On my last day or so in Los Angeles, we had another celebration... my grandfather's 90th birthday party! It was held at a Chinese restaurant, so once again I continued my eating trip around "the world" in Los Angeles. And of course, there was cake! (We had a delicious breakfast too, at The Farm of Beverly Hills location near the Staples Center.)
From there, I had two more wishlist things to do in Koreatown: shop for cute things I don't need, and visit the Korean sauna. So we made a little shopping stop at Daiso for stickers and paper and cute things, all at $1.50 each. After shopping, we relaxed and bathed at the wonderful sauna, and I felt like a whole new woman!
That night, we ate at my grandparents' apartment, where I got even more Korean BBQ which I loved. And since it was our last night all together, my sister, her boyfriend, my uncle/aunt/mom, all insisted that we go out! We headed to a Koreatown staple, Dan Sung Sa, a dive bar that used to be a Korean-centric hangout but now is popular with a ton of people. They have meat skewers for $1.99 and all kind of things, and I could see a lot of folks slamming back on some soju!
My uncle taught us to make a simple drink with Korean beer, soju, and a little lemon juice. It was light-tasting and hit you quickly later with the liquor! We also ordered some late-night snacks, including pork belly. I wanted to order some Spam, but the kitchen was out... and then, in true Korean fashion, the bar sent someone out to buy me some and brought it to the table with an egg. Delicious. According to my uncle, the things they were serving were all about nostalgia and what life was like in the "old days" in Korea. I could definitely feel that vibe while we were there... and we stayed out until midnight, which is 2 a.m. in Nashville! Woof.
I saved the best for last, you guys. I really wanted some California Donuts. (Coincidentally, Anthony Bourdain has been to both Dan Sung Sa and California Donuts, which despite my fangirling was new knowledge to me.) Anyways, we tried TWICE but each time the line was insane despite the place being open 24/7. So I just gave up. Well, on our last morning in LA, I got a text that my mom/aunt/uncle had gotten up early and were bringing donuts. HOLY COW. Never tell a Korean person what you want, because they will move mountains to make it happen for you. I'm very loved.
I even got to take some home! Despite the crazy donut combos, my favorite was the pink classic donut Homer Simpson-style. It was just perfect, and I would eat one every day if it wasn't impossible and terrible for me.
So yeah, my trip to Los Angeles was memorable and fun. It was also exhausting, and there was some family drama happening as usual, but I never regret a trip to visit with my family. They love me, I love them, and I'm blessed to have them!
Even though I gained like four pounds. Meh.