I love Koreatown in the springtime…

Wherein I blog about all things Korean in Los Angeles

Red Mango (Miracle Mile branch) March 4, 2008

Filed under: bakeries, cafes, & fro-yo — Raven @ 11:43 pm
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This post is really overdue because I actually tried Red Mango back in January, if I recall correctly. So yeah, overdue. First off, I have to report that Red Mango is not really a Korean fro-yo shop, at least not the kind you’d find in K-town. There are no signs in Korean, and they don’t sell any version of bing soo that I noticed. Instead they’re aiming squarely at Pinkberry’s target market, which I guess is only fair.

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Service was great and so was the yogurt (I currently prefer tart fro-yo to sweet). Yes, those are mandarin oranges, which I love, and the mini chocolate chips are Ghirardelli dark. It was an excellent combo, much better than the mandarin oranges/coconut I originally intended to get. I don’t remember how many flavors they offer, but I know I got the original.

For those of you who want to know the nutrition information, it’s on their website at www.redmangousa.com (still as Flash-intensive as ever). For more info about Red Mango in LA, see my original announcement here (complete with original gripe about Flash-intensive website).

Red Mango
5115 Wilshire Blvd, Unit C
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Choco bing soo September 28, 2007

Filed under: bakeries, cafes, & fro-yo — Raven @ 10:23 pm
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There can be no doubt about it: chocolate bing soo (초코빙수) is the ultimate flavor (and I don’t say that just because I’m female). My previous fave was the green tea version, but after last Sunday’s trip to Ice Kiss where we got the chocolate, I’m a convert.

Ordinarily I probably wouldn’t have ordered the chocolate, considering it a little too untraditional (not that I think there’s really anything traditional about the stuff that gets added to bing soo, not at this point). But on Sunday I just had a taste for it, and apparently so did Bon V., so we gave it a shot. The verdict was that it’s a winner.

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Ice Kiss’s choco bing soo includes a sprinkling of Count Chocula cereal (this is what I mean about nothing traditional).

They also serve their medium size in an honest-to-goodness dog bowl. We knew this before we went, so we made sure to order that size. Despite how huge the serving looks (and it is quite huge), and despite having filled up on KBBQ beforehand, we managed to eat every ounce of our choco bing soo, which p1010095.JPGwas awesomely delicious. Well, okay, we left some of the ice at the bottom. I’ve never been a fan of things like snow cones, but when it’s bing soo, you can eat all the yummy goodness off the top along with some of the ice, and then you can just leave the rest of the ice in the bowl (for the dog, I presume). This wouldn’t work so well with some other Asian shaved ice desserts, where I gather the ice goes on top instead of on the bottom. I’ll stick with the Korean version.

The thing about bing soo is that, unlike plain ordinary ice cream, it’s lighter (because of the shaved ice to ice cream ratio), and it has fruit, which allows eaters to pretend bing soo is good for you. You’re also liable to find almost anything in it (witness the Count Chocula). It’s more interesting than ice cream, and it probably is better for you. Well, okay, it might not be. But it does have fruit!

Here’s what was left of our choco bing soo when we were done: basically chocolate syrup (used on the chocolate version instead of condensed milk) and melting ice.

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Ice Kiss
3407 W. 6th Street
(about half a block east of Kenmore)
Los Angeles, CA 90020

 

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.

 

Revenge on the bibimbap lady May 7, 2007

Filed under: cuisine,restaurants — Raven @ 2:48 am
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Dear Bibimbap Lady,

Just because I’m white doesn’t mean I want to order #1 (i.e., bibimbap for non-Koreans), especially when you’ve just heard me tell you I want to order #14.

Thanks.

P.S. Just wait till I can order in Korean! That’ll show you!

Well, actually I probably could order in Korean now. The problem would arise when I got a response, since I almost certainly wouldn’t understand it. I’d be fine as long as all I had to do was say “I’d like this” and then pay.

The bibimbap lady who has earned the honor of being featured on my blog runs a place called Gamja Bawi in the Koreatown Plaza food court. For those of you who have been there, it’s the one on the south wall with the biggest variety of bibimbap (some of you know this because you were there with me). I’m sure the lady means well and is concerned for my taste buds, but I don’t like being restricted to one variety of bibimbap just because I don’t happen to be Korean.

Also, her bibimbap is tasty, but when you order a kind that’s supposed to have a lot of meat in it, it would be nice if you could find the meat. Okay, so I exaggerate a little, but it really was skimpy.

The cold noodles from the place on the west wall, however, were awesome, especially on a hot day like today when we needed something refreshing.

As of today I’ve also become a fan of papingsu, specifically the variety we ordered, which was actually nokcha pingsu (I love green tea ice cream). I was also very impressed with myself because Bon V. and I were sitting at our table chatting and waiting for our order to be up, and suddenly I hear the lady behind the counter call, “녹차 빙수!” And I said to Bon V., “That’s us.” Processing time: instantaneous. Now keep in mind I hadn’t known the Korean name for what we ordered until a few minutes earlier, when I read it on the posted menu. And I thought I’d forgotten it again right away. And it wasn’t in front of me at the time. So I have no idea how I understood this. But I was very pleased. Yes, I take pleasure in small things.

In addition to a lot of good food, this trip to the K-town Plaza also yielded a script idea (actually several, but only one I remember).

And then I got home and found a tree branch had fallen on the exact spot where I parked my car last night. I’m really glad I went out today!