The secret is out – Koreatown runs LA’s nightlife. Looking for the best nightclubs and bars in Ktown? Whether you’re trying to sip at a high end cocktail bar, get ratchet on the dance floor, or take shots of soju while chain-smoking, you’ll always find the kind of drinking spot you didn’t even know you needed tonight. But if you go in unprepared, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – and even worse, head home after first round.
So instead of spending another Saturday night wandering around 6th street, read this guide to the top 5 places to go out in K-town and know exactly where you’re headed this weekend. Or tonight.
Terra Cotta (Restaurant/Bar/Club)
Terra Cotta is the newest restaurant venture from 6th Avenue restaurant group. Their menu draws inspiration on a global scale (incorporating not only Korean elements, but also Japanese, Latin American, and other regional influences)—a direction representative of the melting pot that is Los Angeles. They have a thoughtful selection of scratch house made cocktails, as well as 24 craft draught beers, and a broad and global wine program, offering something for everyone. The expansive interior offers touches of vintage glamour, such as 20-foot-high ceilings dotted with chandeliers, and grand tufted matte black booths.
Terra Cotta is open as a restaurant / bar on all nights, and open as a club with a DJ on Fridays and Saturday nights.
Mama Lion (Restaurant/Bar/Club)
Pinkies up, ladies and gents. Owner Robert Kim and chef/partner Michael Hung’s glamorous new Koreatown restaurant, Mama Lion, has officially opened its doors, adding yet another key player to the neighborhood’s thriving culinary scene (Terra Cotta and Here’s Looking at You opened just last year, and don’t even get us started on the always-buzzing Korean BBQ hot spots). This glitzy new supper club, located on the corner of Western Avenue and 6th Street, is making a serious statement with stunning, high-concept interiors and an impressive, upscale menu.
From seared froie grois and caviar service (yes, you read that correctly) to uni tostadas and apricot soufflés, the seasoned chef is serving up a little taste of luxury that’ll pair perfectly with the range of craft cocktails prepped by Aiden Demarest of the Spare Room, Seven Grand among other high-end cocktail bars in L.A. Also on our radar? Truffled white bean hummus with crispy flat bread, hamachi tartare with Asian pears and Korean chilis, and a 28-day, dry-aged prime New York steak.
Mama lion is open as a bar / restaurants all nights of the week. On certain nights there will be live music performances – Fridays and Saturday nights are the “club” nights.
Break Room 86 (Bar/Lounge/Club)
Enter through the loading dock off Ardmore then walk through an employee entrance. From there, you’re directed down a grey, glossy-walled hallway past the hotel kitchens and ice machines. The end of your destination is what was originally designed as the hotel employee break room, now transformed into L.A.’s newest ’80s bar – Breakroom 86.
Like most Houston Hospitality properties, there is an element of surprise to the entrance. We won’t ruin it for you.
Once inside, you’re in an underground New York dance club from the ’80s. There are old stacked TVs playing “Garfield,” “The Ghostbusters” and “Rainbow Brite” highlighting the dance floor, a DJ booth with a special area for friends — and a wall completely covered in tapes.
Lock & Key (Bar/Lounge)
Following in the speakeasy trend set by the likes of the Varnish and La Descarga, this Koreatown lounge—a low-ceiling, white marble and green-leather banquettes set the “Caesars Club” vibe, perhaps a nod to the former karaoke inhabitant. As expected, the entrance is unmarked: A stylish red door leads to a theatrically disorienting wall of doorknobs and keyholes. Once inside Lock and Key, there’s a small selection of beer and wine—four bottled beers (IPA, Lager, Brown Ale, Triple) and six wines by-the-glass (bubbly, white, rose and red)—but the cocktail program is front and center. Fresh herbs, fruits, simple syrups and torches set the stage for well-made, craft cocktails prepared by attentive and friendly bartenders donning classic white collared shirts and black vests. There’s a limited late-night, food menu from the next door Stall 239—try the Lollipop Chicken Wings and not-so-date-friendly garlic fries.
Arena Ktown (Club)
Arena Ktown is a nightclub, bar, and lounge with a fully operational kitchen & 7 karaoke rooms located in the heart of Ktown Los Angeles. Fridays and Saturdays are 21+ and over Hip Hop and R&B nights, while Thursdays will be for collegiate 18+ events with Hip Hop and R&B music. The venue can also be used as a special events music venue, private parties, corporate functions and pop up dining.
Arena recently expanded operations up to the Bay – you’ll find the party bumping every Thurs, Fri, and Sat at Arena SF.
Come ready to get turnt up – inscribed near the entrance in bright neon lights – DO IT FOR THE RATCHETZ.