Tag Archives: korean

Choon Chun Chicken Kalbi?

After running around and doing some shopping, Michelle and I worked up an early appetite for some Korean food. We stopped into Choon Chun Chicken Kalbi in Gardena.

We arrived pretty early for dinner, so the place was pretty empty. The tables consist of hollow barrels, which house the burners for cooking at the table.

The raw ingredients come out onto the table and the worker tells you, “Don’t touch it.”

Every once in a while she will come by and stir things in a little bit and say, “Not yet.”

If you try to touch the spoons to stir the cooking yourself, she will swoop in out of nowhere and snatch the spoons from your hands, still a little bit, and repeat, “Not yet.”

Now it’s ready. This is a great meal for two.

Once you’ve taken down the original dish the same works comes around and starts round two.

With ninja like quickness she whips some rice, oil, and onions together.

Fried rice!

If you search Choon Chun Kalbi Chicken in Gardena, you won’t find it. I have no idea why, but it must go under a different name. How Michelle found it is beyond me. I do recommend this place, so if you can find it, you won’t be sorry.

Just a sandwich and soup I had for lunch.

I was out looking for commercial property in Buena Park, so I stopped into The Sandwich Bar for a quick bite to eat.

Korean BBQ  Sandwich with Clam Chowder.

The closeup of the tastiness. It was nice to see the trimmings were so fresh. No limp, wilted vegetables in this sandwich.

Recent Bites

Pizza from Laventina’s Big Cheese Pizza. It’s delicious, but not quite the same when not eaten drunk and sitting on the curb with dozens of other intoxicated young adults.

Delicious sandwich from Tummy Stuffers by my office.

Ddukbokki from Western Doma Noodle.

Chicken Soup.

Onion Pancake.

Crab and pork dumplings from Mama’s Lu.

Pork and cabbage dumplings.

Spicy dumplings.

Now go get yourself some lunch, people!

Korean BBQ is a noodle, right?

Noodle Club has come back together after a summer off. From the suggestion of Michelle and one other member, we went to Corner Place Restaurant for some cold noodles. I know what you’re thinking. Cold noodles? That sounds like a terrible idea. I’m totally with you on that. I’m a big believer in hot food and cold beverages. I went into this meeting very skeptical.

Fortunately for me, while cold noodles are a star dish here at this restaurant, it’s still considered a side dish making way for the main event. Meat.

Raw beef is my new favorite noodle.

Mmm, smoky goodness.

The cold noodles. It’s good, very refreshing. This compliments the grilled meat well. While I would not want this as a dish by itself, it’s great with a heavier main dish. I have found a great exception to the hot meal, cold beverage rule.

While Noodle Club is serious business, we still like to have fun. See? We even made a volcano onion.

Korean BBQ Cookoff!

Last Saturday I got the opportunity to go to the 2010 KBBQ Cookoff. Note to self. Stop shooting while wearing polarized sunglasses. It looks like I shot all these images while standing on the surface of the sun.

I don’t know about you but this is a win in my book. Free parking!

All the different restaurants were out in full force, cooking up a storm.

It’s amazing how well kimchi goes on sausages.

Probably should have opened this burger more, but this is the Kalbi Burger. It’s really good, but it doesn’t have much of a Korean taste to it. You know what it needs? Kimchi!

KoreAm was out as a sponsor, showing off their publication and new shirts.

Spicy ribs and chicken. Now THIS tastes Korean.

The lines were long, but with VIP passes, we got to skip to the front of the lines.

Intestines and pork. This is so good. Does anyone remember which restaurant this was so I can go back and get some more?

Cool Haus was on site to serve up some dessert.  Yes, that’s candied bacon in the ice cream.

They even had a Chocopie eating contest.  There are no winners in a contest like this, only losers.

Korean food is always something I enjoy eating, and it’s nice to eat outside on a warm summer day for a change. I don’t enjoy waiting in line for it though. If it wasn’t for the VIP passes, there is no way you’d catch me at a food festival. I learned my lesson the first time.

Decision to eat here took longer than the meal.

I woke up from a nap to find that thirty five emails had been exchanged in a conversation to figure out where to eat dinner. Originally Michelle wanted to try this Korean place that is known for its braised short ribs. Then came all the replies. “I just had Korean two days ago.” Other suggestions were tossed into the mix. In the end I told Michelle, “Let’s just go to the place you originally picked. If people don’t want to join us, they don’t have to join us.” It was settled. We went to Seongbukdong.

I could eat this stuff every day.

This is what they are known for, their signature dish. The texture is incredible. You can cut it with a spoon, but it’s firm. The flavor is sweet and savory. It makes me sad that I am looking at a picture of this and not eating it. I think I finally know how Michelle feels about all food.

Here is the same dish, cut up. The meat still holds together, and I am still sad I am not eating this.

So after all the email madness, all turned out well. Maybe not exactly. One of our friends got mixed up in all the emails before his phone died. He thought he was getting Japanese food. He came all the way from Irivine, and needless to say he was disappointed. After all that drive he didn’t want to go J-Town so we walked down the block to Shoubu.

Tea time? Nope. Sake time!

Everything fish cake.

I didn’t eat here since I was still happily stuffed with braised short ribs. A beer was all I could handle. The food here looks to be okay, nothing phenomenal. I wouldn’t come back here because like a lot of places in Korea Town, a cloud of cigarette smokes hangs overhead. I prefer my meat to have a smokey flavor, not my clothes.

All we want is rice and noodles!

Our ongoing quest to fit into wedding attire is quite difficult when we don’t prepare our own meals. So when we’re looking for meat only, we think Korean food. We put a twist on things and went to Korean style shabu-shabu at Seoul Garden.

That’s a lot of vegetables there, much more than I’m used to in Japanese shabu-shabu.

Now THIS is what I am used to eating.

I’m not a big fan of vegetables, but this absolutely works for me.

Couple that with the familiar side dishes and you’ve got yourself a full meal.

Of course this dish really made our night. Some sushi and greens over buckwheat noodles. Buckwheat noodles aren’t as good as rice noodles, but they were a welcome taste.

Those Koreans turn leftovers into a second meal. Why did it have to be noodles?! We regretfully pass.

Why not a third meal? White rice?! Kill us now. Pass again. *SOB*

I’m just waiting for the point until my dreams turn to biscuits, pho, and fried rice.

Too Much Flavor

Michelle and I have been looking for a place to live recently. We’ve decided on living on the West Side for a while and renting rather than jumping into a home in a gated community with a good school district. We’re not even thirty yet!

Yesterday we stopped around the Culver City area to look around, and we like it. Well, what we really like is happy hour in Downtown Culver City.

Korean tacos. This is a new one at Gyenari. Someone’s still trying to ride the Kogi train (truck?).

After a quick snack and a few drinks, we wanted another Kogi tie in, so we decided on dinner with some friends at Chego.

Tiny’s Prime Rib Rice Bowl.

One Chubby Pork Belly Bowl.

Buttered Kimchi Chow with added pork belly.

These bowls are actually quite large. It’s a solid meal with tons of flavor, possibly too much flavor. Is there such a thing? I feel like when eating this it was as if someone turned the amp to eleven while walking out of a strip club at 7:30 AM and realizing the sun is out, shining straight into your face. I bet with a pot of rice, I can stretch this into three large meals still full of flavor.

Pretending to be Korean.

This weekend we set out to be Korean. We met Spencer and Vivian at Road to Seoul and we gorged ourselves on delicious meats while making our hair, clothes, and bodies smell like smoke. The meat there is absolutely awesome, not like the gristle and fat you get at most places.

Still feeling the need to be more Korean, we headed out to karaoke. Nore bang. Forgot we’re trying to be Korean. Singing your lungs out is always fun. I learned I can sing Lady Gaga pretty well. If only my friends would stop laughing at me I might be able to get through a whole song. Still, the highlight was this guy.

I don’t know who this mystery man is, but I know one thing. I already like him.

Here comes the sun.

Saturday we went up to Hollywood for Annie’s 30th birthday party. Michelle kept saying, “Don’t get too close or you’ll catch it! Then we’ll all be thirty!” We’re all getting old, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel young at heart and in our activities.

We had a picnic party! Who would have thought it rained and hailed for six days straight before this?

We gorged ourselves on delicious foods and after playing badminton, croquet, and other rich people games we decided we needed to eat more and  headed to Ondal 2 for some Korean food.

I picked the best seat. With people running late these were all mine.

Holy Mackerel! Vegetable pancake in the background.

Seafood pancake.

Unfortunately I can’t eat this one, because I’m allergic to crab.

This one I can eat. Short ribs in a spicy broth that is just awesome. It’s got heat but you can taste all the other flavors in the broth.

Doesn’t that look awesome?

After all the crab was gone, one of the servers tossed some hand made noodles into the broth for round two.

Not to be outdone, another server made some fried rice with the beef broth. This was awesome.

Those Koreans are so resourceful, taking two dishes that would have been otherwise considered finished, turning them into two completely new dishes. I bet a pack of Koreans could live for three weeks on my food waste alone.