Star DJ Whitney Fierce’s Insider Guide To LA’s Hip (North) Koreatown

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Onomatopoeia. You know, when a word sounds like what it’s actually describing (boom!). We’re thinking this can very much apply to names, as well – especially when it comes to star DJ Whitney Fierce, who is known for fiercely shredding it behind the decks, while also dazzling any room with her inimitable presence.

A keen internationalist, she’s spun for the likes of Vogue, Dior, Topshop and Marc Jacobs, and been featured on the bill at Rock in Rio USA, Meltdown London, Nuit Sonique (Paris), Red Rocks (Russia) and the Istanbul Electronica Festival. This Saturday, September 18, she’ll share billing with New Order at the legendary Hollywood Bowl; and she’ll be at Brooklyn’s House of Yes on the 23rd, before jetting off to engagements in Australia.

 

 

When she’s not globetrotting, she calls Los Angeles home, specifically North Koreatown. Bordering the likes of Silver Lake and East Hollywood, it maintains a careful balance of local charm and charismatic cool.

“It’s brilliantly central and I love it, ” she enthuses, “because contrary to popular belief, it’s an LA neighborhood that’s actually walkable. Being here for five years, I’ve watched it change from a crunchy multicultural area to what is becoming a hipster enclave. But it’s still inclusive of the people who are originally from here. It’s this amalgamation and juxtaposition of old school and new, classic and hip, simple and fancy that makes me fall in love with it every time I get home.”

In between international stops, we asked her to take us through some of her fave spots in her beloved NK-Town.

(Twitter and Instagram, @DJWhitneyFierce; Listen on Soundcloud)

 

Sqirl

Very current, chic, and delicious breakfast/lunch spot that started as a preserves company. Their toast options carry that history, but you can find me neck deep in a Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl w/Kokuho rose brown rice, sorrel pesto, preserved meyer lemon, watermelon radish, lacto fermented hot sauce, French sheep feta and poached egg – then to double up on the egg fare, I’ll always have a Lait ‘N’ Egg to drink, which is a Vietnamese style iced coffee shaken w/ egg whites.

Commonwealth and Council

An up-and-coming gallery/artist space that’s artist run. With multiple generations at the helm, you’ll see work here that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. from classic exhibitions to video, performance, and installation work. They show artists from around the country and the world, from many different backgrounds and cultures; it’s a great place to stop in to expand your boundaries and your mind!

 

 

EMC Raw Bar

My favorite raw bar. I am obsessed with oysters, to the point that a couple friends and I have a #GoutRace in the works. Happy hour is amazing, with dollar chef’s choice oysters and super affordable drink offerings. Don’t forget the live uni y’all. Seriously.

Poketo

Nestled in the lobby of the mega hip Line Hotel, this tiny store has so many of my favorite things, it’s absurd. I can always count on them to carry the most amazing and left field fragrances, natural bath and beauty products, and their fun bits and accessories are staggeringly well curated.

 

 

Yang San Bak

My personal favorite Korean BBQ spot, a block from the Line Hotel, Yang San Bak serves the finest self-grilled meats in the hood. Their combos come with soju and/or beer, and their banchan is incredible. And seriously, the kimchi moat is something that you didn’t know you needed in your life, but you do. Perfect for late night eats after oysters and drinks.

Baroo

It’s described on Yelp as Asian Fusion, which could be the most boring way to say what this gem of a place actually is: perhaps the best take on modern Korean I have ever put to my lips. Perfect for lunch or dinner, and definitely don’t forget their house made lavender kombucha.

 

 

HMS Bounty

A couple of blocks from EMC is a classic LA establishment, a watering hole for all people of all walks. Simple cocktails in the most amazing nautical themed atmosphere. The jukebox and the steak lunches take this spot to another level. Heck, my mom used to frequent the place when she moved to LA, and I’m always down for a legacy beverage.

The Normandie Club

Right across from YSB, nestled in a row of super cute new spots (Cassell’s – amazing hangover food, try the breakfast burger; Le Comptoir, an eight seat restaurant that reimagines French cuisine; and the semi-secret Walker Inn, with omakase-style cocktails). The Normandie Club is my neighborhood watering hole, but with a lot more to offer. They always have fun wines and their cocktail game is on point. The atmosphere is hip and the music is fun, you can meet people or bring your crew, and it’s the perfect place to end your evening and then, in my case, stumble eight blocks home.