Friday, August 21, 2009


We live on the border of Koreatown, a neighborhood in
Los Angeles the size of a small city. Derek was already a big fan when I moved in and now I have grown to love everything Korean. The kitschy bars, the baths, the beer (Hite), the amazing food and the cinema. I've only seen a few Korean films but I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Last night, to celebrate some good news, Derek and I embarked on a Korean-themed evening in our hood. We started at Ham-ji Park, a recommendation of famed L.A. Times food critic, Jonathan Gold. This neighborhood Korean BBQ joint is known for it's pork ribs, and yes they are amazing, but we also enjoyed the pork bacon and the copious panch'an. It was all together a fabulous meal and a pork lover's dream. We then headed to the MPark 4 Theatre located in the old Wilshire Galleria, a department store built in the 1920's to compete with the Bullocks Wilshire Building down the street. We knew about this theatre since we frequent Natura, the korean baths on the bottom floor, but we had never seen a film there. The theatre lobby is adorned with many remnants of a lost, art deco time- beautiful moldings, crazy chandeliers and one fascinating mural of two black panthers drinking from a mirrored stream. The theater itself was nice and cozy with great sound/picture quality and incredibly comfortable chairs. We watched THIRST, Chan-wook Park's newest film. I'd not seen any of his other films (OLD BOY, being the most famous) and I was completely blown away. Not only was the film beautifully shot, it was endlessly creative to the point of being impossible to categorize. It was hilariously funny, gory and grotesque, sensual, sad, frightening and heart-warming all at once. A truly original spin on the ever boringly-regurgitated vampire story. We loved it. We finished off our night with a martini at The Prince, one of our favorite Korean bars. With an interior that looks like a Mad Men set, loud R & B tracks blaring on the stereo and a Korean staff that brings you chips and salsa as you sit down, it's really like no other bar in town. It was a great night in one of the coolest parts of L.A. You stay classy Koreatown!

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