Friday, September 17, 2010

Bann Restaurant: Fancy Korean in K-town

We had lunch today at the relative newcomer, Bann Restaurant in Koreatown across the street from the Wiltern Theater on Western.  It had just gotten a decent 1.5 star review in yesterdays LA Times, and we were in the neighborhood at the Galleria Korean market picking up the makings for tomorrow's bbq, so we stopped in to give it a try.  Bann is owned by the same owners as Woo Lae Oak restaurants, an upscale Korean BBQ concept with locations in LA and NYC (soho).
The space is lovely and airy, with soaring ceilings and wood and marble accents.  We ordered an appetizer of the pa jun (seafood pancake) and two lunch specials: the seafood soup with homemade noodles and the beef soup with dumplings and rice cakes.  The seafood pancake was one of the best seafood pancakes I've had, filled with delicate rings of squid and small shrimp, pillowy eggs and some vibrant peppers and scallions.  It was fluffy and delicious.  Both soups were very good too; both had very clear delicate broths, and they were generous with the noodles, seafood and rice cakes.  We had a nice assortment of panchan (side dishes), included a salad, two kinds of kimchi, two kinds of daikon, and some meat and other vegetables.  We were stuffed and couldn't finish all the noodles or rice cakes; it was a very reasonable $30 for the two of us.  Dinner is bound to be a lot more expensive though without the lunch special deals.
Starter salad
Seafood pancake
"Young" kimchi: the cabbage was still quite crisp
Panchan: from left clockwise - Daikon kimchi, kimchi, vegetable, picked daikon, dried beef
Seafood soup with homemade noodles
Beef soup with mandu (dumplings) and rice cakes
Bann Restaurant
621 S. Western Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 834-2244

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