Monday, August 22, 2011

Another Reason for Our L.A. Trip

Last week, we drove down to L.A. and visited Disneyland. If you ask the toddler, the whole purpose of the visit was to go to Disneyland. And we’ll let him think so. Well, at least until his reading skills improve, and he can read this post…

Our L.A. trip had been planned for a VERY long time, since the Foodbuzz Festival last November in fact. At the dinner gala, hubby and I sat at a table with Sophia and Mimi.

I started reading Sophia’s blog when I first started my own blog in 2009, and hubby had also been reading her blog for a while. She was one of the bloggers I really wanted to meet in person. I feel I know some of her struggles and successes, and I enjoy reading her thought-provoking posts that seem to always magically end up featuring a recipe or food item. Her meal creations are unusual and fabulous! And she loves gochujang almost as much as I do! Smile Also, I remember back in 2009 I made one of her pasta dishes, and the toddler couldn’t get enough of it. Have to find that recipe again!

Even though it was very, very noisy that evening during the Foodbuzz dinner and hard to talk, we managed to make plans to visit L.A. and, especially, Koreatown. Sophia isn’t a big fan of “regular” Korean food, but she agreed to take us to some “interesting” places. Unfortunately, many things didn’t go as planned, and so we didn’t make it down to L.A. for ten months.

But last week, we finally went! We left bright and early at 6:00 a.m., and, including several stops, made it to L.A. before noon! We had plans to meet Mimi and Sophia at Yellow House Café at 2:00. While driving around Koreatown, hubby noticed this:

He just had to go there for lunch! A “real” German “Biergarten” is an outdoor restaurant with long tables and wooden benches. Ideally, there are also some big, picturesque trees providing shade. The Biergarten, on the other hand, is an interesting take on a German beer pub (the décor is definitely German) with some Korean twists. I think it’s more of a night spot, but we enjoyed our lunch there. We got tofu with kimchi and small pieces of German sausage (by far my favorite dish), grilled German sausages with peppers and onions, and sliders. The sausages came with a side of mustard and Sauerkraut with some kimchi seasoning. The kimchi seasoning in the Sauerkraut was an interesting but strange twist. I am all for fusion food, but I definitely prefer regular Sauerkraut and regular kimchi! Overall, an interesting lunch experience, but I could have done without so much meat… Hubby was really impressed by the extensive beer list, but I’ll let him write about the beer in his own post! Smile 

While visiting L.A., we had also hoped to meet up with Lynn. Hubby and I are big fans of hers, and we very much enjoyed talking with her and her husband for quite a while at last year’s Foodbuzz Festival. We also have really enjoyed watching her movies White on Rice and Surrogate Valentine. (We can’t wait for the sequel to Surrogate Valentine!). Unfortunately, our schedules did not match up, but Lynn let us know that there was a free Children’s Art Festival going on at Paramount, which is 5 minutes from Yellow House Café, and we hung out there for about 45 minutes. The toddler had a great time drawing and running around. Thanks for the great tip, Lynn!

Yellow House Café is exactly what the name says: a café in a yellow house, including a very cute courtyard. It’s a great place, and their banana latte is REALLY good! I’m going to pick up some Korean banana milk soon and will attempt to recreate it at home! I guess their shaved ice is good too, but hubby and the toddler didn’t share with me, so I don’t know for sure… Winking smile

It was really fun to catch up with Mimi and Sophia and to meet Mimi’s mom. Before we left, we made plans to meet up in a couple days for dinner in Koreatown. Unfortunately, we had to change those plans as the toddler’s schedule was all thrown off. Mimi and Sophia were very flexible and agreed to meet us for lunch instead.

We had some time before lunch and explored the nearby mall a bit. It was a nice and peaceful mall trip as the toddler, thankfully, caught up on his sleep the entire time we were there! Oh, and I got a little bit of shopping done! Smile

For lunch we met at Harajuku Crepe. We all enjoyed the beautiful bouquets of crepes!

We caught up more on life, culture, language, musicals (hubby and Mimi are both huge musical, and especially, Les Mis, fans and have even discussed different Les Mis performers via Mimi’s blog and email), blogging… Hopefully, one day we’ll get to visit Koreatown for lunch or dinner with Sophia, Mimi, and Lynn. I’d love to see them again and also compare L.A.’s Koreatown food to the Korean food scene where we live in San Jose. But it’ll probably have to wait until the toddler is a bit older…

Questions:  Is there a particular food you want to eat in a certain city or region? If so, what it is? Besides going back to Koreatown in L.A. for some Korean food, I would love to visit Baltimore during crab season one day.

Be well,