During my stay in LA, I met up with some old friends from high school, all of whom now work in the film business in some capacity. One of these guys was Zach Dripps. After trying unsuccessfully to meet up in front of my hostel, we eventually found each other in an alley. It probably looked like he was picking up a twink prostitute in his aging Prius.
Before seeking food, he gave me a quick driving tour of Hollywood, with all the usual sights.
Oooo. Aaaah. Whatever.
With our hunger increasing at an exponential rate, we set off seeking tasty things. Our first stop was a Chinese hot pot place that looked authentic. However, after sitting down we immediately realized our mistake. The place was empty and the kitchen was sad, with the owner looking despondent at the bar. She noticed us and desperately hurried over, but it was too late. We had gotten the smell of the dying restaurant, making our excuses while we hurried out.
Zach then turned to Yelp, finding a well-rated Korean joint. We found it pretty quickly, with more effort being expended to figure out the local parking restrictions. But, with starvation as a motivation, we rushed to an open spot before making for the restaurant.
The center of the table had a large pot and burner, another hot pot. That looked good. But goddamn was it expensive. We looked over the menu briefly and made other selections, although calling the waiter to the table proved difficult. There was some sort of doorbell system for each table, with ours not functioning quite right. After some 2001-esque monkeying about with the buzzer, we eventually proved worthy of the waiter and ordered.
A disturbingly long time later, our dishes arrived, accompanied by a spread of smaller dishes containing both the familiar and unknown.
The smaller dishes were quite nice, a variety of vegetables in all sorts of different preparations. I enjoyed them all, Korean food tends to be quite bold. Lots of sour, tangy and wholesome flavors. We probably ate them wrong. There wasn't much of them though, certainly not a whole meal.
I got some Kimchi soup with some sort of meat. It wasn't bad, but I wouldn't call it good either. With only a few pieces of meat, and a shit ton of kim chi, it wasn't very filling to say the least. Oh well. At least it looked pretty.
Zach ordered tripe, which I thought was bold move. I just assumed he had exotic tastes. Turns out he didn't know what tripe was.
"It's basically the stomach," I explained. "Maybe the intestine too?"
"Oh..." He said, laughing nervously. "That's not what I thought."
But being the good sport that he is, he tried it several times. I partook as well out of solidarity, sadly. As with all tripe, it wasn't much beyond chewy and vaguely spiced.
And so, we finished off the smaller dished and sucked down some of the remaining kim chi soup broth before settling up and heading out to our next destination: a Superbowl party with chili and cake.
I've never been so glad to see homemade chili. I think I ate more than the chef's Chihuahua weighed.