Oct 2013

Jun Won Restaurant – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Jun Won Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

My Korean food cravings fall into three neat categories: meaty, greasy, and homey.

When all I want is a feast of flame-licked meat, DonDay and Kang Hodong Baekjeong never fail to please. If it’s kick-back bar food that satisfies my mood, OB Bear and Dwit Gol Mok always treat me right. And to scratch my comfort food itch, I let the ladies at Ma Dang Gook SooJeon Ju, and my latest obsession, Jun Won, do their thang.

Jun Won Restaurant - Koreatown - Los Angeles

Jun Won makes the kind of everyday fare that Korean moms and grandmas prepare for their brood. Opened in 1994 by Jung Ye Jun, the restaurant can be difficult to find. I parked and entered through the back, following the signs that read “Korean Restaurant,” of course.

Jun Won Restaurant - Koreatown - Los Angeles

The seafood-centric bill of fare was printed onto place mats, but before getting down to deciding what to order, my dining mates Lien, Natasha, and I took a moment to relish in the banchan scattered about the table. Jun Won’s regulars swing by three to four times each week, so Ms. Jun makes sure to change up these little nibbles every day. Fermented squid, several varieties of kimchi, wilted sprouts, marinated cucumbers, and fish cakes are constantly rotated in and out.

Jun Won Restaurant - Koreatown - Los Angeles

The portions here are quite large, and the prices reflect the bounty. The pan-fried yellow corvina was particularly excellent. The expert cooking assured that the flesh was dependably moist, while the skin crisped up like a dream. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice was the only accent needed.

Jun Won Restaurant - Koreatown - Los Angeles

Another simple yet spectacularly well-executed dish was the “steamed” mackerel, which was slowly simmered in a chili-garlic sauce with daikon and heaps of onions and scallions. Accompanying our two fish dishes were individual bowls of the house-special rice blend made with a trio of grains (barley, sweet brown rice, and white rice) and even more legumes (black beans, peas, kidney beans, and white beans).

For those of us not blessed with a Korean grandmother, Jun Won’s got us covered.

Jun Won
3100 West 8th Street, Suite #101
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Phone: 213-383-8855

There’s more to eat in Los Angeles’ forever-fabulous Koreatown:

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