Location955 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, California
Together with her siblings, Bricia Lopez co-owns Guelaguetza, a Oaxacan restaurant in LA’s Koreatown. Contrary to popular belief, she is not the mayor of Los Angeles.
Everyone always talks about Parks, and they’re not wrong. There are other Korean restaurants that I go to, like Beverly Soon Tofu, but I keep returning to Parks. If I travel for a long time, I come back and go to Parks immediately. I even went there for my birthday this year. I could probably eat there every day.
Their octopus stone pot is what I live for. It’s a big tangle of octopus and vegetables in a bubbling bath of gamjatang-loaded stew. The kimchi pancake and all their grilled meats are musts. If you’re not eating meat, order the incredible vegetables and mushrooms that they grill. Parks is also great for big groups. If you have a table for fifteen, it doesn’t faze them. It reminds me a little bit of my restaurant, but the Korean version—you can walk in with a group of fifteen or twenty and it’s totally fine, that’s what the food is for. And the spiciness and the flavor profiles are so similar to Mexican food, too, so it feels like home.