Located in the Westin Bonaventure Galleria & Food Court in Downtown Los Angeles, I visited K-Grill on a Wednesday before their lunch rush. Moderately-sized but unassuming, K-Grill served me a hefty bibimbap with one side and miso soup for under $9. Not long after 12, the line was growing steadily, mostly composed of office workers from downtown. Some indoor seating and more (rather gloomy) shared food court seating. Of course, this isn’t the restaurant’s fault. Whoever manages this space, please… You’re missing out on abundant natural light and urban scenery to impose your 80’s hospital anesthetic on these poor people. Use some cash to renovate it, and please put in some damn windows!
Memu: The dishes here are relatively simple: tofu stew, japchae, bulgogi, kimchi ramen, and galbi are simple offerings for a restaurant that is mindful of who they’re serving. These foods aren’t fussy or overly fancy, and they don’t try to do to much here. Patrons can also order online from the service Ritual to have their food ready for pickup; bags are labeled and lined up neatly near the door with names written on them. Easy, efficient, and again: not fussy. I chose the bibimbap since spicy foods are harder for me to differentiate tastes, but I’d be eager to try any of their dishes.
I go up to order and the staff is a friendly Asian woman with a big smile. Service was fairly quick given that they were preparing takeout orders at the same time.
Food: I enjoyed it a lot, especially in Downtown, where I could pay $20 or more to feel half-hungry and fully broke. It was the cheapest non-Subway order I remember having in the area. Bibimbap is a mix of ingredients, but the freshness of the vegetables especially stuck with me. The carrots were lightly pickled, and the balance of the veggies and meat tasted as good as it looked. (Note: I broke my “stone pot-only” rule here, it’s never as good without it, but K-Grill’s is still supremely tasty. No regrets!) The bean sprout side was also satisfyingly crunchy and refreshing. Overall, great quality, especially for the price.
Appreciation: Simple and tasty, equally convenient, a friendly cashier, and the bite of the cold vegetables before the unmistakeable tangy spice of the gochujang takes over.