#HamjiPark #KBBQ #ThursdayNight


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#SomiSomi


Last night I was craving something sweet so Bear and I went to Somi Somi because they have the best ice cream dessert in Los Angeles.

I had never walked into the Koreatown location before. Tyler and Bear got it for me last time while I waiting in the car. The Irvine Spectrum location was clean and acceptable.

When I walked in, I couldn’t believe the filth. The floors were disgusting and there were strawberries on the floor. I wanted to grab a napkin and pick it up before someone stepped on it but I realized there were more than one and it’d be weird if I started to pick up stuff off their floors.

When we got to the register, I noticed more filth all across their counter. As we waiting by the window for our ice cream, I also noticed the fish pieces that were being cut all over everything. I couldn’t help but take a video and feel disgusted by their establishment.

After getting our ice cream, as we were walking out, I noticed the strawberry on the floor closest to the exit door (the first strawberry I saw) was stepped on. Bear had just handed me a bunch of napkins for our treat so I used it to pick up the strawberries. I went to the overflowing trash bin to throw it away.

As we were walking back to the car, I grabbed my spoon to eat the ice cream and at that moment, I forgot how disgusting Somi Somi was because their ice cream is so good.

Bear also mentioned that the AC was not turned on… “why is an ice cream place so hot inside” was his comment. Very true…

All in all, the place is a pig sty however the ice cream is so good that I forget how gross it is and is willing to come back next time I’m craving ice cream.

It’s almost torturous… I must go through hell to enjoy such a delectable treat!

Top 5 Korean Restaurants


I decided to post better content on my food blog so I decided to kick off my first post talking about my favorite Korean restaurants.

Each restaurant has a dish or two that I would simply not be able to live without! Most are in Los Angeles because that is where I live and have frequented the most Korean restaurants. I also am not ranking any of these as I go down the list. Enjoy!

1. Ma Dang Gook Soo – 869 S Western Ave #1, Los Angeles, CA 90005

I love their chicken kalgooksoo, jjohlmyun, donkatsu and spaghetti. Okay it’s more than two at this place… I love this place because there are so many dishes I would order here. A part of why I like this restaurant is also because I love their banchan (side dishes), it’s simple yet so complementary to the dishes. I came here a lot with my parents, my mom especially as a child and into my young adult stage. Now I go all the time and I take my son and my husband. Eating with more people is always the best so we can order multiple dishes and we can all share!

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2. Jong Ro Shul Lung Tang – 8942 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

One of my favorite dishes in all of Korean cuisine is bossam. What’s not to like? It’s carb free, has multiple textures and can be as spicy as I like! Of all the restaurants I’ve been to that has served bossam, this place is the BEST. They serve it with fresh greens, pickled radish WITH oysters, raw garlic and jalapenos and of course the pork. Oysters are a huge deal in this dish, if there are no oysters I am not happy. Their banchan was un-memorable but I don’t usually need banchan with bossam.

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3. Sun Nong Dan – 3470 W 6th St #7, Los Angeles, CA 90020

First, let me tell you… whichever location you visit, expect to wait at least 45 minutes. This place has blown up amongst the Chinese community and that is how I heard about it! My Chinese colleague introduced me to Sun Nong Dan in Koreatown… we went together with our husbands and waiting almost two hours to eat. I was hooked after that. I must have went at least once a week for a very long time. I took all my friends and talked about it for months. I went so often, the employees knew me and I didn’t even have to wait anymore. Then I stopped like I usually do with all my obsessions. They ended up opening two more locations in SGV and even though those locations are much larger, it’s still a minimum 45 minute wait. Now to the dishes I love… Ox knee soup if I’m eating with one other person and if I’m with a group, I’m definitely ordering the mo deum soo yuek. I think it means assorted beef stew or something. It’s an assortment of beef over a fire with leeks and mushrooms. It boils throughout your entire meal and you eat every piece in the metal oversized bowl. This is where I discovered ox knee, my favorite type of meat in Korean soups. It’s gelatinous and tendon like, best to dip in the soy sauce with jalapenos and spicy yellow mustard they provide. Protip, ask for extra spicy yellow mustard for your sauce, a little spice won’t kill you. I always ask for more and use the entire thing (or more)! Again, the banchan does not disappoint. They have three side dishes and all three are the best in LA. I love the green onion mix, their radish and kimchi are perfectly ripe to eat with the soups. Bear loves the spicy galbi jjim with cheese.

4. Seoul Garden – 3701, 1833 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

IDK why the address is listed like able on Google, but I just copied and pasted how it was provided.

This restaurant serves a style of shabu that I’ve never experienced before. I grew up eating this all the time with my family so it holds a special place in my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten their KBBQ ever in my life because their jeen kes khan is all the rave. I love the vegetable mix they serve, although they used to add more perilla leaves, but now they don’t anymore (it’s still damn tasty). I want to say this is a Korean shabu dish but I’m not too sure. The sauce is different from all the rest, ban chan is on point and after the udon, they make a porridge! Koreans and their rice mix after everything is seriously the reason why I can’t get skinny. Pro-tip, when the porridge is ready to be consumed… make sure you eat it with the squid radish red banchan. Best combo ever!

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5. California Market Gimbap & Udon – 833 S Western Ave #39, Los Angeles, CA 90005

Cheap, easy and delicious! I never visited this establishment when it was at the market… I discovered it after it moved to Rodeo Galleria. Yes, it’s pronounced like Rodeo in Beverly Hills, but the businesses inside are not like Beverly Hills. It’s just another shopping mall in a strip mall in Koreatown. If you’re Korean, you love kimbap (I spell it with a K and not a G) and sometimes the kimbap that your mom made you was not the best but you still loved it. I used to push out the spinach and whatever else I didn’t want inside of it… This place serves tuna, cheese, sausage, ham, beef, veggie, so much variety! My favorite are the tuna, cheese and sausage. I also LOVE their jangchi gook soo. It’s a noodle dish with veggies in an amazing broth! Not a lot of restaurants in Koreatown serve it so when I found it here for less than $6.00 or a tasting bowl for $3.99, I was floored. I like to pickup for on the go meals since they have pre-made ones, but I do also like to eat in and enjoy the noodles while they’re fresh. Protip, eat inside and get a half and half order for your kimbap!

I know this seems a bit sparse, however there are so many establishments that have really great dishes, but I rarely frequent them. These are my top go to spots that I will probably never stop going until they close.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post… I hope to have better content like this on my #pigletventures as we move forward into the end of 2018 and on!

@TerraCotta_LA @JasonLicker @ilovekoreatown


I read about it and I wanted to be about it.

This place has turned over so many time. I remember when it was Opus and I randomly ran into an old friend who was the bartender. That evening she introduced me to Effen Black Cherry Vodka. I usually remember the year by the boy I was dating but I can’t seem to remember for the life of me… it was a while ago. Because after Opus, it was Novel Cafe or maybe something in between, then KONY was there with or with Novel, IDK and now Terra Cotta.

I must say, the style of decor they went with really livens up the place and makes it more welcoming than the previous establishments. I love the chandeliers, bright open lit bar and booth seating. I especially love the three large booths for larger parties in the back wall next to the bathroom entryway.

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving and my husband, friend and I decided to check it out. Well, I did, they didn’t have much of a say.

We found parking on the street on Wilshire and entered the restaurant. An old lady was ahead of us and speaking to the hostess. Literally two minutes went by and the hostess didn’t bother to excuse herself for a second to check in with us. We were just standing there while the old lady was asking questions (def. not dining that night). I get the whole courtesy thing and the hostess could have continued her convo thereafter, but she was oblivious and never bothered to kindly ask us to wait a moment or call someone over to assist us or the old lady. A gentleman came over but he also ignored to check in with us or ask the hostess if she needed assistance. A bit obtuse of them, if you tell me…

I decided I didn’t want to stand any longer so I went to the bar until the hostess was done with her convo. The bartender came over and handed us the menus. I asked which vodka they had and she shared that they only had Chopin and Grey Goose. I don’t know what it is with Korean establishments but they love their Grey Goose. Which btw, they have 4 other vodkas that she didn’t share with me.

I didn’t want either and for my blog’s sake, asked her to make me the prettiest cocktail. Photo purposes of course. The first photo below is what she made me. If that’s their prettiest cocktail, they need to hire another mixologist.

When we finally got seated at our booth I was pleased with the lighting in the place. My Canon G7X was capturing great photos! (You can find photos of me on my personal blog.)

I was a little apprehensive about how the meal would taste so I let my friend pick the dishes. Usually I’d be the first to jump at the chance to order but I had no recommendations nor interest since my first 15 minutes of the experience was shitty.

We ordered Toro Tataki, Steak Tartare, Crispy Potatoes, Hamachi and Uni Rice.

None of us were really hungry, and even thought I REALLY wanted to order the beautifully presented 30-day Dry Aged Prime Beef, their market price was $5/oz. The ounces varied from 32-40. That’s $160 for a 32oz. steak, which is more than CUT or Mastro’s or whatever steak restaurant in Beverly Hills. I thought the price was ridiculous so I opted out.

The shellfish pasta was out that night, they literally ran out, when the occupancy at the restaurant at that time was maybe about 45%. So were they out or did the chef forget to put in the order prior to Thanksgiving weekend? 😛

As each dish was served, I was reluctant to dig in… but I must say, each dish was tasty and well presented. I’m not a fancy food eater, I don’t like flowers in my food and the presentation to be super artsy. I appreciate the effort but I just want it to taste fucking delicious. Fortunately, this was both, pretty and appetizing. I enjoyed every dish a lot, maybe because I had -zero expectations or because it was actually good. It may be the latter since the chef did come from Nobu.

Our server was sweet and attentive, the manager came by one time because I didn’t want my drink anymore because I thought it looked like freshly squeezed pineapple-orange juice, but I said it wasn’t anyone’s fault. I asked for a pretty cocktail for a photo and it turned out the be ugly and not tasty. On the other hand, I’m not a cocktail drinker. Give me a glass of vodka (anything but Grey Goose and other apparently lower quality ones, except Burrnetts) on ice with a straw and a splash of lime juice, I’m good. I don’t even need a fucking garnish.

That was my drink actually. They had 4 other vodkas that were names I couldn’t recognize. I asked for whichever one was not the well with the splash of lime juice. I was happy.

Onto the dessert. We ordered the K-Pop & Matcha Mille Fenile. Very beautiful to look at. I mean, there were gold leaves on the pop. I really loved the Matcha Mille Fenile. Probably on the top 10 desserts I’ve had in a restaurant.

Kudos to the pastry Chef Jason Licker. What a great last name…

Terra Cotta
3760 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

(Don’t mind their About Us page and their social media menu which was NOT ready to go live)

http://www.terracottala.com/
https://www.instagram.com/terracotta.la/

Chef Danny Ye
https://www.instagram.com/thedannyye/

Pastry Chef Jason Licker
http://www.jasonlicker.com/
https://www.instagram.com/jasonlicker/
https://twitter.com/JasonLicker