Some people love LA and some don't. I happen to be one who loves LA for two things, the weather and K-food (Korean Food). That said, this article is not about K-food, but more of my three favorite restaurants in LA. One of them is Korean but the other two are Chinese and Italian. When I think of these 3 restaurants, I get a watery mouth and want to jump on a plane to LA!
Soo Won Gal Bee (Korean)
The first time I went to LA to visit a friend back in 1985, I couldn't believe the number of K-restaurants, each specializing in it's own specialty food.
Since then, it's grown 10 fold and every time I go, I get disappointed when I realize I simply don't have enough time to try them all.
There are quite a few K-BBQ places in LA but I want to recommend Soo Won Gal Bee this time for their great BBQ, yummy side dishes (Ban Chan) and their efficient service. An important thing to note is that just because a K-Restaurant serves many side dishes, it doesn't mean that the food is good or fresh. Even though many of the side dishes can be made and eaten over several days, freshly made side dishes taste much better and I think Soo Won serves fewer but yummy and fresh tasting Ban Chan. Also charcoal grilled meat always tastes better than gas grilled and you can really notice the difference here.
K-food is surely and rapidly spreading into the American main stream food scene nowadays from packaged Korean BBQ beef jerky to many K-food influenced menu items at high end restaurants. K-food is as unique and great tasting as many other ethnic foods. I'm ecstatic about the sudden explosion of K-food in many food areas in US and can't wait to see K-restaurants popping up in every neighborhood like Japanese and Thai places. I shall make my responsibility to share many more awesome K-food dishes with our readers in the future.
Newport Seafood (Chinese)
Have you had steamed whole fish, lobsters or crabs cooked with ginger and green onion? Or ginormous steamed oysters with light soy sauce, green onions, and black bean sauce? If you haven't yet, make sure to put that on your must do list if not on the priority to do list. I didn't get to try these dishes until I met my good Chinese friend Shirley (not our LA savorychick Shirl ) in Chicago 12 years ago and I'm eternally grateful to her for introducing me to these dishes because I just love them!!!
Newport Seafood does more than what I mention above. They specialize in incredibly big lobster dishes - I haven't seen such big size lobsters and crabs else where. One of the dishes is called ' Newport Special Lobster '. You will pay about $50/person for a two people lobster plate and I think that's a very reasonable price considering how much you pay to buy them yourself at the grocery store.
The restaurant is in San Gabriel valley which is about a 25 minute drive from LA's K-town and it is probably the first biggest suburban Chinatown with a nick name
"Asian Wall Street" for having a large volume of Chinese banks in the area. Don't shy away because of the distance. It's very much worth the trip!
I'm not big on pizza in general. So for me to get this excited about a pizza is very unusual.
The pizza we had was simple basic Margherita with Mozzarella, tomato, and basil since Carlos doesn't like too many toppings on the pizza. I would have loved to try other toppings like squash blossoms with tomato and burrata since I have never heard or seen those on top of pizza before.
If you seat at the "pizza bar", which is right in front of the wood fire oven, you can witness them making your pizza and peek at everyone else's creations.
When you are trying a dish at a new restaurant, the first bite is a crucial moment of your whole dining experience. At the first bite, like Mozza's pizza, you know whether you are in for a treat or simply eating the same tasting dish that you have eaten countless times at other places. Unfortunately, it's hard to find dishes that we can have that special moment with. That's why it's so important that we all share our great food experience so we can spread the joyful moments with as many people as possible!