Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Food is My Comfort

I think many of us can agree that food is what gives us comfort in times of stress, and that food is what brings us happiness. Of course not entirely, but food is usually a huge part of everyone's lives. As a Korean-American with a huge chunk of Korean culture deeply engraved in my life, I love meat and I love Korean food like no other. I just wanted to share with you a specific KBBQ place that I absolutely love going to.

I can't even remember when this place opened, but I remember my first experience at Kang Hodong Baekjeong to be quite pleasant. I went with a group of people and the adults paid for the meal but I was fascinated by pretty much everything--from the set up of the restaurant's environment to the set up of the table and most importantly, the set up of the grill. I have never seen anything like that before, so it was really fascinating. I went there several times after that, and I had a blast and a party in my stomach every time I went.

I actually went recently with my beloved mother and a brother-in-Christ, Joseph Choi. The photos I will be sharing in this post is from the most recent visit I made. All three of us must've been super hungry because I feel like we barely talked during the meal.

As you can see, their grill is very unique. The yellow soup looking thing is actually egg, that eventually gets cooked. One of the main side dishes at a KBBQ place is Korean-styled steam cooked eggs and it usually comes out in a separate pot. However, they decided that it would be unique to make a grill in which they would pour the egg and the fire that is actually cooking the meat would heat up the egg and cook it. I think it is very unique and very brilliant, but I've been noticing a slight problem about this set up. It takes a really long time for it to cook because the fire isn't directly underneath the egg. One other thing is that when the meat is cooked (especially for pork), the oil ends up sliding into the egg. The concept is a really cool one though. And if you look on the other side, there are other things like corn cheese, veggies, and kimchi. The kimchi doesn't originate there in the set up but I always put kimchi there to cook and eat with the pork belly. It's delicious!

This meat is called the "Hang-Jung-Sal" and the english translation for this is "pork jowl" Hands down, this is my favorite selection of meat from this restaurant.

We ordered a small pork combo, which comes with three selections of meat and either spicy kimchi soup or bean paste soup. Because my mom wanted the bean paste soup, that's what we got as a part of our combo.

This is the second meat that we ate and this is just the regular kind of pork belly with thinly sliced sweet potato and mushrooms.
And as you can see, there is some difference in the appearance of the egg. It's slowly cooking...but kind of too slow.

This is pork belly that is cooked and cut into bitesize pieces. It's so good that just looking at the picture of this as I am writing out my blogpost is making me want to go back and eat some right now.

There is a third selection of meat that I couldn't get a picture of. It was thinly sliced pork belly that is marinated in spicy pepper paste before being cooked and because of the sauce, they cook it inside the kitchen for you. It's absolutely delicious. The spiciness really turns the table towards the end when you are feeling full because that is an appetite grasping factor for most people. And although it sounds like it would be really spicy, it's not overwhelmingly spicy. I feel like it's perfect -- not too spicy but not too bland. 

My experience at this place is always a pleasing one. The only downfall is that the wait time is usually super long because it is a very popular restaurant for not just Koreans but all kinds of people. As more time goes by, I feel like I've been seeing a lot more of Chinese customers and a lot of American customers as well. I guess KBBQ is becoming more and more popular all-around.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Special Moments of November

November is a special month for me, because of the woman in this picture.
She is my beloved mother, who bore me and my brother in her womb. She is also the one that took care of us throughout all of our 21 and 19 years of life. Because of the generation she was born in and the culture she was born into, she has about three different birthdays but we celebrate her birthday on the 20th of November every year. 

Photocreds to my little brother, Il Han Daniel Lee.
(He hasn't been featured on my blog yet, but go check out his instagram: d33le3!)

In celebration of her birthday, we went out to a restaurant that my mom really likes in Koreatown, Los Angeles called Palsaik Samgyupsal (Eight Korean BBQ). <-(Linked is their official website and here is the yelp page: Eight Korean BBQ Los Angeles).

They are known for their eight different flavors of pork belly. The photo above is the eight roll combo, which is the most typical menu that people order. It comes with eight different rolls of pork belly that is flavored wine, regular, curry, herb, garlic, spicy, ginseng, miso. The combo also comes with a pot of spicy soup and side dishes and salad, and it costs $49.99. That wasn't enough for the table that I was sitting in (there were two guys and three girls on our table) so we ordered another small combo that is called Flower Pig Set, which comes with flower pork belly, pork jowl, garlic pork steak, thinly sliced pork belly, spicy kimchi soup and side dishes and salad for $45.99 (photo below).

Photocreds to my little brother, Il Han Daniel Lee.

It was a fun night that was rewarding to my tummy and I'm sure very rewarding to the other people too, including my mother. We celebrated and sang the birthday song for her with a Blueberry Chiffon Cake from Paris Baguette, which I purchased before going to dinner (first picture). I would have to say that Blueberry Chiffon Cake is probably my utmost favorite cake from Paris Baguette, even though they have a wide selection of cakes.

And yes, this was only part one of November birthdays. I have a very close unnie (a Korean term for an older sister, even if they're not blood related to you), Jihee Violet Moon, that had her birthday the day after my mother's. She is currently attending UC Riverside and she wasn't able to come home that weekend because she had exams the week after. Our little posse decided to go surprise her and have a surprise sleep over at her apartment. Interestingly, her roommate Moeka also had the same birthday as her. How crazy is it that your roommate is born on the same day? I have to admit, that to me is pretty cool. With the help of Moeka, we were able to sneak into the house. Of course, Moeka had no idea she would also be one to be surprised even though she helped us with our surprise plan.

We had purchased about 40 pearl white balloons to lay on the floor and 10 violet colored balloons that were filled with helium from a friend's parent's place on Olympic and Gramercy, and we laid them out nicely in their living room. 

We set up the room nicely and surprised them.

Aren't they cute blowing out their candles? 

The five of us then decided to go eat dinner at Asahi Sushi for their all you can eat, which was a pleasant experience for all of us and first time at that restaurant for all of us. And of course, waiting time means picture time. We took selfies with my selfie stick.

And to mention a little of my outfit as I do call myself a fashion blogger, I was just wearing a super comfortable outfit. I had "stolen" my brother's cute orangish red Stussy hoodie and put it together with the usual comfortable outfit of black leggings from Forever 21 and a tight pencil skirt from H&M to cover my butt since the hoodie wasn't long enough. And of course, I put on my favorite pair of comfortable shoes: Uggs. To complete the casual and comfortable outfit, I just carried my current favorite clutch that was featured in Fashion&Food Fusion to fit my wallet, selfie stick and my phone.

Of all the photos I took of the food we ate, this was definitely the best one I took. So this will represent everything else we ate that night.

I took this picture of Hannah unnie and I think it's such a cute picture that I just had to post it here. This was after we came back from dinner.

And Miss Jihee Violet Moon was having the time of her life posing for me with the balloons. Not a bad way to digest a little of the food that she ate.

The morning/afternoon after, we decided to get brunch at Panera Bread. It was actually really exciting for me because it was my first time. I didn't get to take pictures of what we ate but I had a sandwich and clam chowder. Not bad of a choice for brunch.

@ Panera Bread. Photocreds to Jihee Violet Moon.

On this day, thinking it would be cold, I wore this knit sweater.
It's a new item in my closet and I absolutely love it.
I was in Little Tokyo a few days before this day and had stopped by a shop run by someone I know. She was actually getting ready to close down her shop so she had her stuff out for sale.
While sitting there to chitchat, I noticed this knit sweater and I liked it more and more as time passed by. I ended up bringing it home with me, thanks to the lady. I was more than willing to pay for it but she just gave it to me since she was closing down anyways. I love how it's a V-neck (although you can't see it in the pictures) and I love how it's the oversized fit that is shorter in the front and longer in the back to cover your butt.

I wore it with nice sparkly flats from Tory Burch, which I love but I have mixed feelings about. I love the design and everything-- all the more because mine are super sparkly. However, I have wide feet and these flats are not very ideal in terms of comfort for people with wide feet. 

And before I bring this post to an end, I wanted to also post a picture of the nail design that I've done in the spirit of Thanksgiving Day. It consisted of the colors silver, orange and white and I tried getting a little more creative than the usual, which turned out to be fun. I've also been loving midi rings, especially ones that actually fit my chubby fingers and look okay in them. 

These were the highlight moments of my November, and I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving as well. Happy December, everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Comfort & Height

It's been a while that I've featured myself on my blog, and this isn't very recent but I decided to shoot a post right before Thanksgiving Day just for the heck of it.

I am short in stature and quite wide, and I know that sneaker wedges or any awkward length shoes never look that great on me. The shoes may be quite beautiful, but it doesn't change the fact that it will most likely make me look even shorter and pudgier than I am. This is something that is an important factor when picking out what kind of clothes or shoes to wear, but I've been wanting sneaker wedges for the longest time. I was actually blown away at the deal I found on IDEEL. I ordered these shoes for only $20, even though they are from BCBG.
I know that black would've done better for someone like me who is already so short but this was the only color left in my size and I decided I am going to rock them as well as I can and not think too much about how short it makes me look.

What I am wearing here is super comfortable, even though it doesn't look like a bum outfit. I love wearing super comfortable clothes like leggings and big sweaters, but that outfit is actually a lot more casual and a lot more "bummy-looking" than this outfit. Not only that, there is a boost in height because of the sneaker wedges which is always a huge plus for someone as short as me.

The gray v-neck sweater from Gap was my mom's pick but I love it so much that I've been wearing it more than she has been. It's just so comfortable to wear with anything --- jeans, black pants, leggings, or even a skirt(which is more recommendable for taller people). It's not really thick so you can totally wear it on days that aren't too hot but not too cold. As you can see, I wore a tank from Hollister Co. underneath that has a round-shaped bottom that is long enough to cover my butt. I did that mainly because I wore my work out leggings from Calvin Klein and I like to cover my butt when I wear leggings of any sort.

(My face looks really long in this photo...and the other photos. Please don't mind it too much!)

Happy [almost] Thanksgiving Day and I hope you have a comfortable but fashionable holiday!
There will be more posts soon, although they are all running a bit late.
Put me on your reading list on and stay in tune with what I have to share!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simply Fall: Caroline Kim

The weather has been beautifully fall-ish lately (at last during the afternoon), allowing fashionistas to really rock some nice, comfortable fall clothes.
I had the honor of finally featuring Caroline Kim, all the way from the valley.
She also runs a blog [Berry Glamorous] <--- link to her blog
and has an Instagram account for food @lafoodfeed <--- link to her IG
that you can follow for her updates.

Her outfit on this day was actually quite similar to my latest featuring of Jane on "The Likeness of a Couple" post, with the denim on denim and a sweater vest over the denim button-up shirt.

Caroline put on a light colored denim button-up from Nordstrom with a darker colored denim on the bottom, which are jeans from Abercrombie&Fitch. On top of her light colored denim button-up shirt, she pulled over a gray, round-neck sweater from Gap.

She accessorized her sweater over denim shirt with a nice statement necklace which was themed in a neon greenish yellow put together with a natural crystal colored jewels from Kaitlyn. Because her overall outfit was very similar in color, the necklace gave a nice point to the outfit.

She held a simple, black purse from Kate Spade, which is versatile to many outfits and occasions because of its simplicity in style and color.
(Her jeans look like they're bright blue but they're not as blue and poppy as the photo makes it seem.)

As you can see, she rolled up her jeans to show her ankles. I really liked that because it creates a nice transition into her shoes, which are slip-ons.
To this outfit of blue, gray and black with a bit of point, she put on a black sequin top sider from Sperry. With slip-ons being a very popular fashion item at the moment, Sperrys are the more "classy" looking slip-ons to wear. I've never owned Sperrys of my own, but I always thought they looked nice.

She's so cute, and I absolutely love her dimples.
Show lots of love and check out her blog as well!
(Her blog and Instagram is linked up above, on the top portion of this post.)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Organizing Nail polishes.

I love girly things, and one of those things are nail polishes.
I have many of my own, but with my best friend leaving to the military this past January, I was able to inherit her collection of nail polishes. I have about 87 nail polishes... can you believe it?

Many times, I have a hard time picking out a specific color I want to apply on my nails.
I've been really wanting to organize my nail polishes and all of the colors somehow, so that it would be easier for not just myself but for my friends to look and pick out. 
I was at Daiso a while back, and I found these fake nails that you're supposed to glue on as if they were acrylics and paint on top of it with whatever color polish you want.
That's when the idea of using them like they use the round nail display thing at the nail salon came into my head and it was like a lightbulb that just went off.

I started this really late at night only to find out that I wasn't going to be able to sleep well if I didn't finish all of it. So despite the fact that I had to be up really early the next morning, I sat down and finished all of them.

This is my finished product. I tried to color code them as much as possible, and it's such a joy for me to look at my work and pick out the color of polish I would like to apply on my nails.

For in the case that I am not able to find the exact nail polish, I labeled every nail on the back portion with a sharpie. I don't know why but I can't help but be pleased at this idea and it would've been a lot better if they were the sturdy round ones like the ones they have at the nail salon but I wasn't about to order them from Ebay (because I don't use paypal...) which I think turned out fine thanks to Daiso.

Do you have any great ideas of how to organize nail polish colors?
Please do let me know! :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Show Me the Hat: Karen Park

As the Fall season has been slowly making its way into Los Angeles, I spotted Karen wearing a nice black hat (Irene's Story). Hats, beanies, and scarves are finding their way into the outfits fitting to this season and it was nice to see this particular hat in the midst of the typical kinds of hat wear that most people go for.

Her entire outfit for this day consisted of two colors: black and gray.
A gray long-sleeve top which is oversized is actually Rachel's, so she wasn't sure where it's from. 
Everything else in her outfit was black as you can see.

Having become a little more comfortable at posing for these photos, she has found herself comfortably posing and making faces throughout the photoshoot.

She picked up these cute pair of black sandals from Ebay, which is versatile in so many ways. Although they aren't really shoes for the Winter, you can pull them off for the beginning to mid Fall season and because they are black, you can match them with almost any kind of outfits whether they be pants just like Karen or skirts and dresses.
I also love the height because it gives you enough boost to feel like you got what you need, but it isn't overbearingly too tall that you would fall flat on your face.

The folded sleeves and the open-toed sandals that show much skin on the feet was a nice combination because the outfit became balanced through allowing skin to show in various places. That much skin showing isn't provocative at all, and it creates a classy look without looking like you tucked away all of your flesh possible underneath clothes.

What does your typical fall outfit and fall smile look like?