Go Metro and Discover Koreatown On the Purple Line

Photo by DYLAN + JENI, courtesy of Break Room 86

The Purple Line is one of six lines on the Metro Rail system, operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro). The Purple Line begins at Union Station in Downtown L.A. and terminates at Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Along with the Red Line, the Purple Line is one of L.A.’s two subway lines, servicing districts such as the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core), the Financial District, Pico-Union and Westlake.

Originally one of two main branches of the Red Line, the route between Union Station and Wilshire/Western was renamed the Purple Line in 2006. The branch to North Hollywood retained the Red Line title.

Out of the eight stations served, only two of them are exclusive to the Purple Line. The six stations that are shared with the Red Line are covered in the second half of our guide to the Metro Red Line. Read on for dining, nightlife and hotels located in Koreatown near the Wilshire/Normandie and Wilshire/Western stations of the Metro Purple Line.

Inn of the Seventh Ray
Inn of the Seventh Ray  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Inn of the Seventh Ray

Los herbívoros y omnívoros pueden cenar juntos en el Inn of the Seventh Ray, un restaurante que parece salido de un cuento de hadas en los bosques, ofrecerá cenas de 3 y 5 platillos con opciones veganas y pavos de rancho libre bañados en cidra de manzana. Hay suficientes guarniciones veganas y vegetarianas, con copas de vino y una comida infantil de 3 platos en el menú. Se recomiendan las reservaciones.

128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd, Topanga 90290
(310) 455-1311

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Photo courtesy of Hotel Normandie


Two of L.A.'s top hotels are conveniently located across the street from the Wilshire/Normandie station. The 388-room Line Hotel opened in January 2014 at the site of the former Wilshire Hotel. The Line combines its Mid-Century Modern heritage with an industrial-chic twist. Following a $5-million restoration, the Hotel Normandie's 91 rooms have been restored to their original Roaring 20s flair, with new, vintage-inspired furnishings, fixtures and tile work of the era.

Eastern oysters at EMC Seafood & Raw Bar | Courtesy Photo of Bill Esparza
Eastern oysters at EMC Seafood & Raw Bar | Courtesy Photo of Bill Esparza

There are countless dining options near the Wilshire/Normandie station, including POT and Commissary, Roy Choi's eateries at The Line; the Hotel Normandie's throwback burger joint, Cassell's; Le Comptoir, a 10-seat counter dining experience by French Laundry alum Gary Menes; the classic steakhouse, Taylor's; EMC Seafood, which boasts one of L.A.'s best oyster happy hours; EscaLA, a Korean-Colombian mashup; and of course, Korean BBQ restaurants like Star BBQ, Oo-Kook and Honey Pig.

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The Normandie Club | Photo by Sandi Hemmerlein

There are just as many nightlife spots as restaurants in Koreatown. Options near the Wilshire/Normandie station range from old school bars like the nautically themed HMS Bounty to the speakeasy-style R Bar and craft cocktail bars like the Normandie Club. You can sing the night away at Cafe Brass Monkey, where every night is karaoke night. A pair of L.A.'s best hidden bars, Walker Inn and Break Room 86, are located at the Hotel Normandie and The Line, respectively.

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Photo courtesy of The Wiltern, Facebook


The Wiltern is one of L.A.'s top music venues, located directly across from the Wilshire/Western station. Originally built in 1931, The Wiltern and the adjacent 12-story Pellissier Building are considered among the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the country, and have been named to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

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Brown Sugar Baby Backs | Photo courtesy of Beer Belly

Nearby dining options include M Grill, the all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse; BCD Tofu House, one of the two K-town locations of the casual Korean restaurant chain; Beer Belly, the popular gastropub known for craft beers and Asian fusion fare; the spicy Korean-style wings at KyoChon Chicken; and still more KBBQ options like Hae Jang Chon, featuring AYCE meats cooked on a stone grill. For no-frills drinks, stop by Frank 'n Hank, a neighborhood watering hole with a pool table and jukebox.

The Ramada Los Angeles/Wilshire Center is conveniently located a couple of blocks from the Wilshire/Western station.

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Photo courtesy of InterContinental Los Angeles Century City, Facebook

Purple Line Extension

From the current terminus at Wilshire/Western, the Purple Line Extension will extend westward for about nine miles with seven new stations. It will provide a high-capacity, high-speed, dependable alternative for those traveling to and from L.A.’s “second Downtown,” including destinations such as the Miracle Mile, Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood.