January 02, 2013

A-Won Restaurant

Hwe Dup Bap (sashimi with salad & rice) 

Whenever I crave sushi, I find myself in Little Tokyo.  It's mere coincidence that I crave sushi often and that I work near Little Tokyo, but boy, is it fortuitous!   Every once in awhile, I find sushi gems in West LA, the SFV, and the South Bay, but not so much in Koreatown.  Ktown is known for all-you-can-eat KBBQ, late-night noraebangs, and an abundance of soju and Hite, not fresh sushi.  Or so I thought . . .

Enter A-Won (pronounced "Uh-won") Restaurant.

Complimentary lunch ban-chan (side dishes), L-R: Pickled radish and jalapeno in soy sauce; Kimchi; some root jorim

I'm curious about this, which isn't a common side dish.  It had the texture of a lotus root with a subtle sweetness to it.

"A-Won Lunch Special" -- sashimi sushi plate -- $18.95 
(not pictured: 4 pcs. of tempura)

The sashimi plate was pricey, but the pieces were very fresh and buttery.  I can't say this is the best sashimi I've ever had, but it certainly is the best in Ktown.

Meenuh Maeun Tang (Spicy Bass Stew)

This spicy stew had one whole bass fish, cut into three large pieces.  The heat from the stew, both the temperature and spiciness, was so comforting that I scraped the bowl clean of any remaining soup.

Hwe Dup Bap (sashimi with salad and rice) -- $13.95

But if there is any reason to come to A-Won at all, it is purely for this gigantic bowl of amazingness.  This hwe dup bap is served in a bowl twice the size of my face, and is full of greens, veggies, and small chunks of assorted fish.  It's also accompanied by a small bowl of rice, which you toss into the larger bowl and mix everything with gochujang (red pepper paste).  It's delicious!  My only complaint is that there aren't enough pieces of fish.  

The servers and most of the patrons are Korean, but don't let a little broken English scare you away.  Instead, just rely on the trusty "point and order" option.  It works like a charm.

cuisine:  Korean/ Japanese
location: Koreatown
hours: M-Sat, 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM; Sun, 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM
websites: { A-Won | yelp }
parking: Lot
attire: Casual