This little piggy went to Kang Tong Pork

Vietnamese Mom posed a question and I can’t conjure up any adequate answer for her: why does Korean fried chicken only appear in holes in the wall? Not just a simple hole-in-the-wall thing in a busy strip mall, it has to either stand alone in an empty lot or sit at a shady street corner with iron folding doors and a few rowdy-looking guys smoking outside. Granted that those guys look Korean and the signs are in Korean, which confirms the authenticity of the place, and these are Korean drinking establishments after all. But does it have to be so shady? I want to walk down the street and eat fried chicken late at night sometimes… The fried chicken bits with green onions at Kang Tong Degi (강통 돼지, which should be pronounced |Kang Tong Twe Jee|) might be good enough to risk it though. Frankly there’s less chicken on that plate than fried batter and green onion, but since when did fried chicken become so refreshing? A squeeze of lemon makes all the difference. [...]

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Touring the Super H Mart food court

This has nothing to do with this post, but I want to say it anyway: I’ve been home for two weeks and Little Mom’s been making sure that everyday I eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruits, mid day snacks, late night snacks, and more snacks. “Stock up for the rest of the year cuz you don’t eat at school. I know you,” she says. I get sleepy if I’m constantly full –> now I’m sleepy all day –> now I can’t blog. On the note of abundance, this post is about 4 kiosks in the food court of the Memorial Super H Mart, where my parents will most likely frequent for a quick tasty lunch after buying the kimchis and the myulchi bokkeum. The food court makes a wavy strip at the right end of the store, starting with Tous les Jours at the door and ending with a kiosk selling kimbab (김밥) near the kimchi section far back, the tables sealed from the view of passing shoppers by a strategic row of potato sacks and artificial sunflowers. I didn’t stand long enough in front of each kiosk to read [...]

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Spice it up at OB Chicken Town

There are two things that I secretly wished for when I went to this Korean fried chicken joint in North Oakland: a better camera to take picture in the dark and a better tolerance for chili powder. [UPDATE: better camera obtained] I mean, just look at the jumping chickie on their menu, isn’t he all fired up? Late February, at 7pm. The moment we stepped in from the cold damp parking lot outback, I fell enamored with the ambiance. Dim light, warm air, seats divided up into small sections with straw thatched roofs overhead and modest curtains to ensure privacy and a sense of lonesomeness amidst the crowd. The fire post watched over quiet customers, most of whom are Korean. I’m saying this because it feels oddly heartwarming to listen to conversations that I don’t understand, and if you’re like me, then OB Town is the place to go when you’re in the mood for nostalgia. And fried chicken too, of course. A plate of garlic and soy sauce fried chicken (gan jang chicken) is more than enough for one, maybe two if neither is too hungry. The sweetness was [...]

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