August 1981.
Here is a suggested itinerary for exploring Koreatown’s main street Olympic Boulevard.
1. Koreatown Galleria (Olympic & Western)
- Korean Food Court
- Cosmetic World
- Little Bean Cafe for Patbingsu
- Choice Music Store for K-Pop and K-Drama merch
- Korean Supermarket for ingredients and banchan
2. Koreatown Gateway Sign (Olympic & Oxford)
3. Yuchun Restaurant (Olympic & Serrano)
- for naengmyeon, traditional cold noodles
4. Hankook Sauna (Olympic & Hobart)
- a small Korean spa for women only
- Korean spas require complete nudity!
5. Tinga Tinga Noraebang (Olympic & Harvard)
- a noraebang is a “song room” for karaoke
- most NRBs in Koreatown open after 6 or 7 pm
6. Olympic Foot Massage (Olympic & Kingsley)
- not just for foot massages, but for full-body accupressure as well
- the only prominent Korean-run massage place in Koreatown, as all others are Thai or Chinese
7. Korean Gazebo Da-wool-jeong (Olympic & Irolo)
- a traditional Korean gazebo with garden
8. Mariposa-Nabi Building (Olympic & Mariposa)
- a strikingly colorful building for the primary schoolchildren
9. Kim’s Home Center (Olympic & Fedora)
- comparable to a humongous flea market where you can find all sorts of Korean knick-knacks, souvenirs, and kitchenware, including kimchi refrigerators and 49-cent chopsticks… even Tony Moly brand of cosmetics!
10. Odaesan KBBQ (Olympic & Fedora)
- all-you-can-eat grilled meats for $19.99
11. Cho Man Won (Olympic & Kenmore)
- an order of 10 kimchi dumplings for under $5
- there’s a refreshing patio out back
12. Hannam Chain (Olympic & Berendo)
- one of the older “modern” Korean supermarkets in Koreatown
- a bakery stand inside and a bakeshop outside
- an adjacent cosmetic store carries Korean brands of beauty products
13. Beverly Tofu House (Olympic & New Hampshire)
- famous for its soondubu jjigae or soft-tofu stews
14. Koreatown Gateway Sign (Olympic & Vermont)
For a fancy Korean BBQ experience, try Chosun Galbee on Olympic, just west of Western.
For cheap Korean eats, seek out the southwest corner of Olympic & Vermont where you can find Hodori and Nakwon are open 24 hours. I Love Boba in the same plaza stays open late.
PARKING: Koreatown Galleria provides three hours of free parking.