Get Out Of Town!: Mid-City Adventure At LACMA And Korean BBQ

LACMA Rain Room. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers a lot of options for your visual arts and music fix. With programs like “Free After 3,” free jazz, Latin and classical concerts for the public and the NextGen program, there are many ways to keep a visit low-cost.

Add in a side trip for some excellent Korean BBQ in nearby Koreatown and your Get Out Of Town! adventure in Mid-City goes up a notch.

LACMA Rain Room. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)
LACMA Rain Room. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Rain Room at LACMA is a paid, ticketed esxperience, but well worth the $10-15 fee. This way, smaller, timed-entry groups have access to the room for 15 minutes, making the experience more enjoyable and less crowded.

Some basic tips for a more satisfying and less-wet experience: wear light colors and walk really, really slowly through the rainfall.

The sensors cannot distinguish black clothes from the dark floor and will not stop the water flow.

Slow motion allows time for the area you are in to register with the sensors, to shut off the rain.

The LACMA Rain Room is an amazing and immersive (literally) experience.

LACMA’s NextGen program, which provides free general museum access to children 17 and under, also allows free entry to an accompanying adult. The museum offers senior, student and KCRW member discounts, along with free access for EBT card holders and members of the military. On weekdays, the “Free After 3” program grants free admission to all.

In addition to an excellent permanent collection spanning much of human history, LACMA also offers a series of top-notch special exhibitions, some free with general admission and others require an additional entry fee.

Street parking may be available but is often hard to find. Parking in the LACMA lots costs $14. General adult admission to the museum is $15.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)
(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The museum’s free concerts are a huge draw. During the summer, Jazz at LACMA on Fridays and Latin Sounds on Saturdays bring a multitude of Angelenos with camp chairs and picnic baskets to the museum plaza grounds. Seating directly in front of the featured band is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sundays Live, the museum’s chamber music series, runs year-round in the Leo S. Bing Theater and features the best of national, international, local and emerging classical musicians.

After immersing oneself in all that art, music and culture, one can get pretty hungry. Nearby Koreatown offers excellent Korean BBQ, with a lot of busy restaurants. Since our favorite, Woo Lae Oak, left its Western Avenue location years ago and ultimately closed the La Cienaga spot recently, we needed a new Korean BBQ joint.

One of the top-reviewed Korean restaurants in town, Kang Ho Dong Baekjong, did not let us down. On a crowded Friday night, we were able to get a table inside in less than 30 minutes. Excellent, attentive service helped us navigate this vibrant and noisy restaurant.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong offers only beef and pork to grill, along with the requisite accompanying dishes such as green salad, seaweed and bean sprout salad, bean stew, fried kimchi, kimchi prepared three different ways, sweet potato and daikon. Roasted pepper, onion, corn and egg are cooked next to the grill top.

Brisket at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)
Brisket at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Refreshing, cold barley tea, which tastes like water, washes everything down. Soju and Korean beers are also available.

We ordered the large beef combo platter, of brisket, short rib and prime rib – it was a little too much food for four, although we were very hungry. The beef was excellent quality and was cooked by our servers, something we’re not used to at a Korean BBQ restaurant.

Servers refilled the sides and tea when asked and generally made sure our table was having a good time.

Short rib at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong.  (Photo By Lisa Paredes)
Short rib at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Seats on the quieter patio provide an alternative to the loud music and slightly smoky interior, but we much preferred the party-like energy of the room, especially on a Friday night.

Kang Ho Dong Baekjong is not all-you-can-eat, thus the quality of meat is better than an AYCE place. Everyone working at the restaurant was super friendly and answered questions, so there’s no reason to be intimidated if you don’t speak Korean.

In the future, we would probably order meat a la carte, because there was a lot of brisket. The restaurant also offers cold and hot noodles and soups. The bean soup that came with the BBQ combo was also delicious.

 (Photo By Lisa Paredes)
(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Parking for the restaurant enters off Alexandria Avenue from Sixth Street, to a valet stand in the back. Street parking is very challenging in the area.

About a 20-30 minute drive from Burbank, both LACMA and the Koreatown area provide a fun alternative for an afternoon or evening out, close to home.