The Great Koreatown of Los Angeles

Photo credits: Visit Korea Organization

KPOP and KDrama enthusiasts, one of the best Koreatown outside Korea is located in Los Angeles, California!

Known for its restaurants and nightclubs, Koreatown in Los Angeles is definitely worth a visit. It was believed that this small neighborhood began to be established in the early 1930s by the South Korean immigrants. Early Koreans migrated to LA no later than the 1900s but they consisted of farmers and laborers. It was when the cluster of businessmen entered the city who slowly made the Koreatown up until the present day.

Hi Duk Lee who was known as the one who formed the Koreatown, opened the first Korean-driven market at Olympic and Normandie Avenue and Young Bin Kwan which is the first Korean restaurant in the city. A lot of Korean migrant consumers supported his businesses paving a way for more Korean businesses. Lee took the opportunity and dreamed of bringing his people to the neighborhood; a home away from home.

Photo credits: The Real Deal (2019)
However, Koreatown faced a great overturn when the LA riots occurred in the 1990s. A lot of people living and working in the small Korea in LA felt like they were neglected by the city government as no public servants stepped in to help.

Instead of accepting defeat, many Korean-Americans rebuild the small neighborhoods filling each block with Korean culture. As the Koreatown in Los Angeles continuously bounced back, it was not only those people who have Korean roots that supported the businesses. A mix of almost all nationalities can be found roaming the streets and enjoying the Korean culture in every shop.

Today, Koreatown in LA has become the center of multi-ethnic camaraderie. A simple Asian neighborhood in the heart of a western country. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, it is now a home not just for Koreans but for all the people in the world.

Written by: Yam Pernecita

Yam Pernecita is a digital marketing intern of PS Media Enterprise. She is a 4th-year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student from Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines.


A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
based in California that advocates
social inclusion of minorities with
Asian heritage though cultural awareness.


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item The Great Koreatown of Los Angeles
The Great Koreatown of Los Angeles
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