Simple Dining is Trending in Koreatown

A customer is picking up an order at Cup Bop in Koreatown.

Simple dining is staying on an upward trend. The younger consumers in Los Angeles Koreatown are showing preference for simple, nutritious dining experience over traditional spread of Korean meals.

Poke bowl was first introduced in L.A. Koreatown early last year. Since the grand opening of Wiki Poke, Wai Poke has followed suit.

Poke Bar, which now boasts a lineup of 20 chains after starting in Hollywood, is one of the leading Poke bowl businesses.

“It’s easy to both order and consume,” said Poke Bar president Jason Park. “Poke bowls are also more nutritious than fast food.”

The proverbial “Poke fever” has also hit the food truck industry. Sushi Road Fighter is a relatively new food truck business, offering Korean-style street food for $10 or less on Wilshire and Serrano. Besides Poke bowls, Sushi Road Fighter also offers Korean pork barbeque and eel burritos or bowls.

“The idea was inspired by Korean rice cups and Poke bowl businesses,” said Sushi Road Fighter founder Aiden Kim. “Even non-Koreans are starting to like our Korean pork barbeque burritos now.”

Cup Bob, a restaurant offering Korean rice bowls, also recently opened on the corner of Wilshire and Wilton. A customer can select the ingredients, such as white, brown or fried rice as well as toppings, which include Korean barbeque, friend shrimp and pork. The price per cup is about $10.

“Providing simplicity in meals is attracting traction among consumers in the food industry,” said Cup Bob president Ae-ri Lee. “One-person households are rapidly increasing and simple dining is becoming immensely popular.”


By Sung Yeon Lee