You decide. Curbed LA is running a competition to vote for the best neighborhood in LA in 2008. Koreatown is currently facing off against Silver Lake, with Koreatown leading by a small margin. To cast your ballot, go here.
Los Angeles Korean Festival 2008 September 25, 2008
The festival runs from today through Sunday. Go here for details.
If you’re not going to the festival, you might want to avoid K-town this weekend. I’m told driving will be a nightmare due to festival-related street closures.
Koreatown Galleria February 5, 2008
Why did I think the Koreatown Galleria would be a bigger, better, more modern version of the Koreatown Plaza? Okay, it’s more modern, maybe. At least the food court is on the third floor instead of stuck two levels below ground, so while eating you can actually see that there’s an outside world (there are tables outside, too). But basically, the two malls aren’t too different. Upscale stores, bakeries with samples to try, a market each.
There is one thing the Galleria boasts that the K-town Plaza doesn’t, however, and that’s a wholesale restaurant supply store in the basement. If you don’t know it’s there, you may not find it, because it’s tucked away on the lowest level of the parking structure, and you can’t get to it using the mall elevators. To get to the place you go down to the bottom level of the structure, walk through a wholesale food supply (for a mere $10 I could’ve bought a six-month supply of pine nuts). Then you duck through a doorway, and there you are. Kitchenware galore. I like to browse in home stores, so I was in heaven. My companion and I browsed the whole place. If you need Korean cookware, you’ll find it here.
Why this place is here I have no idea. I mean, who would think to put a wholesale restaurant supply in the parking structure of a mall? Seriously. But I guess it has to be somewhere. It does make it easier for any food court vendors who need supplies.
The Koreatown Galleria also yielded another gem. While there my companion and I noticed this interesting shoe store. Take a look at the name of the store and the color of the shoes for sale inside. Yeah.
Korean Festival September 16, 2007
I’m a bit late to this party considering today was the last day of the Korean Festival and I just found out about it. Sigh. It was held at Seoul International Park Sept. 13-16 here in LA. Apparently it’s an annual event held around the time of the Korean harvest festival, or Chu-sok, which occurs on the 15th day of the eighth month by the lunar calendar (don’t ask me to do the math). So I guess there’s hope for me next year.
The festival is in its 34th year, and last year it boasted 350,000 attendees over its four days. It showcases the awesomely diverse Korean community in LA. Go Koreans! The website is here.
I’m incredibly embarrassed that I just found out about it now. Lemme go slink into my corner and hide my face.
Koreatown Weather Forecast September 2, 2007
The weekend weather forecast for Koreatown, as for all of LA, is: really frickin’ HOT. Sweltering, even. I think today, at 98, is the worst of it (I hope so!). Today after lunch, having no desire to go back to our AC-deficient apartments, a friend and I headed over to the Koreatown Plaza to enjoy the cool indoors. Granted, it wasn’t all that cool. I have a feeling that since folks in LA so rarely need to use their air conditioning, they don’t end up with powerful units like you’d have in, say, Phoenix. As a result, the only place where we really felt cool was the frozen food section at the plaza market. However, it was better than being in a building with no AC at all.
Here’s how the folks at the K-town Plaza were dealing with the heat. The Olive Bakery, located on the lowest level next to the market, was having a special on pot bing soo, and they were being taken up on it big-time. I think a lot of people were doing exactly what my friend and I were doing: gracing the mall with their presence in order to beat the heat. The mall was more crowded than I’ve seen it before. The coffee shop, like the bakery, was doing a lively business in pot bing soo. And cold noodles seemed to be a highly popular item. I exerted my will power and didn’t actually buy anything, although the green tea ice cream was tempting.
I have to say, although this heat really sucks, the vendors at the plaza are probably happy about it.
P.S. I didn’t take any photos. It’s hard to take photos of heat. Sorry.
Spotlight on K-town July 22, 2007
Check out a very interesting and detailed article on Koreatown here.
A couple of notes: the author’s fave restaurant is called Cham Sut Gol, and I blogged about it earlier (link). And I’m amused by the idea (mentioned in a comment on the article) that you can get “California-style” KBBQ in Seoul and it’s based on the KBBQ found in our very own K-town. Is that true?
Here’s a pic to whet your appetite (for the article, not for KBBQ). This pic shows why letting me drive in K-town is a bad idea: There are too many Korean signs to read, and I still read Korean slowly, so I tend to be staring at the signs when I should be staring at the road.
The “Not Pinkberry” Phenomenon July 19, 2007
I don’t like fads. I never have, to the point where I refused to see Titanic because EVERYBODY was seeing it (I still haven’t seen it). But I admit I’m a little bit curious about Pinkberry, “the name that launched a thousand parking tickets,” as they say in their ads (or at least in the ads they show at the Grove before the movie starts). I can live without the parking tickets, though.
I did walk into a Pinkberry once with the intention of trying it. But I looked at the line and the price and left again. However, I’m told Pinkberry offers the same delicious vaguely sour Korean-style frozen yogurt I’m familiar with. Except that, since it’s a fad, it’s more expensive and there’s less variety than you’d find in, say, your average frozen yogurt shop in Koreatown.
Because there are a lot of those shops. And they don’t all have knock-off names like Roseberry, either. I went to a good one, the name of which I do not know, located at Vermont & 7th (northeast corner, in the strip mall). There’s another one on the southwest corner (also in a strip mall). In fact, they’re everywhere. I don’t know if it’s because they’re all cashing in on the Pinkberry phenomenon or whether they all existed before Pinkberry came along, but I guess my point is you can get the same stuff (or better) for cheaper, with more variety and a shorter line, all over K-town.
And, fads being evil by their very nature, why wouldn’t we all go for that?