A New Koreatown Food Court Brings South Korea’s Most Popular Chains to the U.S.





A New Koreatown Food Court Brings South Korea’s Most Popular Chains to the U.S.

Monday, August 21, 2017 at 7 a.m.


A couple of decades ago, the idea of a food-court meal consisted of a sad slice of pepperoni pizza from Sbarro, followed by a giant, frosted Cinnabon. Thankfully, the concept of the food courts has been redefined: They’ve become culinary destinations that are actually worth the trip to the mall (we’re looking at you, Westfield Santa Anita).

Now the folks behind a new food court in Koreatown are taking that idea one step further by importing some of the trendiest and most well-established South Korean restaurants — which are offering more than just traditional Korean dishes — directly to Los Angeles.

Square Mixx is a sleek, modern food court that takes up the entire third floor of the 213,000-square-foot Gaju Marketplace complex, which also houses Korean grocery store California Market and other retail shops. Since Square Mixx’s soft opening on July 7, six South Korean restaurant brands are up and running, and a few more will be rolling out in the coming months.

The name of the food court is apropos, as each vendor sells its own food specialty, resulting in a mix of different traditional Korean and Korean-fusion dishes. At Nipong Naepong, you’ll find jjamppong (Korean-Chinese noodles swimming in a spicy red broth) made with more global flavors, including ingredients you’d find in Thai or Spanish dishes. With Brown Donkatsu, an old-school restaurant brand that’s been around since 1986, tender Jeju black pork is used in fried katsu. Robot Kimbap offers healthy kimbap rolls made with brown rice and fresh vegetables. And just last week, Cafe Bora, which had gone viral in Seoul with its Instagrammable, purple sweet potato bingsu (Korean shave ice), soft-opened as well.





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