Oo-Kook Korean BBQ, Koreatown

Food blogging is not likely in my foreseeable future. I love love love food blogs, but my first instinct is to reach for the fork, not the camera. While I will rightly leave the food photography to the pros, I still want to share some tasty finds on this blog. So, give me a pat on the back as I've managed to snap some pre-grub shots of a dish you must try.

I know the place is called Oo-Kook Korean BBQ, but the thing you have to try is the kalbi tang - a slow simmered beef short-rib soup. The soup comes out in a huge hot stone bowl. Sweep aside the curtain of green onions (yum) and you'll find hefty chunks of tender short rib and glass noodles. I'll teach you how I personally devour this dish. Step 1: cut a hole in a...just kidding. I like to first set aside the pieces of short rib on a separate plate. You have to dip the short rib in the soy sauce/sesame oil/vinegar mixture they give you. That way your taste buds can tango between the tanginess of the dipped meat and the richness of the soup. IT'S AMAZING, I'm telling you. Eat with rice and kimchi, and you will be a happy kid. 

Good on a cold day. Good on a hot day. I've tried it during high and low temps; result is always a happy stomach. (But then again, I've never been one to let weather steer my eating choices). Tip: the kalbi tang is priced at $7.99 during their lunch special hours: Monday-Friday, 11AM-2:30PM. No excuse to not get some good food on the cheap!


I had the strangest dream last night. I'm not normally one to jot down my dreams. I've tried to do that whole dream journal thing, but my dreams were somehow determined to remain unpublished as I'd never be able to remember them. Last night, though, I had the most vivid dream and felt the sudden urge to record it. I didn't have any paper at hand, so I grabbed my computer and turned my dreams to pixels. Mind you, I was still about 90% asleep when I typed this, so please excuse all the spelling errors.

crazyt dream  from justnow. well me adn dileep got shot for one. went to some public space andd this guy came in shooting ppl withj no rhyme or reason. dileep was bleeding a lot but i wasnt so muh/ just someminor chest pains had to wait a long time before computer ana;yses took [;ace. craziest part of drem by far was when me bro steve and dileep hopped on to the 101/110 and you couldnt see the heart of the city from far away due to fog. but once the fog cleared u could see the city in utter destruction, bui,ldings burned down and the vapor in the air tuened everything and everyone into a dust like matter. we were beginning to obliterate and all i could think was man, i havent amounted to anything yet/ ;uckily i heard steve hold his breath so me and the rest pf the car did the same. we turned around and drove back but not before seeing a sign explaining this madness. apparently from april-june this "art exhibit" was taking place that demonstrated the transiency of life. (and yeah, KILEED a bunch of people!) so nuts...

Such a strange dream. Two accounts of almost-death in one dream. Oof. With that, happy Monday! :P 


In Transit: Downtown

One of my resolutions this year is to use some form of public transportation at least once a month. I know one trip per month doesn't seem like much, but, hey, I'm trying to be realistic with my resolutions this year. Perks of taking public transit are obvious. Cheap, no need to search for parking, and extra snooze time. (Latter not recommended unless you're cool with waking up looking like an idiot.) For my inaugural trip, I jumped on the 91 and headed to one of my favorite spots in LA: downtown.

My first stop was 722 Figueroa in Chinatown for a Creative Mornings talk with Steven Harrington and Justin Kreitemeyer of National Forest. (Enough links in one sentence for you?) For those of you who don't know, Creative Mornings is a monthly design lecture series featuring talks from figures in various creative fields. It's free, always-inspiring, and there are donuts. Trifecta for a guaranteed good time, if you ask me. 

Steven and Justin both work independently as artists and under the Atwater Village-based design studio, National Forest. They're a couple of cool California kids with a sunny, positive design style. One memorable piece of advice they gave was to continually create uninhibited, genuine art. Someone will take notice eventually. With a collective clientele that includes Target, Urban Outfitters, Bonaroo, and Quiksilver...yeah, I'd say that's advice worth considering. 

Select works from National Forest. All images are via National Forest's website.

After some breakfast inspiration, I walked over to the Central Library to meet up with a friend who interns there. She suggested we take the docent-led Art and Architecture tour and I'm so glad we did! Got a crash course on, well, the art and architecture of the building, both pre- and post-fire. Cool library tip: ride the elevators. They're lined with catalog cards with clear glass panels that reveal different cards depending on what floor you're on. The catalog cards reflect the content of the books in the floor you're on!

I recommend going to either of these events. The next Creative Mornings is in March featuring a really awesome super cool speaker. (Yeah, okay, I totally forgot who the announced speaker is. Keep checking the site if you're interested.) But here are the times for tours at the library!

Hope you had a sweet weekend! Anyone else make resolutions this year?


Hello Kobito

I recently took a trip to San Francisco. (Well, if you consider August recent. I am desperately travel-deficient.) My friends and I covered a lot of ground on this trip: Dodgers-Giants game at AT&T Park, farmer's market at the Ferry Building, eats and ice cream in the Mission District, etc. But one short pitstop on our itinerary had me especially giddy. Yep, we stopped by J-town, and I perused Japanese books, stationary, and knick-knacks to my heart's content. 

While browsing around Kinokuniya, I came across Japanese artist Toshitaka Nabata's Kobito Dukan, which translates to dwarf encyclopedia. The entire book was in Japanese, but the images alone had me intrigued. The "encyclopedia" was filled with photographs and illustrations of the creepy-cute kobitos and, from what I could tell, instructions on how to find and catch them. I was instantly enamored by Nabata's quirky illustrations + awesome childlike imagination that thought the strange little world into existence. 

Apparently, kobitos are super popular in Japan - dolls, figurines, DVDs, shows, you name it. So I was pretty bummed to find out, after a google search to no avail, that in the U.S. -- they're not. After several unsuccessful scours through Japanese bookstores in LA, I was preeetty stoked to find these figurines hiding out in a market in Little Tokyo. Though the majority of people I know are physically perturbed at the sight of them, I think they're cute. Can't wait to find more! :)


Eames & Atoms

A couple snapshots from the California Design, 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way" exhibit at LACMA.
(Psst. Awesome Eames documentary here.)  


DE / 1 / CO / Q / DE / 8 / D / 4

It's pretty difficult for me to read just one book at a time. I didn't allow myself to start 1Q84 until I finished reading Freedom. (And it took me hella long to finish Freedom because I was jumping around various literary digs while reading it.) Needless to say, I haven't shed my two/three-book-at-a-time habit, but I'm accepting that it's my preferred way to read. I'm currently reading Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 and Jay-Z's Decoded. If there's one thing that these two books share, it's amazing (and amazingly similar!) book design. Take a look-see.


Jason Wu for Target



The lookbook for the Jason Wu for Target collection has finally been posted! These are my favorite looks. Excited to snag some stripes and bow-tie tops. See you February 5th!


Wicked Weekend

I finally got to see Wicked this past Friday at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. I wish I could say that I left in my usual musical-induced state - singing & dancing & elated - but with the ridiculous amount of hype the show has accumulated, my expectations had amounted to equally ridiculous proportions. Don't get me wrong, the show was amazing. (I'm listening to "What Is This Feeling" as I type. Heh.) But tell me rave reviews about anything, and I'm doomed to deem it mediocre. It's an annoying tendency, really. I did have a lovely time though. Good story, good music, and as with most ventures, good food! Ended the night with some bomb tacos from Tacos Arizas in Echo Park. Can't go wrong with lengua and tripas in my book!

Woke up early the next morning to go on my first walk with Bob Inman and his posse of LA stairway fiends. Bob has written A Guide To The Public Stairways of Los Angeles and organizes frequent walks throughout LA. On Saturday, we met in Little Tokyo and ventured east to (a less-than-ventured area for me, personally) Boyle Heights. Throughout the walk, Bob would feed us some interesting history about the area. (Like Boyle Heights was a predominantly wealthy, Jewish area in the early 1900's? News to me.) Our walk totaled ten miles. It felt so good to go on a nice, long stroll. I love going on long treks and it is definitely something I plan to keep doing this year. Looking forward to the next walk in Eagle Rock! If the crowd is anything like the one I joined, they will be friendly, enthusiastic, and well-equipped with snacks. (I'm coming prepared next time. Thanks to the kind fellow who shared his dried pineapples!)

(Photo credit: Steve Saldivar, link)
Bob Inman
David Kipen of Libros Schmibros, an awesome book-lending library in Boyle Heights
All in all, a nice first weekend of 2012. Hope yours was lovely as well!


I'm a terrible blogger.

Probably not the best way to introduce a fledgling blog? But here are the facts: I don't have a sweet freelance gig (yet!), have never sneaked away for a weekend at Palm Springs (what I refer to as blogger's paradise), and don't really like cats all that much. Before you go googling cat tumblrs out of shock from that last statement, I'll let you know what you can expect here at turning japanese (aside from hella parentheses, apparently...) I'll be posting about all the things that make me straight up GIDDY. Washi tape, Murakami novels, paper crafts, to name a few. Throw in some life & exploration in LA, and you got this here blog. Enjoy.