Serving an assortment of Asian and Asian-influenced dishes, Feast From the East has more than 30 years of experience feeding Westsiders from its menu of wings, soups and house specials. The Westwood Boulevard is best known for two specific dishes: the Chinese chicken salad, with shredded chicken breast and wonton strips piled high, and its chicken wings, which come in three different styles. The dining area features a tremendous amount of comfortable seating, either at tables for two or the more communal banquette seating along the room’s dividing wall. Feast From the East also offers its own house brand of products, like salad dressings and those same wonton strips from the Chinese chicken salad.
From the bustling streets of Times Square to the equally vivacious streets of Hong Kong, people walk around with smiles after enjoying the japanese barbecue cuisine at Gyu-Kaku. The restaurant has more than 700 locations worldwide, each rooted in the belief that some of the strongest bonds between friends are forged at the dinner table. Groups dine on a huge variety of Japanese dishes, from popular meat and veggie dishes such as Harami Skirt Steak, Kalbi Short Rib, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus - to unique Japanese-American appetizers such as the Spicy Tuna Volcano, Wasabi Crunchy Shrimp, and Ahi Tuna Poke. The real excitement takes place around individual grills, however, where diners can barbecue their own slabs of filet mignon, ahi tuna, or chicken with chili mayo until they are ideally tender or encircled by on-duty firemen.
Mijin Namgoong couldn't shake the feeling that something was missing from Westside Los Angeles. The diverse community had plenty to offer, but there wasn't a restaurant dedicated to the sort of healthful, contemporary, Seoul-style Korean cooking that Mijin and many of her friends enjoyed. She decided to remedy this situation by founding Wharo Korean BBQ in 2004. Thrillist took note of this approach and placed the restaurant on its list of The Westside's 9 Best Korean BBQ Spots.
In Korea, family-style meals are traditionally cooked in a large stone pot, around which family members gather and socialize as they eat. At Wharo Korean BBQ, Mijin strove to capture this communal spirit by equipping each table with a central grill that diners huddle around while cooking their own meals. Charcoal-stoked flames flicker beneath the surface of the grill, lending a smoky flavor to certified Angus rib eye steak, thin-sliced pork that marinated in a spicy miso sauce, or tuna seasoned with sesame oil, salt, and black pepper.
What if You Don't Want to Grill Anything?
Back in the kitchen, the chefs keep themselves busy preparing a wide assortment of traditional Korean dishes as well as slightly updated versions of familiar classics. This selection includes pan-fried, Korean-style pancakes with crabmeat, chives, or homemade kimchi as well as salads of sauteed tofu and organic baby greens tossed with sesame dressing. Additionally, Wharo Korean BBQ deviates from its roots a little bit by offering Japanese-style shabu shabu meals, which allow diners to cook their own meats and vegetables using heated pots of savory or spicy broth.
There’s barely a plate in sight at Chego, where the menu revolves around made-to-order bowls. Starting with a simple bed of rice, chefs pile on toppings such as fried eggs, pork belly, wok-seared water spinach, and tofu fried with chili and garlic; they can also prepare custom combinations that are vegetarian and gluten-free. If you don’t want to take your chances, head to the permanent storefront on Overland Avenue. There’s also a food truck that’s always on the move, stopping only to dole out bowls and refill its engine with energy-packed rice grains.
Walking into Culver City’s Alibi Room bar is akin to walking into a boozy ski lodge with a fireplace along the back wall and a angular wood bar taking up the middle of the room. Low-lit tables and ottomans at the front of the room provide space for patrons to relax and enjoy Alibi Room’s selection of craft beers and specialty cocktails. Drinks like the “Breaking Bad,” with its heat and mix of tequila and mescal, and the Kentucky Mule, a bourbon-based take on the classic Moscow variety, help establish the space as a hotbed for cocktail lovers. But the bar’s biggest advantage over the local competition, by far, comes from its kitchen; Alibi Room serves up a menu of favorites from Kogi BBQ chef Roy Choi’s revolutionary gourmet food truck, as well as rice bowls and other representations of his growing food empire.
Housed in a charmingly rustic venue, the Culver City eatery specializes in a more-refined version of Korean barbecue. Smokeless barbecue grills allow diners to experience tableside service without lingering wafts of eau de dinner. Fish fans will appreciate the glazed miso salmon ($21), sided with succotash, or poached black cod with Korean miso broth ($22). While the full menu is available anytime, Groupon holders can also take advantage of the prix fixe G menu, with options to feed parties of two, three, or four ($79–$195) any Thursday through Saturday. The date-friendly G1 option on the prix fixe includes Gyenari's galbee, bulgogi, aged pork belly, flower chicken, and japchae. For larger groups, try the G4, a full-on meat fest that includes filet mignon, Wagyu beef, fresh lobster tail, and diver sea scallops ($195 for four people). For dessert, upgrade from ordinary sprinkled dough rings with Gyenari's famed green-tea doughnuts ($8). The piping-hot pastries come made to order with a buttermilk-raspberry glaze and Ghirardelli chocolate sauce for dipping.