A few days ago, I returned from a little jaunt down to Southern California. It was an extremely rushed but fulfilling trip. My wife, son and I tried to catch
up with as much friends and family as possible and sadly , as to be expected, we were not able to meet up with everyone. I did however get to finally experience the Mexican/Korean fusion at the Kogi Truck (Twice- once next 4100 on Sunset in Silverlake and second, in downtown the following night - underneath the skyscrapers with dotted lights along with warm weather and traditional Chinese music playing from an open-air concert nearby- what a fantastic evening!).
In San Diego, We "stalked" a former employee of ours to new her job at a fine and very busy Mexican restaurant in Old Town where I had some amazing shrimp (ranchero style). It turned out to be a profound moment for me to see her again, as I had to abruptly close the business and leave San Diego last year and I was unable to say goodbye as properly as I should have. But seeing her again and knowing that she had accomplished so much since we last saw each other, made my eyes well up. This was a young woman who worked from day one all the way though the closure of the store - the first employee I hired who turned out to be a great manager and a trusted friend. Now it's well known that I'm a pretty cold and unsentimental bastard but I found it difficult to hold the emotion back. It took just that one moment for all three years to come back and smack me right solid in the gob. And whenever I get a little sad, I just turn to food which in this case included dipping the most savory homemade flour tortillas into the ranchero sauce. Hey, we all have to find ways to cope, right?
The following night also proved to be a great meal as some of my old friends, some family and new friends met up for some hardcore Korean BBQ in at the medieval-looking Chapman Plaza in LA's Korea town. The meat just kept on coming and coming: brisket, kalbi (Short Rib), teji kogi (Spicy Pork), and pork belly (uncured Korean bacon)! Along with all the banchan (side dishes) and beer, we all had a great time. So much so that after the feast, we moved the party over to the Cafe across the plaza.
Food, friends, and family - the three F's - that was essentially the theme of our return visit to Southern California and while we were exhausted, we enjoyed every bit of it. Of course no visit to Los Angeles would be complete without being pulled over by LAPD - and even that turned out to be pretty cool.