SMM street art by EDORI


The Hipster’s Guide to 24 Hours in Koreatown, LA

Published February 17th, 2016

It’s official, the writing’s on the wall – K-Town is the new mecca. The infamous Los Angeles neighborhood just west of Downtown is littered with world-class Korean BBQ joints, edgy street-art and design hotels. It’s hard to imagine only two decades ago this low-rent area was ground zero for the LA riots and basically engulfed in flames! These days it’s home to more hipsters than hell-raisers and boasts some really cool rejuvenated buildings that house them. The great thing about K-Town is you can experience the best of this compact three-square mile community in a day. And with its rich Latin and Korean influence this cultural hot spot has a die-hard work ethic so you’ll have a whole 24 hours to explore! Start The Day Off With A Sunny Solarium Breakfast… At The Commissionary Café. Located on the rooftop of The Line Hotel, this little cold-brew coffee mecca is actually inside a greenhouse with epic views of the surrounding city skyline.


If you're going to do it... #brunch at Commissary #eeeeeats #staycuriousplz Right @grilledcheesesocial?

A photo posted by The LINE Hotel (@thelinehotel) on

Take Yourself Back To The 1930’s Golden Age… And bask in the architectural delight that is the Pellissier Building, towering above the Wiltern Theater. Best known for its vast rainbow auditorium and big-name acts, don’t be surprised if the next lineup includes Ellen or The Stones. Wander the Streets and Uncover Some Art… By underground creatives like D*Face and WRDSMTH. Mosey around Wilshire and Normandie and you’ll stumble upon iconic works perfect for those requisite Instagram pics!

Street Art by EDORI. Image: Stefanie Acworth


Join the Asian Cognoscenti For Lunch… At Park’s, the undisputed Korean BBQ favourite among local families, celebrities, corporates and hipsters who swarm to this strip-mall restaurant for fun-filled open grills of bulgogi beef, octopus and shrimp. Don’t forget the Soju! Decompress and Digest… At Wi Spa after stuffing your face full of meat and kimchi. Why spend a fortune on Hollywood spas when you can save on saunas and massages at this 24-hour labyrinth of pampering in K-Town? In-the-know Korean families and fashionistas swear by the traditional dome “bulgama” sauna and the “misutgaru” multigrain shake. Get Some Gangnam Style… At the Koreatown Plaza, a 1980’s mall filled with colourful supermarkets, Hello Kitty bits and bobs and retro everything. Visit the downstairs food court which doubles as a makeshift mini Koreatown filled with exotic bakeries and noodle shops. Get A Fatty Dinner Feast… At Kang Hodong Baekjeong, where the delicious pork ribs are the flavour of the menu! This joint is also the most fun BBQ in K-Town, buzzing with crazy Korean hospitality and a quirky life-size cardboard cutout of flamboyant ex-wrestler and owner Kang Ho Dong to greet you at the door!

Sing Your Lungs Out… At Palm Tree Café, a dimly lit karaoke bar with twenty private rooms housing wannabe divas. The rooms start at $20 an hour and come with bottle service and play everything from Korean gangsta hip-hop to the latest Beyonce tune for your group to pay lip-service to. Rest Your Head… At the new Hotel Normandie, a chic boutique hotel inside a restored 1926 brick building. Most of its quintessentially French renaissance charm still lingers but an intelligent mix of modern accents has been introduced to appeal to the design-hunters among us.

Stefanie Acworth

Stefanie Kate Acworth is an internationally published travel writer. She also runs A Modern Wayfarer, a global travel blog for curious and chic bohemians. She prides herself on finding the coolest places to stay around the world, and can't decide whether her scariest travel moment to date was winning a Baclava eating competition in Mykonos in front of thousands, being chased by an angry Berber in the souks of Marrakech or spending unwarranted time in a Mexican jail!