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Markets & Stores

Cho Ga Ma Eul and Poong Myun Bakery

joe | Feb 13, 200506:01 PM    

I had an excellent meal at Cho Ga Ma Eul, a newly renovated Korean place on Western between 7th and 8th. The name isn't in English, but it has a logo of four diamonds in primary colors. The menu is confusing and only somewhat translated. I ordered something that the waiter translated as pork with vegetables because the waiter assured me that I wouldn't like it. There were seven panchan, including two unusual items that I could not identify. All were good to excellent. The pork came cold with some spicy vegetable, raw garlic, seasoned rice, two very non-Western condiments, and (I am not making this up) raw oysters. You wrap all of this up in lettuce. The meat was excellent if not exactly dietetic. The spicy vegetable was rather good. The raw oysters were actually a bit much. But altogether it was quite good. When I said this to the manager, he hugged me. So be careful.

I also stopped by the Poong Myun Bakery at the Koreatown Plaza. They sell a kind of rice cake that may just be alien to Western tastes. For example the ingredients list more salt than sugar. I got a small box with three different types. They were kind of bland but not nearly as bland as some other Korean rice cakes I've had.

The Koreatown Plaza supermarket has the coolest prepared foods. There was one totally bizarre item (at least to Westerners) that the lady behind the counter translated as "baby fish". Alas I did not have the guts to eat it, and instead got a package of assorted mochi that turned out to be rather bad.

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