Yongsusan and Koreatown Afternoon
Decided to go to Koreatown yesterday, have lunch and look around. We started with lunch at Yongsusan. I had never been but we were well treated and apparently they serve you a banquet. Pumpkin Soup, Jelly Noodles, Kimchi Noodles, Kimchi Rice and Egg Pancake, Pork Strips, Stewed Beef, Another Soup, a huge bowl of Bi Bim Bap, a Crunchy Sweet with Cinnamon Tea for dessert. My wife also ordered Bul Go Gi. Everything was excellent. I had trouble with the Pumpkin soup but my wife had both bowls. We were the only non Asians there. It seemed that they were empty but we walked down the hall to the restroom and saw about 10 parties and celebrations in full swing. We left very happy and the staff could not have been nicer. We next went to Koreatown Plaza. I went via 8th St. so I could pass the famous Soot Bull Jeep. The shopping center was buzzing with activity. The food court had at least 20 stalls. I was too full to take advantage. I did go to the bakery across from the food court and get a few of something that looked like doughnut holes. They were filled with sweet red bean paste and the dough was rubbery like mochi but crunchy on the outside. I like them. We walked around the Plaza and noticed that they do not have Gap, Limited, Express, Victorias Secret or any of the other predictable mall stores. It was a welcome change. We were also the only non Asians in the Plaza. We could not have felt more welcome. Everyone was so helpful and friendly. I can't wait to come back. Does anyone here have some suggestions for my return trip. This is going to be hard to beat.
I was at Yongsusan recently as well, and everything was excellent. Even my mom liked it and she's a rather harsh critic when it comes to Korean food. Probably the nicest Korean restaurant in terms of presentation, ambience & service, though I haven't been to Woo Lae Oak in B.H. The food preparation is delicate and expert and the results are quite tasty. I had the "chil chup ban sang" (rough translation: 7-dish table) for $19.95 which came with not only 7 main course size dishes but a myriad banchan. I loved their bulgogi, the egg custard and the "mook" (acorn jelly) with a slightly different presenation than what you normally get (cut into thin "noodles" instead of cubes).
Koreatown Plaza has some upscale clothing shops upstairs and the food court is pretty good, though the quality can vary from stall to stall. I frequent Gamja Bawi and the tofu place. Gamja Bawi has excellent Dol Sot Bibimbap and braised black cod in spicy sauce.
There is also a home appliance/knick knack store on one of the upper levels that carries Asian cook & service ware that's fun to check out.
A new addition to Koreatown is the Galleria (Olympic & Western) that has a nice market--nice produce and good selection.