Welcome to another installment of my “Los Angeles: Food Edition” series. If you’re new to this, basically I go about trying new cuisine in Los Angeles, my hometown. Considering that I’m back for the summer, I thought it would be great to hit up some novel spots for the ultimate foodie adventure! (check out part 1 and part 2 here).
Any case, it’s been almost another month since my last post…and there’s so much to catch up with! Rewinding back to mid-July, I spent a day in West Los Angeles visiting LACMA, which you can find the post here, before heading across the street to Fairfax, a district also casually known as “Little Ethiopia,” where I was interested in trying Ethiopian food. It’d been high on my list of things to try, so I was really looking forward to it!
I split a vegetarian injera with a friend– essentially, it’s this huge, flimsy bread with a sourdough taste, and on it there are a myriad of different samples of vegetables, sauces, and pastes to eat it with. You use your hands to tear a bit of the bread before scooping the samples and eating as such. Quite similar to how Indian food is eaten, and everything was communal and well-spiced. I rather liked it, and I’m glad to have *finally* tried Ethiopian food!
That weekend, I went with another friend to our local Greek festival, which takes place each summer. For the last couple of years, I’d been meaning to check it out, but something always came up to prevent me from going. This time, though, I made it a priority to go, and it turned out to be a good time. I ordered a lamb gyro (tender and delicious), as well as souvlaki (chicken skewers) and an assortment of desserts, including baklava, my favorite. Prices weren’t exactly cheap, but the atmosphere was lively and well. Afterwards, my friend and I headed to the beach just a hop and skip away from the venue to soak up the rays for the rest of the afternoon.
The following week, my family and I headed over to the university for lunch with my sister, who was taking summer classes there. We got Korean soon tofu in the Sawtelle district, where I ordered an oyster soon tofu. At first, I didn’t expect a lot of oysters in my pot (as I’ve experienced from *stingy* restaurants), but surprisingly, I received a decent serving of big, fat oysters. With a little bit of spiciness added to it, the meal was filling and satisfying.
Later that week, my family and I went out once again, this time to Koreatown (“K-Town,” as it’s commonly called) for a big feast with my aunt, uncle, and cousin– what better way to enjoy each other’s company than with Korean BBQ? We did exactly that, eating to our heart’s content of beef brisket, galbi and bulgogi, even cow tongue. So much protein was ingested in that one sitting, and you can bet that we didn’t have to eat dinner that night!
That weekend, I was taking a walk over to the local library to return some books– afterwards, I decided to pop into Mickey D’s (aka McDonald’s) since it was just a corner away from there. What I was interested in trying was its McFlurry, which I never had before. Plus, it was only $2, so why not treat myself to something cool on a warm, August day? It was richly cold and sweet, thick like soft serve with Oreos mixed in for the ultimate summer treat.
That following Friday, my parents and I ventured out to Koreatown again for some more Korean food. We hit up the mall’s food court where we tried soondae (pork blood sausage) and budae jjigae (Korean army stew). The former was nice and chewy, albeit a bit bland while the latter was filled with flavor and toppings inside, including rice cakes, Spam, and ramen. Essentially, budae jjigae is a Korean fusion dish which incorporates many elements of American and Japanese foods, e.g. Spam and ramen, respectively, since South Korea has been subjected to military occupation by such countries in history. Certainly a hearty dish to enjoy, as well as big enough to share with others!
Right after our Korean food court fest, we went about a block to a dessert store where it sold ah-boong, which is a Korean take on the Japanese taiyaki (fish-shaped pastry). What makes it distinctive is the addition of soft serve placed directly into the opening of the fish’s mouth, which is quite adorable, I have to say!
I got the ube-sesame swirl, and when it came to taking a photo of it, I accidentally dropped the soft serve on the ground! Utterly embarrassed, I returned to the store to let the workers know of my accident, and they were nice enough to whip up a second serving at no cost– that said, the photo below is the second take of the ah-boong. While I found the flavors difficult the discern, I enjoyed the fresh, crispy taste of the taiyaki. A good way to end a fulfilling lunch in K-Town!
Finally, this past Saturday happened to be National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day– hence, I made it a goal to visit a soft serve and/or ice cream establishment for some sweet, cold goodness. There was a Thai rolled ice cream joint that’d just opened up in town, and I’d been meaning to try it out– granted, rolled ice cream has been a food trend this past year, so I suppose I was keen on jumping on the bandwagon…
The place was packed when my friend and I went in, but the line moved steadily as I placed my order for a cookie-flavored rolled ice cream. I saw the workers make it, essentially pouring the ice cream liquid onto a freeze plate and “cooking” it until it solidified enough to roll it. While the ice cream itself tasted like any other ice cream I’ve had, nevertheless it was a unique experience that I can say I’ve done this summer.
…and that’s about it for my food adventures in Los Angeles this summer! While there are more dishes to try in other places, I’ll have to save them for another time when I’m back in town. It’s been a great experience this time around, and I hope to check out more in due time.
Let me know what your favorite food is. Have a good day!
— The Finicky Cynic
Check me out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/thefinickycynic