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Category Archives: food

Korea Blog: Notes on the Camp of the Pyongyang Pub, Where Seoulites Eat and Drink Like It’s North of the 38th Parallel

North Koreans aren’t especially hard to come by in Seoul. Here and there around the city I’ve had the chance to attend a few talks given by defectors from the other side of the border, the most recent of which happened as part of the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. That day’s North Korean […]

Korea Blog: What Jonathan Gold Understood About Korea

Even after I left Los Angeles for Seoul, I kept reading Jonathan Gold. Few who appreciate Los Angeles, no matter where in the world they live, could ignore what his restaurant reviews said about the city as a whole. On my last visit there earlier this year, I got into a conversation with a couple […]

Korea Blog: How Anthony Bourdain Revealed Korea — and Los Angeles’s Koreatown

“Anthony Bourdain.” “Anthony Bourdain Osaka Bar.” “Anthony Bourdain Osaka Hanshin Tigers Bar.” “アンソニーボーディン大阪阪神タイガース居酒屋.” I Googled all these search terms, and no small number of variations on them, one afternoon in a coffee shop at Gimpo International Airport. Soon to catch a flight to Osaka, my favorite city in Japan, I’d just found out that Toracy, my […]

Food carts and the secret of Portland urbanism

Whenever I go to Portland, Oregon – my favourite city in America – I immediately catch the train downtown and make straight for the food carts on 10th Avenue and Alder Street. This spectacular collection of micro-eateries never disappoints. I was there recently, making circuit after mouthwatering circuit of this cart-lined block, trying to decide […]

The Novel Cafe (Koreatown)

Give the Koreatown Novel Cafe this: nobody can object. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily trust an Angeleno who claims to love the place — show me a man who eats here every time they come to the neighborhood, and I’ll show you a man who’s given up — but if you’re meeting someone you don’t know […]

Bricks & Scones (Larchmont)

Santa Barbara lacks many things, but when I lived there, never did I want for pleasant coffee shops in which to work. Coffee Cat on Anacapa, The Daily Grind on Mission, The French Press on Carrillo, Cafe Zoma on State, Santa Barbara Roasting Company on Motor Way, Hot Spots on lower-lower State if the wee […]

Jonathan Gold: Counter Intelligence

Here we have a sheaf of dozen-year-old restaurant reviews. Yet here we also have what the New Yorker calls “one of the great contemporary books about Los Angeles.” Sure, the magazine distances itself from that accolade, attributing it to a nebulous group of “people,” but it does so in a profile of Jonathan Gold that […]

The shingle’s out

Soot Bull Jeep has fast become my go-to joint for friends who visit me in Koreatown filled with curiosity about this “Korean barbecue” stuff. Repeated endorsements from no less a food luminary than Jonathan Gold got me in the door in the first place. “Dinner at Soot Bull Jeep is an atavistic thing,” he writes, […]

Stop, stop, the New Yorkers will hear

After moving to Los Angeles, I found myself woken up on Saturdays and Sundays by a woman out on the street repeatedly singing, with a faintly surreal rare-bird intonation, the phrase, “Tamales! Y champurado!” In Mexico City, I discovered the filling wonders of a breakfast of tamales and champurado. (We actually drank strawberry atole, but […]

Diario de Los Angeles

[Might as well stick to the format for a while. Seems to work.] I have friends here who insist that, despite the surface noise, not much in the way of culture really goes on in Los Angeles. While I suppose I should defer, to some extent, to their seniority in the city, I did fly […]