If there’s any cuisine I’m totally obsessed with, it’s probably Korean. On any given night I’m pestering my friends to grab some grub in Koreatown — or K-Town (not to be confused with my hometown of Katonah, NY, also known as K-Town amongst the local ruffians). Whether it’s BBQ or tofu or grilled clams or hot pot or raw crabs or fatty bossam or refreshing hwe dup bap, I want it all, and I generally want it every meal.
This does not happen.
I do have some enablers — my friend Sly is almost always good for a trip to our favorite K-Town eateries (Soowon Galbi, A-Won, or even Hodori) — but mostly, I spend a lot of time pining. Luckily, Amazon.com has direct access to my brain and happily suggested I “treat myself to a little something,” and in this case, it was a cookbook by Korean cook cum Youtube star Maangchi. The collection of recipes certainly looked interesting… and the reviews were stellar… and I hadn’t purchased a Korean cookbook in years… and… well, you know where this is headed.
After some hemming and hawing, I bought the book, visited the Korean grocer, and soon found myself knee-deep in Korean madness. Pics of what I made and some thoughts on the final product after the jump…
Kobawoo House in Koreatown is hardly a discovery. The place has been packing in eager diners for years and years, with hungry patrons lining up to taste the restaurant’s famed pork belly bossam (not to mention the expert seafood pancake also found on the menu). What exactly is bossam? It’s basically meat that gets rolled up in pickled radish or cabbage. That’s the simplistic, white-man’s version at least. Don’t worry — I have pictures.
Recently I was invited to an event hosted by a group called Bibimbap Backpackers at the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The purpose of the shindig was to promote awareness of Korean cuisine as a healthy, mainstream option — particularly bibimbap. For the uninitiated, bibimbap is pretty much a big ol’ rice bowl with various veggies and even meats strewn about artfully on top. It all gets mixed around fabulously, and voila! An excellent meal is born.
I’ve decided to start a new little section of the blog called “Restaurants Are Fun” (name subject to change) to document some of the random spots I go to with my friends (and sometimes enemies, but that is VERY rare). I wouldn’t say these are full on reviews per se, but they’re kind of a simple “I ate this, and it was good” or a “I ate that, and it was bad” kind of thing. Whatever. This is a blog, not the New York Times. Just let me DO WHAT I WANT.
Anyway, today I want to focus on two Asian restaurants I went to last month: Takara, the new ramen shop in Hollywood, and Sun Ha Jang, a Korean spot specializing in duck. Pics and thoughts after the jump…
Earlier this week, my friend Bets and I enjoyed a lovely dinner at Palsaik Samgyupsal Korean BBQ, which not only afforded us copious amounts of pork, but also a lovely variety of Korean pop videos on the sizable TV overhead. I wouldn’t call myself a general fan of K-pop (heck, I don’t even know if that’s a real term), but dammit if some of those songs weren’t the catchiest things of all time.
One infectious song, “Trouble Maker” (above), employs the trendiest gimmick nowadays: the whistle. I can assure you that it will quickly take up residence in your brain, perhaps evicting the previous “Moves Like Jagger” tenant. The second song, “Ma Girl 2” (after the jump), will happily make you claw at your ears in the best possible way thanks to its low-rent Flo-Rida-esque chorus, replete with high-pitched feminine guest vocals. I’m not going to lie: I kind of love it.
Please remember that once you listen to these songs, you cannot un-listen to them. It may be worth it though.
“MA BOY. MA BOY MA BOY MA BOY.” (This will make sense to you if you watch the video after the jump) Continue reading →