Archive for the 'Koreatown' Category

Here’s Looking at You – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Here's Looking at You - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

A few days before Here’s Looking at You officially opened to the public, my friend Thien and I attended a sneak peek for friends and family.

Lien Ta, the restaurant’s co-owner and front-of-the-house maven, is our friend and family, and seeing her longtime dream of opening a restaurant come true this evening was, dare I say, quite possibly even better than Chef Jonathan Whitener’s amazing cooking. High-five, L.T.! You did it.

Here's Looking at You - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Thien and I were seated at the best table in the house—a bad-ass banquette overlooking the entire dining room. We thrived in our throne all evening!

Here's Looking at You - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

We started with two perfectly crafted cocktails. For me: the Seascape Swizzle ($15) with
Mezcal Espadin, summer berries, fresh lime, cassis, Lillet Rouge, rose, and sea salt;
a drink inspired by Sqirl’s seascape berry & rose geranium jam. I’m a total lightweight these days, and this one did me in in the best way.

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Lunch at POT – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

Now that The Astronomer and I are ten weeks away from welcoming our baby girl into the world, we’ve been thinking a lot about how our dining rituals of showing up without reservations and waiting in long lines will need to be revised quite soon. Not one to miss out on the latest hot spots, I’m hoping that lunchtime outings and dining early will keep me properly in touch with the L.A. restaurant scene with a child in tow.

Which brings me to POT, Roy Choi’s stupendous Koreatown spot that now offers lunch. While snagging a seat at dinnertime can be tough, lunch is a decidedly child-friendly affair with an al fresco dining option. God, I’m starting to sound like a mommy blogger…

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The lunchtime menu is slightly abbreviated from the one offered at dinner, with scaled down portions and a few fun additions including Spam banh mi and classic bi bim bap.

Pot | Lunch | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The Astronomer and I started our lunchtime feast with an order of the “Stash” ($5), a sweet, salty, and umami-fied party mix of dried squid, peanuts, cashews, beef jerky, potato chips, dried pineapple, seaweed, wasabi peas, dried anchovies, and sesame seeds. I’d be the first in line to buy this stuff if it were bagged and sold by the pound. A killer beginning, for sure.

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Mapo Kkak Doo Gee – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Mapo Kkak Du Gi - Koreatown - Los Angeles

While we’re on the topic of Koreatown, let’s discuss the awesomeness of Mapo Kkak Doo Gee!

I was first introduced to this gem while researching The Food Lovers’ Guide to Los Angeles a few years back. In a neighborhood full of stellar restaurants, I keep returning here time and again for the dependably delicious cooking.

Mapo Kkak Du Gi - Koreatown - Los Angeles

As you can likely deduce from the facade, Mapo Kkak Doo Gee is a no-frills kind of place. The menu features homey Korean fare, and seats are easy to come by at both lunch and dinner.

Mapo Kkak Du Gi - Koreatown - Los Angeles

One of the perks of dining in Koreatown is the free and refillable banchan served alongside every meal. While it’s always nice to receive something for nothing, it’s rarely the case that these pickled and marinated nibbles are as memorable as the main course. At Mapo, however, the banchan are so remarkably good that my chopsticks can’t help but reach for more.

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Commissary at The Line Hotel – Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The second half of my second trimester of pregnancy has been good to me. After a rough start, I can finally hold down food without the aid of modern medicine, I have a great deal more energy, and best of all, I’m able to stay awake past 8 PM. I’m not sure what the next couple of months will hold, but for the time being, life rocks.

While the good spirits are running high, I plan on cramming in as much good eating and restaurant explorations as possible. For our first dinner out on the town in a few months, The Astronomer and I made it a priority to check out Chef Roy Choi’s Commissary, his latest (and final) dining venue at The Line Hotel in Koreatown.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

Located on the hotel’s second floor rooftop, Commissary is a greenhouse with a focus on fruits and vegetables. Roy’s been layin’ off meat for years now, and Commissary is a reflection of how delicious and satisfying a plant-based (but not necessarily vegetarian) diet can be at its best.

The restaurant’s space is full of light: pure sunshine during the day and urban twinkly at night. There’s a shimmering pool nearby and superb vibes all around.

Commissary at The Line Hotel | Koreatown - Los Angeles

The restaurant’s illustrated menu (see topmost image) is divided into five price points and comes with a supplementary decoder to describe various preparations and additional ingredients. The Astronomer and I both found the menu to be whimsical and fun, even though it wasn’t the most streamlined.

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