Remember the original Woo Lae Oak spot on Western just north of Wilshire? Well, restaurateur Young Sook Choi, who developed the Woo Lae Oak concept, has completely remodeled the space as the site for a West Coast version of Bann Restaurant and Lounge, his Korean restaurant in New York's Soho district.
FOR THE RECORD:
Bann restaurant: The Early Bird restaurant story in Monday's Calendar section said that the old Woo Lae Oak space, the current location of Bann restaurant, is "below" Wilshire. It is just north of Wilshire. —
This Bann pulls out all the stops with its design, which features soaring ceilings hung with giant stylized lanterns. Grills are set into rust-and-green marble tables, with no hoods in sight. Instead, each grill has a fan that sucks up the smoke from the charcoal at table height. Unlike more traditional Korean barbecue joints, here your clothes won't end up smelling of beef and smoke, so you can wear your best. And guests do dress for this glossy new restaurant.
While the menu deploys the usual barbecue cuts, such as kalbi (short ribs), rib-eye, shrimp, squid and beef tripe, it also offers more trendy dishes, especially in the first courses. Naturally, you can find such classics as Korean-style steak tartare and mandu (dumplings) to start off a meal here, but you might as well try something different, like the tempura-fried green peppers stuffed with whitefish or minced chicken gizzard wrapped in sesame leaves and then browned. You might be pleasantly surprised.