Six Koreatown restaurants with great banchan
The little side dishes that come out at every Korean restaurant are called mit banchan (which loosely translates to "bottom" or "base" banchan), and make the foundation for every meal. Practically anything served with rice is called banchan, except the soup. Kimchi is banchan. That meat you're cooking on your table is technically banchan. Even the ubiquitous serving of potato salad is banchan.


Genwa — If there were a contest for the greatest number of banchan served, Genwa would win hands down. So many round dishes arrived at the table, that we didn't even fault the server for getting a couple of descriptions wrong. When serving 12 side dishes is considered the mark of a royal table, twenty-three may seem excessive. But they're small. The selections may include egg-battered Korean ham, a chilled glass noodle with krab, pickled perilla leaves, tiny anchovies, mook (a Korean gelatin with seasoned soy sauce), and a variety of kimchi. If you ask for seconds, be sure to remember which ones you wanted. Your server won't remember either. Two locations. 5115 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 549-0760; and 170 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 854-0046,