Restaurant Review #17: Gaam--Coffee in Koreatown

If you can find this place, you're bound to love it. It's located on the second story of a plaza in Koreatown. You can't tell from the street that it's a plaza, but go around back and you'll discover that it's quite nice and full of other places to visit.

Gaam is the largest coffee shop I have ever been in--it used to be a billiard hall, I hear. The comfortable old Victorian-style furniture, arranged so that you feel like you're sitting in someone's living room, lends a homey atmosphere, although it does mean you are sitting further from your companions than usual. There is a lot (a lot) of open space in this establishment, but filing it with more tables would make it look either emptier or restaurant-like, which would detract from the atmosphere. The window coverings are definitely home-made, but I find that rather charming.

The menu is extensive and has interesting Asian drinks that you can't find at ordinary coffee shops. There is also a nice outdoor patio where the chairs are surprisingly comfortable chairs and umbrellas shade your eyes. The huge private bathrooms are elegant and have couches, plus signs warning you to not flush your toilet paper.

Gaam also sells old used cameras.

My only complaint is that I ordered a decaf coffee and got one refill and my tab was $6, which is awfully pricey. The other people I was with ordered lattes and cappucinos, which were also $6. I can't remember if these prices were listed on the menu--my decaf coffee was not on the menu, but I sure didn't think it would cost $6, even with a refill, which is free or very cheap at most establishments. The coffee was good though: strong and fresh.

Also, the music was a bit loud for a place where people go for conversation, but if you go outside, you can't hear it, and I'd imagine you could ask them to turn it down. Some acquaintances who are not Korean have told me that they have been made to feel unwelcome in various establishments in K-town, but my wholly non-Korean group didn't experience any hostility here.

3465 W. 6th St Ste 300
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 383-2297
Gaam on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All drinks, I'm pretty sure, cost $6 at Gaam. Most Korean "cafes" will charge you about that much because they expect you to linger over a drink and hours of conversation-- you're basically paying to spend time there.

Try the green tea bingsoo next time. I remember it being really great with lots of green tea ice cream, paht, etc., but I've heard it's gotten to be sub-par.