Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shintroduction to Korean BBQ


Two weekends ago (yes, I am that behind), we had a great time at Shin with our friends The Cruisers. Hooray for pals who like to eat!
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Located in Hollywood and known by some as "Korean barbecue for white people," Shin dishes out surprisingly tasty offerings with a lot less smoke than you'd soak up at your typical K-town joint. I didn't have to wear my famous Meat Hoodie that I always wear to my usual BBQ haunts.
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Despite being skeptical at first about whether Korean food for white people would satisfy us, we quite enjoyed ourselves. It's certainly not the best Korean barbecue in Los Angeles, but you'll have a good time and won't stink afterward.
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I dug the vibe of the place, especially the music -- Bloc Party, The Postal Service, Black Kids, Vampire Weekend. Good stuff.

When all-you-can-eat is an option, you know we take it.
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The panchan was limited but decent.
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I got a drink called a Korean Kiss -- cranberry with soju. Fruity and weak like me.
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Thick-sliced pork belly. Fine.
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Thin-sliced brisket point. Also fine.
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Marinated Spencer steak (bulgogi) and Shin's famous ribs (kalbi).
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These were the best. We had many plates.
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Spicy pork. Good enough.
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BBQ chicken. An unexpectedly flavorful, well-marinated crowd-pleaser. The Monkeys often scoff at chicken in restaurants, but you should go ahead and get a plate of this.
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Shin may not blow you away with its food, but it's worth visiting if you're in the area and the ideal starter place for your Korean barbecue newbie friends. Take them here and ease them in before you stink 'em up later with the real deal.

Yes, my thumbs up are more for excellent ventilation than for the actual cuisine. It's something to consider if you're going somewhere post-dinner.

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Behind

I am woefully behind on blogging, but I wanted to tell you I'm still here. Mr. Monkey just remarked, "This means that you're having fun."

With the exception of busting both of my ankles and messing up my knee (in the name of a good photograph -- luckily, my camera emerged from the incident unscathed), life has indeed been good recently.
*Moved to a different section at work.
*Got a new office with a small window.
*Became chairperson of a committee.
*Conquered super spicy Thai food with over 20 other foodies.
*Had a free 10-course French meal and wine pairings with food bloggers.
*Survived a Jewish baby-naming ceremony with, like, a million babies.
*Enjoyed well-ventilated Korean barbecue in Hollywood.
*Appreciated my assistant with a nice bouquet and lunch.
*Drove around San Francisco in a convertible and ate fabulous dinners.
Most of this will be described in detail in good time. For now, I leave you with a picture of my two favorite people wondering whether the Laker tickets they bought for about face value just a half hour before game time tonight were real.
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They were. Lucky boys.

As an aside, the episode that BroMo wrote for his show airs this week! Woohoo! And, yes, he has grown out his hair significantly. Sort of a fauxhawk/little-hair-visor vibe going on these days. Not as fun to pet as his old hair, but cute nonetheless. It was fun to catch up with him. He makes me laugh with his Hollywood stories. I wish I could retell them here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oodles of Noodles


It's always challenging to eat with both my father-in-law and my niece.

The former likes only Asian food and basic steak and seafood. The latter is too rambunctious for fine dining.

Throw in my own Mama Monkey who is often directionally challenged, and we're tasked with finding a place that can suit everybody's tastes, behavior, and navigational skills.
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There has been quite the buzz in the L.A. food blogosphere the past few months about Bamboodles, a small noodle house in a San Gabriel strip mall at the corner of Valley and New.
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The allure of Bamboodles lies in its fresh noodles kneaded by a huge bamboo stick and hand-pulled with care.
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It's really quite the show. I wish I'd taken video.

The combos here are deal-icious.
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Mama Monkey got Combo B with celery peanuts, green tea slice[d] pork noodles, and a lemon tea -- all for just $6.95!
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The green tea pork noodles were rather reminiscent of Japanese ramen. The pork was so lovely. The noodles were incredibly bouncy, elastic, and great.

My bonkers father-in-law inexplicably ordered enough food for a small city.
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We still don't know why he did this, but we don't question the actions of the person paying the bill. There was so much food that I only photographed what was close to me.

Bean sprouts and dried bean curd. I couldn't find the bean curd. Meh.
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House special dumplings ($5.95). Slippery, chewy, thick, handmade skin -- nice. Good enough but nothing terribly special.
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Pan-fried dumplings ($6.50). Take the above and fry them. Better.
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Wonton noodles ($6.95).
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Cold spinach noodles with chicken ($9.45).
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If you buy one item at the regular price, you can get the noodles of the day for $1. No joke! A bowl of noodles for $1!
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Of course, my father-in-law got this, too. He mixed and ate it before I could snap.
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Mr. Monkey and I couldn't resist getting some sweet drinks -- lemon honey and coffee milk tea. My lemon honey proved too sweet for me, but, really, what did I expect from a drink with "honey" in its name?
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Mr. Monkey enjoyed his spicy beef stew spinach noodles ($7.45).
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I found the broth to be on the oily side and the meat not as tender as it should've been, but the noodles were very good.

I got the wonton spinach noodles ($6.45).
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You can substitute spinach noodles in any dish for $0.50 extra, and we were glad we did. They had more oomph than the regular noodles. Thumbs up for the spinach noodles, but my wontons and their broth were a bit anemic. I wouldn't go as far as to say they were bland, but they certainly could've been more flavorful.

In any event, chili oil solves everything, so I wasn't too bummed.

Portions are generous.
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I still had this much left when I stopped eating.

Would I go back to Bamboodles? Yes. On my own dime, however, I would get only noodle dishes, preferably in combo form, plus the $1 noodles.

Lunch was not over. I was full, but Little Monkey Niece was clamoring for frozen yogurt, so we went next door to Peach House.
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The goods.
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The niece.
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The end.
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