Chunju Han-il Kwan | Korean Food, Homemade Style

Chunju Han-il Kwan is one of my favorite “go-to” Korean restaurants in LA. It’s a smaller Korean restaurant with quality Korean food and I enjoy their variety of Banchans, or side dishes. What’s great about Korean food is the plethora of vegetables and unique side dishes that accompany the meal. The Banchans can be a meal to itself for many people. But for Koreans, these amazing side dishes provide a delicious variety for those who don’t find satisfaction in a 1 main dish deal.

I wanted something spicy so we ordered Ojinguh Bokkeum, which is a spicy squid dish sauteed with onions, jalapenos, green onions smothered in Korean chile paste sauce.

Han Il Kwan | Ojinguh Bokkeum

Also one of our favorite grilled Akta Mackerel. Yum!

Han Il Kwan | Akta Mackerel

Variety of Banchans to share. You can always ask for more. Love it!

Han Il Kwan
Han Il Kwan | Side Dishes
Han Il Kwan | Side Dishes

Prices are affordable. Service is usually good. Food is awesome.

Go check it out =)

Chunju Han Il Kwan

3450 W 6th St
Ste 106
Los Angeles, CA 90020

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Girls Night Out at Towne Food & Drink | New in DTLA

Wednesday. A perfect evening for a girls night out. Long work week deserves good food and drinks. My friends and I decided to check out a new restaurant that opened up in Downtown LA called Towne Food & Drink. For a restaurant that just opened up few weeks ago, the place was cozied up with people. The space itself kind of reminds me a Bottega Louie in downtown, but definitely not that loud. The ambiance was a jazzy and upbeat, bright and spacious.

Hungry as always, we ordered a feast for 3.

For appetizers, we ordered Line Caught Tuna Tartar which was ok. A tad fishy for my taste. For the main course and sides to share, we ordered what it seemed like Thanksgiving feast!

Crispy Pork Shank for 2

Sweet & Sour cabbage, whole grain mustard spatzle with mustard jus. I was shocked how huge it was. It really felt like we ordered a Thanksgiving turkey for the table. The pork was tender and juicy. The meat just fell off the bone. The accompanying corn and spatzle a perfect match for the pork.

Crispy Pork Shank for 2

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

With Tamarid, bacon and apple. I absolutely love this!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Lobster “Mac”

Very rich and creamy version of Mac n Cheese. It’s unique but can only have 2 or 3 pieces due to its creamy decadence.

Other Sides:

Creamed Kale and Rapini. 

Creamy. Plenty to share!

Sides

The Shank Before & After

Pork Share Before
Pork Shank After

TTo finish off with something sweet, we ordered a Blueberry Creamcheese Donut. Score!

Definitely a place to check out again.

Towne Food & Drink

Located at the Watermarke Tower
in Downtown Los Angeles
On the corner of
9th Street and Flower Street

705 West 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015
213.623.2366

Caffe Bene opens in Koreatown, LA

I’m a coffee fanatic who loves coffee & tea cafes with a good ambiance. I’m excited to share that Caffe Bene, aka Korean Starbucks, has opened up its first branch in Ktown, LA. When I traveled to Korea last year, I went into one of the Caffe Benes and I really enjoyed the interior design of the place. Part of the decor reminded me of a modern library – wooden shelves and part wooden ceiling hangs over the seating area. There are outdoor seatings where you can mingle with your friends or enjoy your latte with your dog.

I ordered a iced latte, which was a little bit milky to the taste. They serve LA’s früute tart shop’s mini desserts to pair with your beverage. Try a Sea Salt Caramel Tart with your cup of joe or tea. 🙂

Caffe Bene Iced Latte
Caffe Bene Interior
Caffe Bene Outdoor
Caffe Bene Früute Cookies
Enjoying my Latte

O Jang Dong | Korean Comfort Food

It’s been hell of a scorching hot week. The 90 degrees of So. Cal weather is hot, but thankfully not humid. On a sweltering weather like this, spicy Korean comfort food with a cold beer tickles my taste buds.

As one of many Korean restaurants in Koreatown, LA, O Jang Dong is known for their Korean buckwheat noodles (aka naeng myun) in chilled beef broth. But to satisfy my craving, we ordered spicy stir-fried squid and vegetables in chili sauce and an order of Bindae Duk, which is a Korean pancake with ground mung beans and vegetables. These dishes are few of many comfort foods that are traditional to many occasions.

With an icy cold Korean beer, Hite (aka Korean water :)) it was a good blend of spice and ice to ease into the rest of the night.

O Jang Dong | Stir Fried Squid (Ojinguh Chul Pan)
O Jang Dong | Korean Mung Bean Pancake (Bindaedduk)

Food : I’ve had better but pretty good.

Service : Good

Ambiance : Fair  – Casual and nothing fancy. TVs to keep you entertained.

O Jang Dong, 4031 W. 3rd St., Koreatown; 213-365-0097

Dogs of Downtown, LA

Working in the city of concrete jungle, sometimes we fail to enjoy the life around us. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of downtown dog walkers strolling in the busy streets of LA and it’s actually quite energizing to get a daily dose of canine cuteness in the heat of screen gluttony.  Just a quick interaction with these dogs brings a perk to any busy day.

Canine Cuteness | Doberman Mix
Downtown Dogs

Try not to dive your nose so deeply into the computer screen. Rather, take a breather, walk around and get inspired by what’s around you.

Hello Chihuahuas
Golden Retriever

Osteria Mamma | Flavors of Italy

On a busy Saturday evening, we managed to squeeze in a reservation at Osteria Mamma, a cozy Italian restaurant on Melrose Ave., which has been on my foodie bucket list for over 2 years. With positive ratings on Yelp, I had to check out what the hype was about.

Ambiance was lively yet cozy. Dim lighting set the mood for a good vibe evening to enjoy company, to chit chat over a nice glass of Italian wine and of course, over delicious food.

We sat over the bar area which seats about 8 people. I ordered a glass of Italian wine, recommended by the sommelier — Full bodied, 50% Cabernet, 50% Merlot blend that was rich and chocolatey to palate 🙂

The dinner course consisted of 1 insalate, 1 steak dish and 1 pasta dish.

Gamberina – Tiger shrimp romaine lettuce, olives, carrots, Grana Padano cheese and red onions in a aromatic herbs-mustard vinegar dressing. Light and fresh, but I think the salad could have been better. Perhaps it was the haphazard  presentation which made it look like a salad from a cafeteria. In a positive note, I was glad that it was not over-drenched with dressing.

OsteriaMamma_GamberinaSalad
Osteria Mamma Gamberina Salad

Pasta – we ordered Tagliatelle Bolognese with veal, pork, sausage and tomato sauce. It was a hearty amount of pasta with chunks of meat to share.

Osteria Mamma Tagliatelle Bolognese

To accompany the pasta, we ordered Tagliata – grilled and slice premium Angus NY Steak served with arugula and Grana cheese. Initially we ordered our steak “medium” but when it came out, it more resembled a “well-done.” After a simple request to our waiter, we were pleased that the replacement was cooked to perfection.

Osteria Mamma Tagliata

To end a satisfying meal, we ordered 2 flavors of gelato – Pistachio and Chocolate. It reminded me of my travels to Italy, when I indulged myself with gelato everyday. Our waiter, to a pleasant surprise, treated us with 2 glasses of Muscato to end the night. That is what I call a sweet meal!

Osteria Mamma Gelato + Muscato

I would definitely dine at Osteria Mamma, but don’t forget to make early reservations because, this place gets packed.

OsteriaMamma_WineDisplay
Osteria Mamma Placemat

http://www.osteriamamma.com/index.html

Beauty Boost | Hair, Skin + Nail Vitamins

Hair, Skin & Nail Vitamin pack

When it comes to maintaining health and beauty, I’m a major fanatic. As an Korean female in my early 30’s, I’ve been finding the need to discover supplements and methods of maintaining my changing body. I love the saying “women get better with age, just like fine wine.” Not only do I love wine, but I support people who maintain themselves and those who can appreciate and embrace the natural beauty of aging. However, I do believe in keeping myself healthy but having a consistent workout routine, enjoying (not depriving) good food and wine, as well as supplementing my beauty care routine with good products.

Hair, Skin + Nail Vitamins
Hair, Skin + Nail Vitamins

I tend to have natural frizzy hair. Yes, it give me pain to keep my lion mane tame. Straight perms, hair serums, blow drying, hair straightening…the list goes on. With a help of a co-worker, I researched and found a Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamin kit from GNC. The package also came with Collagen and Primrose vitamins, which provide nutrition for a healthy beauty regimen.

I’ve been trying these vitamins for about a week now and surprisingly, I’m noticing good results on my hair. I still have my mane but my hair feels softer and silkier than before! Rather than applying hair products, perhaps maintaining a healthy beauty comes from within. My goal is to continue to take these vitamins and I will update the progress for those interested. 🙂

Olympic Village at LA Live | Wine and Dine at Wolfgang Puck Bar + Grill

In the midst of the Olympic spirit, we decided to check out Olympic Village at the LA. Live. NBC4 and featuring restaurants are broadcasting live reports in hopes to create an more upbeat environment for the festivities. Since I live in the heart of LA, I wanted to check out the hype. Sadly, when we arrived, LA Live was no where near bustling. We parked ourselves at Wolfgang’s Bar & Grill and decided to casually enjoy the Swimming & Gymnastic events for the night.

We ordered few over-priced salad, pasta and steak and indulged ourselves with a cobbler a-la-mode. Stuffed! My experience at Wolfgang Puck & Grill at La Live:

Price | $$$$

Food | Good

Service | Good

Ambiance | Fair. Prefer a more lively environment.

Wolfgang Puck’s Bar & Grill | Olympic Village
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Farmer’s Market Vegetable Salad
Prime Flat Iron Steak
Apple and Almond Crumble Pie

Jjam Ppong Nara | Late Night Korean Chinese Venture

After getting a very worthwhile Thai Massage at Serene, we needed to fill our tummies with something fulfilling…Perhaps, a guilty pleasure meal that will satisfy the palate but haunt the conscious of those calorie counters.

We tried Jjam Ppong Nara (짬뽕나라), a Korean Chinese noodle specialty house. For those new to Korean Chinese cuisine, Jammppong (짬뽕) is a spicy noodle soup flavored with chili, vegetables, seafood and meat. The best part was being able to eat half Jjamppong noodles and half Tang Su Yuk, which is sweet and sour pork. Altho this dish can be made from pork or beef, I prefer pork to suit my taste. I enjoyed the portions — right amount of the noodles and soup to pair with the sweet and sourness of the deep fried pork.

Although I felt guilty for this late night venture, I really enjoyed it.

Go check out Jjamppong Nara if you’re near  7th & Vermont in Koreatown, LA.

Korean Chinese Noodles
Jjamppong Nara | Half Jjamppong + half Tangsooyuk

Meet Hodori | Seoul Olympic 1988 Mascot Memory Lane

Hodori | Seoul Olympics 1988 Mascot

I found an awesome t-shirt at Gap that reminds me of my childhood, the time when our family immigrated to the United States from Korea. It was soon after this momentous Olympic event that our family made an arduous move to America. This mascot truly takes me down that memory lane and I was so excited to see this shirt at the Gap store window in Old Town Pasadena. The only thing is this specific shirt was only available for Gap Kids. But got one for our nephew — something to hand down from generation from generation. For those who share the memory of the Seoul 1988 Olympics, what was your favorite memory?

Go get this shirt from Baby Gap. They should make one for adults too!

Hodori | Seoul Olympics 1988 Mascot