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  1. My top winter recs for torakris, and others in her situation, are the following: 1. Lotte World indoor amusement park (off Jamsil subway station) 2. Namdaemun Market: Torakris will love all the food vendors in the market area. Hang onto your kids though, because it gets pretty busy. Also, the little alleys full of tiny restaurants are fun. I would actually eat at the Noodle Alley near Gate 6. Right next to Noodle Alley is this insanely cheap dumpling joint that is always crowded. 10 big steamed dumplings for 4,000 won (about $3.5 U.S. dollars)! I probably should not advertise, but hey it's already been discovered. Also, there's a really cheap and good vendor for tights and hosiery that I like. Very close by is the Shinsegae department store that has an entrance to the Hoehyun subway station. You can cruise the food court and eat up all the samples, like I do. Also close by is the Myeongdong shopping area. It's crazy. Just basically a big outdoor mall, where rich and glamorous teenagers roam at night. As jkim said, it's mostly happening at night, but it's pretty busy in the afternoon as well. 3. Insadong: this is sort of the artsy area. There are tons of art galleries on this street and in the neighborhood, just northwest of the street. this is where I go a lot because I eat a fairly strict vegetarian diet these days. Most of the good vegetarian places are here, including this awesome vegan buffet that you're probably not interested in. However, it's also a good place for hole in the wall 'hanshik" (korean food) restos. I asked around for recs but all I got were shrugs. If you wander into the alleys during eating hours, look into the windows and look at the clientele and the food, you can get a pretty good idea of what place you'll be happy at. Insadong is a great place for cheap tchochkes to bring back home. Also, there are some decent cheap scarf vendors here. To get to Insadong, I think it's easiest to get off the subway at Anguk station and then just head one block south. Then the north entrance to Insadong's main drag is right there.
  2. oh damn, that looks good. i'm committing myself to a tokyo trip, hopefully this year.
  3. jschyun


    One of the best meals I've had in a long time. My favorites were the potato salad, the cauliflower in the mini Staub and the hot chocolate. Amazingly inexpensive for food of this caliber.
  4. wrong days. the happy hour deal is avail on monday and thursdays. should get there early or wait can be up to an hour IME.
  5. that bunny egg is so cute, I must get one. what are those two little black things on the rice? they look like little footprints
  6. I just caught that photo essay. So how does it taste? Does anyone taste a difference between the already peeled garlic in the tubs/bags as opposed to garlic you freshly peel yourself? I can't tell really.
  7. I like the spicy hot chocolate drink best of all their hot chocolates. I've never had the ice blended, good to know. Of the chocolates, most of my recipients seem to like the passionfruit caramel. The name of this piece always escapes me. For some reason, I like this one piece that tastes like a fancy raisinet. Chuao isn't my favoritest chocolate shop of all time, but hey it's in Irvine.
  8. I dunno about what stores to go to in that area since I am a bit north of you, but if you can find the St. Benoit yogurt, it's about as close to homemade as I've ever had. Kind of pricey though. One yogurt that I like to eat with granola is the creamy Strauss yogurt. You can pretty much find that anywhere, including at the aforementioned Trader Joe's I think. Also, there are some shops around here that make their own yogurt. I think there's an Indian store near Milpitas where I've gotten quarts of yogurt, but I can't remember the name. You might try to find a Greek grocery as well. For good produce, definitely hit the farmer's markets. Pricier than the supermarket but also better.
  9. I heard that the kouign aman is no more. Boule has supposedly removed all viennoiserie to make room for other items, although I haven't confirmed that in person. Very sad. ← yeah it's true. I admit I liked their croissants. and I apologize to anyone who read my ecstatic ramblings about that place in OC (pierre patisserie et boulangerie) because they have really gone downhill AND raised their prices. So far my fave cannelle bordelaise was at Boulette's Larder in San Fran (aka Frisco). I just had one in fact. Awesome. Crunchy on the outside, custardy on the inside. In fact I think I'll have another tomorrow. I don't recall going gaga over Boule's version but I haven't had one in a while. I also like the lemon basil sorbet.
  10. grats Cognac. with your Culinary Detective column and ability to market yourself and network, it was only a matter of time.
  11. hey ludja! rice noodle roll in XO sauce is that dish. I think they call it XO Spicy noodle roll or something like that. I like the KP version.
  12. Interesting. I order xiaolongbao just about every time I'm there (which is alot). I don't know why we order them because it's not their forte for obvious reasons but we do it anyway. And in fact with the exception of a few times I've had it, the xlb are not very juicy at all and they break a lot which may explain why yours weren't juicy. They don't carry seafood xlb by the way, only pork. I believe that pic shows a small order of their xiaolongbao.
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