Korean Sushi @ A-Won

A-Won (Ktown)Last week, I was craving sushi, but not just normal sushi. I wanted something different. Enter A-Won, a Korean owned Japanese restaurant in Ktown.  It also helped that I was working from home that day and it was only a few minutes’ drive away.

Upon entering, I noticed that the restaurant was bigger than I expected. There were semi-private booths, tables, and of course, a sushi bar.  Being that I was alone, I chose to sit at the sushi bar where several chefs were busy tending to the start of the lunchtime rush.

One thing you’ll notice at A-Won is that there are lots of big bowls of food going around.  These bowls were super-sized chirashi and sashimi salad.  After reading somewhere that the sashimi salad was one of A-Won’s specialties, I ordered one for myself.

A-Won (Ktown)

The waitress promptly brought out three dishes of panchan, a bowl of miso soup and a bowl of rice. The panchan consisted of an eggplant dish, a radish one, and the ubiquitous kimchi. The kimchi wasn’t anything to write home about and neither was the radish, but I really enjoyed the eggplant.  It tasted like toasted sesame oil and packed a garlicky punch.

When my sashimi salad came out, I was impressed with the size.  It looked large when other people ordered it, but placed in front of me, it was gigantic!  The bowl was filled with strips of lettuce, sprouts, seaweed, bonito, and a healthy serving of cubed tuna, salmon, and some white fish.  The waitress also brought a bottle of red, sweet gochujang with the salad, so I squirted a bunch over my bowl, mostly on the lettuce and vegetables.

A-Won (Ktown)

Although there was certainly a great quantity of fish, the quality wasn’t spectacular.  The tuna tasted alright, but the white fish was so cold that some pieces were actually icy.  The salmon was good, but there were less pieces of that than the other fish. Next time, I may just order the chirashi for a better variety of fish. Or maybe the fish egg bowl.

A-Won (Ktown)

My first foray into Korean sushi wasn’t as exciting as I had expected, but I’m not going to let that deter me. Maybe I just ordered the wrong thing. A-Won isn’t too expensive and it’s close enough to home that I can see myself venturing there again to try something different from their menu. There were enough diners in there to convince me that something there is worth returning for.


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A-Won Japanese Restaurant
913 1/2 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA‎
(213) 389-6764‎
(park in the lot or on the street)
A-Won in Los Angeles

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Comments

  1. j gold says

    Al bap. You’ve got to try the al bap, which is like a bowl of chirashi, but all fish eggs.

    The hwe dup bap, which I think is what you ordered, is also really good, but you’ve got to remember that it’s basically fast food – you squirt on the chile paste, toss in the hot rice and mix like hell until the whole thing is amalgamated. If you pause to admire the exquisite quality of the fish, as you discovered, you’re probably going to be disappointed.

    There’s a killer cod roe soup too.

    • says

      Oh man, I got told by J Gold! You know, I thought about ordering the Al bap because of a glowing LA Weekly writeup about it, but for some reason, I ordered the hwe dup bap instead. I guess I thought the quality of fish was going to be better.

      You’re right that it’s fast food though I don’t know who can finish a bowl so huge quickly. I didn’t realize I was supposed to toss the rice in there, oops. I was just eating the rice separately witht he panchan.

      • says

        Aw, not told.

        The hwe dup bap, truth be told isn’t as good as the one that O Dae San used to have before it turned into a barbecue restaurant, but I do kind of crave it sometimes. Okay, a lot.

        That cod roe soup – the al jjigae – has plenty of roe sacs and also, to keep things honest, the very, very odd-looking sacs of sperm – they don’t taste like much, but they look like squirrel brains.

  2. says

    I ordered to hwe dup bap instead as well. The thought of all the roes evoked instant gag reflex when I read the menu.

    It seems everyone else went straight for the hwe dup bap, but I believe the version at Islands reigns superiority over A-Won’s.

    A good ai jigae is getting pretty hard to find in K-town. People are just skimping on roes and adding more gochujiang. Yuck.

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