A wave of chefs, makers, and distillers are rewriting the dialogue between Korea and America in the West.

Wonho Frank Lee

Not long ago, the uninitiated may have identified Korean food with all-you-can eat barbeque or late night karaoke bar-hopping in K-Town. But these days, eager eaters can experience the nuanced diversity of Korean cuisine well beyond the streets of Koreatown, and in imaginative, refined ways that the genre deserves. It’s fitting that over the past decade this movement has continued to evolve in subtle and thrilling ways in Los Angeles, home to the largest population of Koreans outside Asia, making way for a vibrant, multi-generational community of culinary creatives. Here are some of the newest and most delicious ways to get a taste.

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Koreatown Dreaming by Emanuel Hahn

Running Press

Koreatown Dreaming is a captivating homage to Korean immigrant life as told through the lens of Los Angeles-based photographer Emanuel Hahn. Hahn shares intimate stories and portraits of over 50 small businesses from cities in the West like Los Angeles and Honolulu to enclaves further afield in New York, New Jersey, and Georgia whose owners’ sacrifice, struggle, triumph, and ultimately, joy embody the idea of the American Dream. 

Koreatown Dreaming by Emanuel Hahn, $19

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