While there are no shortage of recipes, Deuki Hong (head chef at Manhattan’s Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong) and food writer Matt Rodbard (Bon Appétit) take their cookbook beyond the kitchen. Exploring the people, culture and attitudes of six Koreatowns—in cities as diverse as Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.—the authors contextualize spicy, fermented and drunken dishes into hard-working, hard-partying late nights and quiet family meals the following morning. Produce and ingredient guides will help you navigate the kimchi, bulgogi and spicy whelk salad, while celebrity interviews and creative recipes from various guest chefs—such as the inspired kalbi meatballs—add new perspectives on Koreatown and the cuisine. To top it off, the photography is mouthwatering. One photo, rows of sides and starter dishes, pops with so much color, shape and texture that it could hang on your kitchen wall. Unlike many other cuisines, Korean dishes can be daunting in appearance and flavor, so, if there’s any hesitancy, start with the bibimbap. You’ll understand.