I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Tongue in Jeep October 29, 2007

Filed under: restaurants — Raven @ 6:33 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

So I broke down and went to the KBBQ for non-K people, Soot Bull Jeep. It was only to try the tongue, I swear! In most respects I think Park’s beats Soot Bull Jeep (although some readers may not agree with me): better service, awesome panchan, cleaner, prices about comparable or maybe a little less. Plus Soot Bull Jeep charges extra for their panchan! Can you imagine?

But let’s move on to the things Soot Bull Jeep does right. They have a parking lot, and it’s free and non-valet, two things I like. No, the list doesn’t end there. Their tongue is better than Park’s. The reason is it’s cut thicker. If you cut it too thin, it just won’t be tasty, as I remarked when I blogged about Park’s. Here’s the tongue before:


And here’s the after photo:


The tongue is good with Soot Bull Jeep’s green onion salad, which rocks. I tried the tongue with the lettuce wraps, but the lettuce tended to overwhelm it. I mean, even thick tongue still isn’t thick enough to compete with all that lettuce. The lettuce is better with the kalbi, which we also ordered. The panchan (which we paid extra for!!!) were only so-so. I think they were left over from yesterday or something.

Soot Bull Jeep
3136 W 8th St
(just west of Catalina)
Los Angeles, CA 90005


Wildfires October 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Raven @ 11:41 am

This is only indirectly linked to K-town and things Korean, linked in the sense that all of us here in LA were under the freaky orange moon last night and I’m pretty sure that haze in the sky is actually smoke.

For any of my readers who may have been affected by the wildfires, stay safe.


A Case of Too High Expectations October 22, 2007

Filed under: kdramas — Raven @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Winter Sonata is the quintessential kdrama, right? The huge hit, the most popular kdrama ever, etc.? I should be blown away by it, right?

I’m not.

Granted, I’m only on Episode 4. And maybe part of the problem is that I’ve already seen bunches of kdramas that were made later and probably copied the classic, so I already recognize the tropes and they don’t seem fresh. But you know what it’s missing? A throughline. Er, aside from the obvious one of Bae Yong Jun and Choi Ji Woo falling in love and after many trials and tribulations ending up together, as I’m sure they will. Or else dying in each other’s arms or something. Or another heartbreaking possibility that I don’t want to say because it might spoil some of it for those of you who haven’t seen it. Or one of them getting cancer. I swear, if somebody starts getting nosebleeds I’m turning it off.

Okay, I probably won’t turn it off, but I have to say at this point I’m watching it more out of a sense of duty (how could I not watch Winter Sonata now that I’ve finally gotten hold of it?) than because it’s compelling. And that makes me sad. I had such high hopes.

That was probably the rest of the problem.

P.S. Nobody spoil the ending for me, please.


The Horror of Cinderella October 18, 2007

Filed under: movies & film — Raven @ 8:32 pm
Tags: ,

Call me old-fashioned, but I like my movies coherent. This preference does not seem to be shared by the makers of horror movie Cinderella (신데렐라), which I saw tonight at KCC. I mean, is it too much to ask to be able to figure out why these horrible things are happening to these folks? If Evil Sister is somehow haunting/murdering a bunch of Good Sister’s friends, it would be nice to know how she’s doing it. It would also be nice to know whether Evil Sister is actually dead or not and which daughter she really is.

But clearly these things are not for us to know. This movie was my first real taste of Asian horror (the American remake of The Ring doesn’t count), since I just discovered last week that horror doesn’t actually scare me. Bad scripts do, though.

It’s sad when the synopsis provided by KCC has more of a story than the movie itself. To read the synopsis go here and scroll down a bit. See, the synopsis sounds as if the movie could be watchable. But in fact you get a lot of atmosphere, a lot of unexplained stuff, and not a whole lot of coherence (there’s that word again).

On the positive side, nobody’s cell phone rang during the show. On the other hand, the auditorium wasn’t really at capacity either.


The Maryland pics are up October 16, 2007

Filed under: non-Los Angeles — Raven @ 10:24 pm

I updated last week’s post (below) with the pics I took. Here’s a taste of what you’ll see:


While I was in Maryland I also passed a Korean supermarket but didn’t have time to go in, and it’s far enough out of the way that I will probably never go there again… or not when I have time to explore it, anyway. In northern Pennsylvania (yes, I went everywhere while I was away) the closest I came to anything remotely Korean was, um, driving past Park’s Tae Kwon Do and also a place unpromisingly called the Oriental Market. I didn’t go in. I don’t think northern Pennsylvania is a haven of Koreana.

The overall verdict regarding things Korean: LA wins.


I’ll be back soon! October 12, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Raven @ 4:15 pm

This being out of town business sure cuts into the blogging… I’ll be back next week, I promise!


The kblog visits Maryland October 4, 2007

So, for those of you who didn’t know (which is probably most of you), I’m currently in MD for my dongseng‘s wedding. I’ve got a lot of folks to see here and lots of stuff to do, so I’m spending a full two weeks. But naturally I can’t go two whole weeks without Korean food. I mean, seriously, after that long I start getting withdrawal symptoms.

So the natural solution was to look for a Korean restaurant within reasonable driving distance. Mind you, this wasn’t the first time I’d looked for one with no luck. But this time I found not one but two, both in the same shopping center! The one I picked was called Gah Rham, and I picked it for a very simple reason: it had a menu online for me to look at before I left LA, so by the time I got there I had already decided what my friend and I were going to order.Gah Rham has a sushi lunch buffet (they offer Japanese food as well as Korean), but we went for KBBQ. I think we were about the only people in the place eating anything but the buffet. There were also more non-Koreans than Koreans when we got there, although by the time we left the non-Korean lunch crowd had thinned and there were more Koreans in the place. That felt homier to me. 🙂


We ordered the traditional kalbi and bulgogi, both good choices since I was introducing my friend to Korean food for the very first time (she loved it). Both were marinated. The bulgogi was thicker than I’ve sometimes had, and in general the pieces of meat seemed to be cut bigger than I’m used to in LA. But the quality was excellent, and so was the taste. The meat was extremely tender. Unlike many KBBQ joints in LA, this place automatically provided lettuce leaves for wrapping the meat. And apparently the rice wrapper craze hasn’t made it across the country, or at any rate Gah Rham hasn’t joined it.

In addition to our BBQ, we also ordered a seafood pa jeon, which turned out to be huge. It was a little crispier than I’m used to, but very tasty. I enjoyed everything we ordered, although I have to say we ended up with a huge amount of food. There was lots of meat and then the hugp1010102.JPGe pancake, and of course we’d been filling up on panchan as well (the panchan were pretty standard, but good: kimchee, bean sprouts, seaweed, pickled radish, a couple other things). With the barbecue also came the egg casserole that I love and a bowl of soondubu. And at the end we each got small bowls of miso soup. So yeah, HUGE lunch.
In addition to the delicious food, our server took excellent care of us (maybe she was pleased because we were the only folks eating Korean food instead of sushi). If anyone happens to be in the Maryland suburbs of DC with a sudden craving for Korean food, I recommend Gah Rham.

Gah Rham
5027 Garrett Ave.
(off Route 1 between Odell and Powder Mill)
Beltsville, MD 20705