Shaken Dosirak at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong

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Mad at myself, I flung open–as much as you can virtually fling something open–Jonathan Gold’s epic article “60 Korean Dishes Every Angeleno Should Know” and said to myself, “You big jerk! You’ve been in L.A. almost a year and you’ve barely scratched the surface of Koreatown. You’ve never eaten any of this food. Eat some of it right now!”

My eyes settled on something called “Shaken Dosirak” and I decided I would go eat that thing, whatever it was, this very instant.

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Starry Kitchen, Local & Trader Sam’s

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Last week, we went to see “Follies” at the Ahmanson Theater (my second time seeing this production) and, beforehand, we needed a place to eat. I Tweeted out to the world and received a response from @StarryKitchen: “Starry Kitchen’s not a bad place to start.. Oh wait a minute, that’s my restaurant. (Tee hee hee) we’re only a block away ;).” I already had Starry Kitchen on my mental radar so the fact that the restaurant itself (or its Twitter handle) was beckoning me in (and that it was super close to the theater) made this dinner decision easy.

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Sneakily Expensive Drinks

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It happens to all of us at one point or another; we order a drink without looking at the price and then find ourselves startled when the bill arrives.

That happened to me TWICE last week. The first time I was at Franklin & Company, a cute restaurant near our apartment that serves sandwiches and salads and a smoked chicken dish that comes with smashed potatoes and cauliflower. That dish, which I ordered, has a wine suggestion underneath it–a Pinot Noir–and so I told the waiter I’d do the dish with the pairing. No price was listed. When the bill came, that glass of Pinot Noir was $17. (The dish itself was $18.)

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Michael Voltaggio’s ink.

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There was a moment at Michael Voltaggio’s ink.–where Craig and I went to celebrate our six year anniversary this weekend–when I washed down a bite of my egg yolk gnocchi (the first course on the tasting menu) with a cocktail made of mezcal and smoked salt and thought to myself: “I’ve never tasted anything like what I’m tasting right now. How is this happening?”

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An Imaginative Feast By Food Prodigy Andy Windak (Mac ‘n’ Cheese Stuffed Ravioli! Coq au Vin Chilaquiles!) & A Roasted Feast By Cookbook Hero Molly Stevens

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I don’t follow sports, but I know that there are these people called scouts who go around to minor league events and look for future stars to recruit to the majors. Well, I never considered myself much of a chef scout, but that all changed on Sunday when food blogger Andy Windak–of the food blog The Wind Attack–invited us over for dinner. I was wary of this 25 year-old who talked a big game the first few times that I met him (he said something about marinated yucca blossoms) but what I didn’t realize was that he was the real deal: a self-taught, self-motivated prodigy who works wonders in the kitchen.

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Dan Sung Sa (Korean Bar Food in L.A.’s K-Town)

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The biggest challenge was finding the place. The address was 3317 W. 6th Street and we were meeting our friends Kyle and Gary there at 7:30. We drove down 6th, using my phone as a guide, and didn’t see 3317. We parked on the street and saw a sign for a hotel featuring Korean dramas on the TV, but no 3317. Then, entering a shopping center, we saw a valet parking attendant and asked him if he knew where we could find Dan Sung Sa. He pointed at the building right in front of him: there it was, in Korean, no English translation.

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Green Drinks and Coconut Water

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Little by little, bit by bit, L.A. is chipping away at me. First: I joined a gym. Then I started cooking quinoa. Most recently, I met my friend Isaac (pictured above) in Silverlake for coffee; only Intelligentsia was so packed, we agreed to a change of venue and journeyed down the street to a juice bar. Isaac ordered the green concoction that you see him holding and I bought myself a coconut water.

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Pig: A Restaurant

[Photo credit: Gothamist]

We just saw a hilarious skewering of the food world at L.A.’s U.C.B. (Upright Citizens Brigade) called “Pig: A Restaurant.” Actress Lauren Adams tackles everyone from Gael Greene to David Chang in this play written by Leila Cohan-Miccio and directed by Caitlin Bitzegio. Based on real world food experiences (Leila ran the blog Grub Street and Lauren worked at Balthazar and D.B. Bistro Moderne), the show imagines a Brooklyn restaurant called Pig: A Restaurant where the hostess answers the phone “This is Pig: A Restaurant, I’m Aurora: A Hostess.” Like most hip restaurants nowadays, every dish there is made with pork (to the chagrin of the owner’s dead husband’s kosher-keeping parents) and the signature drink is a Brooklyn (“which is the same as a Manhattan, except you drink it in Brooklyn.”) The show flies along at a clip and for anyone with passing knowledge of the food world (at the opening night party, Thomas Keller is turned away because he’s “not on the list”) you’re bound to appreciate the knowing, wicked humor of these very talented restaurant industry vets. And if you’re in L.A. you’re in luck: there’s another show on February 2nd at 7 PM. (There are also more shows in New York on 2/6 and 2/20). Go see it; you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll crave pork belly.