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Jun Won, the popular Korean seafood restaurant, is moving

The seafood pancake at Jun Won, a Korean seafood restaurant in Koreatown.

The seafood pancake at Jun Won, a Korean seafood restaurant in Koreatown.

(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Jun Won almost seemed like a private club for Korean seafood lovers. You had to enter through a back door that always appeared to be locked, and the restaurant’s sign was untranslated from Hangul. But the reputation of owner Jung Ye Jun’s spicy casserole of cod resting on a tender slab of chile-lashed white radish spread like a fanned fire. Many considered it one of the greatest fish preparations in Koreatown. And Jun’s seasonally changing, locally sourced banchan also gained an almost legendary status (and a separate shop).

Now, sources have told The Times that the restaurant’s building will soon be torn down, and that the restaurant will have to close at the end of April.

But Jun and her son Jeff, who helps run the restaurant, say they aren’t closing -- exactly. Although Jun is known for the brilliant fish-centric cuisine of her home province, Chungcheongnam-do, she said that after shutting Jun Won at the end of the month, she has plans to pack up and move into Buil Samgyetang, another Koreatown institution, in June.

Buil Samgyetang has always limited its offerings to five versions of its namesake rice-and-herb stuffed whole Cornish game hen soup. But Jun wants to supplement that menu with her own collection of home-style chicken soups and stews (none will be BBQ). Expect dishes such as dak do ri tang, a spicy sake-based braise of the bird with vegetables. The project will be unlike any other presently in K-Town.

In the meantime, Jun said, she is looking for a new home for Jun Won seafood.

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Jun Won, 3100 W. 8th St., No. 101, Los Angeles, (213) 383-8855 | Buil Samgyetang, 4204 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, (213) 739-0001.

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