Los Angeles

10 Delicious Dosiraks to Try in Los Angeles

Make this Korean lunch box your new go-to.

Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut
Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut
Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut

An awed hush falls over each table at Korean BBQ restaurant Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong when the dosirak is brought to the table. Enclosed in a silver metal box, the mixture of rice, fried egg, seaweed, anchovy, and kimchi is shaken like a martini until all the ingredients are evenly distributed, before serving.

In Korean, the word dosirak translates into lunch box. Dosiraks are a common meal that is packed at home or purchased on the go to be enjoyed at school or work. They are often served in a box with compartments, but can also be found in boxes without compartments that are usually shaken before eating.

The dosirak is similar to a Japanese bento box, and you’ll sometimes see them listed on menus as Korean bento boxes. The typical dosirak is meant to be a complete meal, including bap (rice), a main dish with fish or meat, a selection of banchan (Korean side dishes), and soup. The main difference between a dosirak and bento is in the ingredients-where a bento would feature chicken teriyaki as its main, a dosirak might include a Korean BBQ entree instead. Also missing from a Japanese bento would be kimchi and other traditional Korean banchan.

Many of the dosiraks on this list were born during the pandemic, as an easy vehicle to serve a Korean BBQ meal. Sadly, Spoon by H has shuttered, and their famously stunning 24-item dosirak is no longer available. Luckily, there are still plenty of places where you can get your fix, keep reading for ten of our favourite dosiraks in LA.

Photo courtesy of Hanchic
Photo courtesy of Hanchic
Photo courtesy of Hanchic

hanchic.

Westlake
Justin Min spent years cooking at DTLA’s Little Sister before opening hanchic in 2020. One of the newest items on their menu is their temple bibimbap. It’s a striking vegetarian dish served in a traditional dosirak tin, featuring soy-braised lotus root, rainbow-coloured cauliflower, bellflower root, seasonal namul, kimchi, and egg served on a bed of rice. hanchic.’s inventive menu is a fusion of French, Italian, and Korean cuisines. Another must-try menu item is their creamy bouillabbong stew-a play on a Korean spicy seafood noodle called jjamppong, and bouillabaisse.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome for outdoor dining. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available via DoorDash.

Photo by Kaila Yu, courtesy of Jook Hyang
Photo by Kaila Yu, courtesy of Jook Hyang
Photo by Kaila Yu, courtesy of Jook Hyang

Jook Hyang

Koreatown
This family-owned restaurant serves healthy and nutritious Korean food, minus the MSG. They offer a large selection of dosirak mains, including bulgogi, kalbi, grilled pork patty, short rib, spicy pork, braised abalone, or fried fish. Their generous dosirak includes 11 total items, including japchae or salad, kimchi, a Korean omelet, a daily cold soup such as dongchimi, and a choice of white or Korean purple rice. Some of the daily sides may include kongjang (soy-braised soybeans), extremely tender and flavorful gamja jorim (braised potatoes), eomuk bokkeum (Korean fish cakes), kkwarigochu-jjim (steamed shishito pepper), seasoned mung bean sprouts, pickled green chilli pepper Korean pickled radish, and more. Jook Hyang is also known for its healing ginseng chicken soup and porridges. We recommend also trying out their pumpkin and abalone porridge.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available on GrubHub.

Photo by Kiki Wongo, courtesy of Soowon Galbi
Photo by Kiki Wongo, courtesy of Soowon Galbi
Photo by Kiki Wongo, courtesy of Soowon Galbi

Soowon Galbi

Koreatown
Soowon Galbi is one of the top Korean BBQ spots in town, a neighbourhood institution for over 20 years, they added dosiraks to their menu as a quick and convenient way to enjoy their Korean BBQ when indoor and outdoor dining closed last year. Their dosirak impresses with one of the most elegant presentations on this list. There are five savoury choices for the main, including their signature garlic-soy marinated galbi, chicken, spicy pork, or bulgogi. Also included are generous portions of rice and japchae noodles and three daily rotating banchan. Lastly, it comes with a cup of daily soup, with its own designated spot in the dosirak designed right into the box.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates, the dosirak is available only after 5 PM. Delivery also available via UberEats.

Road to Seoul

Harvard Heights
All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ is the specialty at Road to Seoul. They are known for their prime-choice meats, several of which you can sample in their dosirak, which comes with a choice of seven mains, including beef brisket, bulgogi, spicy bulgogi, LA galbi, spicy pork bulgogi, chicken bulgogi, and spicy chicken bulgogi. Also included is rice, salad, japchae, two thick slices of their popular steamed egg, and three banchan: potato salad, fishcakes, and a daily vegetable.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery also available via GrubHub.

Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut
Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut
Photo courtesy of Bulgogi Hut

Bulgogi Hut

Koreatown
There’s usually a wait at this busy AYCE Korean BBQ spot, but you can beat the crowds by ordering their dosirak to-go. There are two kinds of dosirak to choose from, the more traditional lunch box style and their SSamBap version. The traditional dosirak has a choice of eight mains, including charred and garlicky pork belly, bulgogi, marinated chicken, hot and spicy pork, thin-sliced brisket, hot and spicy squid, pork belly, and LA galbi; and also comes with a fresh salad, japchae, fishcakes, kimchi, macaroni salad, and spicy marinated tofu. It’s finished off with rice topped with a sunny side up egg and comes with a miso soup. Ssambap is a Korean lettuce wrap and the ssambap dosirak comes with the same selection of mains and a fresh salad, while some of the sides are replaced with large leaves of romaine lettuce for wrapping and tangy Ssamjang sauce. If you’re still hungry, make sure to pick up some of their addictive Korean fried chicken, which has been especially popular this past year.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome for outdoor dining. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available via Caviar.

Hansoldoshirak

Westlake
Different menu items and banchan are available every day at Hansoldoshirak, a mom-and-pop shop that specializes in doshiraks. Their focus is on catering and group orders and they require a minimum order of ten doshiraks-perfect for office lunches or family gatherings. The basic dosirak includes rice, steamed egg, and a selection of seven rotating banchans. They also have a VIP dosirak which includes a main dish selection of grilled fish, beef bulgogi or galbi, tempura, kimbap, five banchan, and soup. If you’re looking for a dosirak that tastes just like grandma’s cooking, this is the place.
How to order: If you speak Korean, you can call to order for pick up at 213-487-3550. For English speakers, send an order via text message to the same number.

Photo courtesy of Kobawoo House
Photo courtesy of Kobawoo House
Photo courtesy of Kobawoo House

Kobawoo House

Koreatown
The specialty at Kobawoo House is bossam, a traditional Korean dish that features sliced succulent pork with a selection of different wrappings. Served in a lunchbox, their dosirak is an affordable way to sample their bossam and comes with a generous portion of tender pork, thinly sliced pink radish, the delicate inner leaves of a napa cabbage, musaengchae (spicy radish salad), and saeujeot (salted shrimp). Top it all off with a side of rice or forbidden rice and doenjang jjigae (Korean soybean paste stew).
How to order: Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available via GrubHub.

Photo courtesy of Yellow Cow BBQ
Photo courtesy of Yellow Cow BBQ
Photo courtesy of Yellow Cow BBQ

Yellow Cow Korean BBQ

Gardena
This woman-owned Korean BBQ restaurant is open 365 days a year and has not closed a single day during the pandemic. Their dosirak is the most popular takeout item on the menu, featuring only USDA Prime meat. There are six different options for the mains: rich and juicy bulgogi, spicy pork bulgogi, marinated pork ribs, chicken, pork katsu, and spicy stir-fried squid. Also included are a daily soup, salad, fresh fruit, rolled egg omelet, and five rotating banchan sides. Doshirak catering is also available for weddings and events.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available via UberEats.

Heartfulmade

Fullerton
Located in the OC suburb of Fullerton, this spot is well-worth the drive from LA. The homestyle restaurant specializes in dosirak and other takeout-only dishes such as kimbap and dumplings. It’s found in a nondescript strip mall and the dosirak lunch boxes are stacked on the counter, ready to go. Made fresh throughout the day, the dosiraks often sell out during lunch so make sure to phone in your order in advance. The selection for the mains includes luxurious beef bulgogi, pork bulgogi, pork cutlet, shrimp cutlet, grilled salmon, unagi, and spicy squid. This all comes with rice, three slices of rolled egg omelettes, and five rotating banchan. The dosirak also comes with a boba ice cream for dessert.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Takeout orders can be placed by calling 714-732-3084 or ordered via Postmates. Delivery available via Postmates and DoorDash.

Hae Jang Chon

Wilshire Center
At Hae Jang Chon, high-quality all-you-can-eat smoke-kissed Korean BBQ is the specialty of the house. Their meats are grilled on a two-inch-thick Korean stone grill that absorbs excess oil. Instead of one single lunch box tray, Hae Jang Chon’s dosirak switches it up with three separate trays. One tray includes a hefty portion of the main, another includes three of their most popular sides: fishcakes and green peppers, marinated spinach, and sliced daikon radish kimchi. The last tray is filled with rice and a selection of house-marinated pickles.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome, although there is often a wait. Order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery is also available via UberEats.

Magal Korean BBQ

Koreatown
Currently, Magal Korean BBQ is only open in the evening after 5 pm. Their dosirak comes with a side of cold Korean noodles and has a selection of four mains including mapo beef galbi, grilled spicy chicken, grilled spicy pork, and beef bulgogi. If you are extra hungry, make sure to order their gorae gamja tang, a Korean stew with falling-off-the-bone-tender pork with dried cabbage. Also unique to their restaurant is the cockle bibimbap.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome, order pickup and delivery via Postmates. Delivery-only available at GrubHub.

Kaila Yu is a journalist and on-camera correspondent based in Los Angeles. She is also the co-author of the 30-Day Travel Challenge. Follow her on Twitter.

Los Angeles

Marcus Scribner's Day Off in Crenshaw, LA Is a Tour of BBQ, Fried Chicken & Soul Food

The ‘Blackish' actor takes us to his favorite restaurants in his hometown of Crenshaw.

Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube
Thrillist/YouTube

Without tooting his own horn, Marcus Scribner likes to say that Los Angeles made him into a well-rounded human being. It’s all thanks to the city’s diverse mix of experiences, people, and culture.

“What I love most about LA is I feel like we have so many different biomes and people from different backgrounds,” the Blackish actor said in a recent interview with Thrillist. “I would just hop all around town all the time and get all those different experiences.”

Crenshaw, though, holds a special place in Scribner’s heart. It’s kind of like an oasis of peace and community for him. “It’s still a predominantly Black neighbourhood,” he explained. “Which is pretty dope to see in the centre of Los Angeles.” His dad used to say that getting into the neighbourhood feels peaceful and quiet, but as soon as you step out, it’s like, “Welcome to the jungle!”

Besides the tight-knit community, there’s another main thread in Scribner’s Crenshaw: fried chicken. While guiding us to the discovery of his neighbourhood in our series “Ride With Me,” Scribner realized that every single spot he took us to offers really good fried chicken. “It says something about me, I think,” he said. Scribner knows all the best fried chicken spots around town, and we’re definitely here for it.

The best breakfast spot in the world, Los Angeles staple chicken and waffle joints that even President Obama goes to, and delicious, Black-owned soul food restaurants are only some of the many Crenshaw gems Scribner shares with us.

Get ready to taste the best soul food LA has to offer. We’re going to Crenshaw.

Places to Eat & Drink

Jacks N Joe
Scribner doesn’t care what anyone else says, this is the best breakfast spot “on planet Earth.”

According to Scribner, their pancakes are amazing, and they come with maple butter syrup. But his favourite dish is the hash browns. “You can get the hash browns extra well done,” he suggested. “It’s over, it’s over. You’re having the best meal of your life.”

Roscoe’s House of Chicken N Waffles
President Obama stole Scribner’s special here-or at least that’s what Scribner will tell you.

“I’ve been ordering that, [and] all of a sudden they changed it to Obama Special when he popped out the cut,” Scribner said. No disrespect to Obama, but Scribner’s order has always been the Obama Special, which includes three wings with a waffle (or potato salad or fries). Scribner just adds an extra waffle to the mix, and that’s his all-time favourite order.

Phillips Barbecue
Scribner is aware he’ll get a lot of flack for saying this, but that’s okay. “Phillips Barbecue is hands down my favourite barbecue location,” he said.

“The meats are pretty good quality and the meats themselves are delicious and I love them,” he explained. “But it’s the sides and the sauce that just hit.” Their baked beans and macaroni salad are incredible, and you should put them right on your barbecue sandwich.

Just be careful: Their sauces are spicy, and the highest level is just too hot according to Scribner. His advice? Get the mixed sauce, and you’ll receive mild and hot together.

Alta Adams
This Black-owned soul food restaurant looks amazing, and it tastes even better. The setting is high-end, and their dishes are authentic soul food. They have “the best fried chicken,” according to Scribner.

“I like it because the chicken is moist, but it’s not too moist,” he explained. “This is some real chicken, which has some good moisture and the skin is perfect.” If you’re not in the mood for chicken, their oxtails are also a great choice. You shouldn’t miss out on the cornbread, either.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
This place is so good that it started in Tennessee and eventually expanded into LA.

“It’s just the bomb,” said Scribner. “The fried chicken is so good and spicy, which I love.” Their collard greens and baked beans are both must-trys as well, and Scribner would be the one to know. “I love baked beans,” he said. “I used to just eat straight up Bush’s baked beans out of the can, bruh. I’m wilding. I’m about that life.”

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Tiana Attride is a former associate editor at Thrillist. She cares a little too much about the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack.

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