Five kinds of bibimbap at Gamja Bawi

Name of restaurant: Gamja Bawi, which translates to “Potato Rock”

What dish represents the restaurant, and why? The mixed rice bowls known as bibimbap. They have five varieties. The dolsot bibimbap, served in a hot stone bowl, is a favorite of the regulars. Be sure to mix the rice as soon as you get it to keep it from burning on the bottom. Order regular bibimbap if you don’t want your rice to continue to cook and get crunchy.

Concept: A Korean fast-food joint, although the food is anything but fast.

Who’s at the next table? A group of Korean grandmas with their bundles of groceries from the Plaza Market.


Appropriate for... A casual, informal meal any time of day.

Uh-oh... Don’t come here if you only have an hour for lunch. Their orders can get backed up and take awhile.

Service: The two ladies out front are friendly; their English is limited.

What are you drinking? Water or hot corn tea that you serve yourself. The ladies will give you a Styrofoam cup.

Info: 928 S. Western Avenue, No. 129, Los Angeles 90006 (in the food court of Koreatown Plaza); (213) 387-5581


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The Scouting Form is a quick look at restaurants worth a visit. Scouts were selected by restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, who may or may not agree with a single word.