When you enter a Koreatown restaurant and you see David Chang, the food gods are in your favor. And if the Momofuku chef is dining with editor in chief of Lucky Peach, we feel obliged to write a review on this tiny restaurant that seems to gather all the New York bigwigs. At first sight, Soban is not a crowd pleaser: a cold room lit by neon lights, a frying smell that will permeate your clothes… But four items on the map forgive these tiny imperfections: 1. All the banchan, small rectangular dishes which are served in all Korean restaurants. But at Soban they are numerous, colorful, prepared with great care: bamboo pickles, pickled azuki beans, lotus root, kimchi, braised celery… 2. Galbi jjim, short ribs marinated with garlic and dried fruits, cooked on very low heat for greater tenderness. 3. A $8 bibimbap which is the best one we have outside of Korea. 4. A raw crab, served whole on a soy broth, which you eat with your fingers if you’re feeling adventurous. Four reasons are plenty enough to visit Soban, and celebrity-spotting could be a fifth one.

 

What? 4001 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

When? Monday-Sunday 10AM-10PM

What? Soban

How? (323) 936-9106

Style: Korean

Price: Bibimbap $8.5, Entrées $12-30

Neighborhood: Koreatown

Best for: Lunch, Dinner