Tag Archives: korean

Global Diner Recap


PHOTO by PRISCILLA IEZZI / ORANGE COAST

The good eats for Orange Coast Magazine keep on coming. There’s ramen in the column’s future, but here are three recent looks at Orange County’s ever-fascinating international food scene.

First, grab a slice of pizza-like manakeesh in Anaheim’s Little Arabia. Then belly up to a bowl of bibimbap, the Korean rice classic. Finish up with the constellation of Indian small plates called a thali.

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Leftovers: Pizza and Chicken Love Letter

Korean pizza for the District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Korean pizza has little history. Unlike other global creations—the so-called Mexican pizza, for example, has an antecedent in the Oaxacan tlayuda—Korean pizza is a pure product of globalization, and a recent one, at that. It wasn’t until the 1990s, when American flavors crept even farther into Korea, that homegrown pizza chains started reshaping our fast-food traditions to fit the local palate. Artesia’s Pizza and Chicken Love Letter follows this formula, serving American-style pies tweaked to slightly different tastes.

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Leftovers: Feng Mao

Koreatown’s yang rou chuan specialist from today’s L.A. Times:


PHOTO by MICHAEL ROBINSON CHAVEZ / L.A. TIMES

Tiny flecks of fire jump from Feng Mao’s tabletop grills. They’re unpredictable at first, but as the embers slowly brighten to white-hot, the flames calm down. Once the entire dining room gets cooking, the Koreatown restaurant fills with a familiar scent: a meaty smoke that works its way into the very fibers of your clothes.

But Feng Mao isn’t a typical Korean restaurant. In fact, it’s merely a hyphenated one, a months-old Korean-Chinese restaurant that’s adapting its recipes to an eight-table space on Olympic Boulevard.

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Leftovers: So Hyang

Eating the upper-reaches of Koreatown:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Out on the business end of Koreatown, where Wilshire high-rises block out the sun and serious restaurants fade to fast food, So Hyang sits just out of sight. The restaurant is buried under the Equitable Trade building, a ground-level space hidden behind a concrete wall that amplifies every breeze into wardrobe-rustling gusts. Even without the usual weekday bustle, the restaurant is tough to find. But once you learn how to navigate the plaza, So Hyang reveals itself as a different kind of Korean restaurant.

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Leftovers: Seoul Soondae

Korean blood sausage from this week’s District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Seoul Soondae ties together all the details you’d expect from a restaurant of its age: maroon booths buffed to a dull, diner-like sheen, regulars intimating orders with little more than a nod of the head. Seoul Soondae, after all, has been around for 20 years, helping to define the Korean cooking of Artesia and Cerritos long before the cuisine got upscaled and exported to places like Beverly Hills. Every aspect of the place seems a constant—the communal copy of the Korea Daily, the seasonal colds nursed over pots of steaming soup—but if there’s one fact that remains as true as ever, it’s that Seoul Soondae is as much a front as it is a restaurant, an expertly designed vehicle to sell sausage.

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Leftovers: Peking Restaurant

Downey’s comfortable Korean-Chinese eatery from this week’s District:


PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES

Peking Restaurant looks like it sprouted straight out of Downey’s past, an old space built right along with the rest of the city’s post-bean-field boom. And in those few modest midcentury blocks that make up downtown Downey, the restaurant is a fine fit, the kind of spot where decades can drag by before the menu sees even the slightest shift.

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