Hey, so I just got back from an extremely short trip to Seoul. It was my first trip there and although I had little spare time after my conference, my former classmates and co-workers met up with me and took me out. I was only able to have a handful of meals with them, but two that stuck out for me were School Food (in Myeongdong) and a place in Samcheongdong that specialized in something like a spicy, cold somen soup, but whose tteokgalbi is what I really enjoyed.
I know there's a School Food in LA (though I can't tell from reviews whether it's as good as the ones in Korea). Is there anywhere in the SF Bay Area to get similar kimbap or tteokbokki? We had the bacon & garlic kimbap and, at my friend's insistence, the spam kimbap and spicy carbonara tteokbokki. My choice was tasty, but the spam kimbap was transcendent. And I am not a spam fan! I tried the spam kimbap at Roll House in Santa Clara a couple of days ago, and it was very different and not as tasty. (We also went into Paris Baguette, which aside from being stupidly crowded--darned cronuts!--did not have any of the Seoul PB items I was looking for, like the delightfully fragrant pumpkin cream cheese bread.)
As for tteokgalbi, I can't find it in Yelp, but a complicating factor in all of the above is the million ways to romanize Korean. Sigh.
Anyway, any NorCal leads are appreciated. I don't have any time off soon so no trips to LA or Seoul for me!