Wonjo Agujjim (Seoul, March 2023)

Seoul, as you may have heard, is a great city to eat in and a very easy city to eat well in (assuming you like to eat Korean food). It is not always, however, a city in which it is easy to eat well alone (though, of course, I managed to do so at my lunch in Namdaemun Market’s Kalgusksu Alley). This because many of the things you may wish to eat—and when I was there last week, I wished to eat them all—are only prepared and served in portions that seem to assume that you will be eating out with at least one other person and probably more. And, indeed, in many of the restaurants and market counters where I ate, that did seem to be the dominant mode in which locals ate. At one dinner at Gwangjang Market, for example, I ate a bowl of dumpling soup that was perfectly sized for one. But throughout the meal I was tormented by the sight of massive links of soondae and many other dumplings and sliced meats—none of which I could have ordered because each order would have been a very large meal for one. And so I ate my dumpling soup, pondering the mechanics of setting up a service through which tourists visiting Seoul alone could form alliances for the purposes of eating out. No need to talk, just order food communally and eat it. A very gluttonous version of Tinder. If it already exists, please forward the details; if not, please forward me 75% of all profits once you set it up. Continue reading


Eating at H Mart (Garden Grove, CA, December 2023)

Here now is my last meal report from our trip to Southern California in December. It covers two meals eaten in the food court of the H Mart in Garden Grove: the first, family dinner on Christmas Sunday, and the second, a quick midweek lunch eaten by me and the boys. Fittingly, this report will post on the blog on the Sunday that will be my last full day in Seoul.

Why did we eat Christmas dinner at the H Mart food court? Partly because “why not?” and partly because we didn’t want to deal with the waits at regular Garden Grove Korean restaurants—as we’d have had to do before eating at Mo Ran Gak on Christmas in 2021 if there hadn’t been an outdoor tented area. (Now, of course, the tented seating is seemingly gone from everywhere.) The fact that there was a second meal a few days later should tell you we quite liked the food. Continue reading

Gwang Yang BBQ (Los Angeles, June 2022)

Alright: back to Los Angeles. On our trip in December we somehow managed to not eat in Koreatown, something that would have been unthinkable, and indeed downright impossible in the past when Koreatown was our home base. But in December we ate Korean food instead at the smaller Korean enclave of Garden Grove, south of Seal Beach. Those meals were good but we could resist the siren call of Koreatown only so long. The boys wanted to eat bbq and we wanted a location somewhat central’ish between us and friends in Pasadena and so it was to Koreatown we went, to Gwang Yang BBQ. Continue reading