Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Communal Cravings

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

After little more than four months in Los Angeles far from most of my family, I have realized how important friendships have become to me. Without family obligations that usually blockade my weekends, hanging out with friends have become a way to both explore my new adopted city and form lasting bonds with people that don't share my genes. I have found no better way to do that than to break bread--and any other consumables, for that matter--with them.

Here are some spots around town perfect for getting up close and personal:

  • Hot Pot, Hot Pot
I've heard of Mongolian BBQ, but never Mongolian Hot Pot, until I saw (and fell in love) with this restaurant tucked on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park. Friendly staff members who speak Mandarin and perhaps other Chinese dialects greet you familiarly after only two or three visits and you'll definitely feel like a star when they take your photo for their wall of fame. Order the "yin yang guo" (combo hot pot) that separates original flavored broth from the spicy Chinese herb-laden Mongolian version. Spicy ratings range from 1 to 10, 10 being the bona fide "tear jerker." The broth is amazingly tasty, a perfect warmer for the coming winter season.

Here's a photo of our "yin yang" pot the first time around:

Hot Pot, Hot Pot
120 S. Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA
Tel. (626) 282-1089

  • Moodaepo II
Party animals with hungry tummies converge on this K-town eatery for the unlimited Korean BBQ and the unexpectedly night club vibe at night. Cameras swarm around birthday celebrants streaming a live feed of the festivities to the rest of the resto. Now that's a birthday memory to remember. Kalbi and Bulgogi are standard favorites, but the unlimited option makes for interesting choices, including our pork small intestine experiment. Here's what that looked like:

Moodaepo II
3014 W. 7th st. LA
Tel. (213) 381-9990

  • Meals by Genet
I wrote about this before, but I still dream about the flavorful lamb chunks stewed in garlic and ginger. One big plate of bread topped with various veggies and meats are made to share. Again, wash your hands and get comfy as you reach across the table to pluck out your favorite combinations.

Meals by Genet
1053 S. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90019
323- 938-9304

Got others to add to the list? Share it in the comments below :)


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