Episode Two of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," a new show on CNN that promises to "take you to exotic global destinations through Bourdain's unique lens," featured Los Angeles' Koreatown last week:
Anthony hung out with two famous Korean American "bad boys": Roy Choi of Kogi foodtruck fame and David Choe, street artist and newly-minted multimillionaire. Roy and David took Anthony on a culinary tour of K-town, including surprising stops at Sizzler and Jollibee, as well as profiling their families' compelling stories. Roy even gave an excellent breakdown of the 1992 LA Riots from the Korean community's point of view, a viewpoint that is not often explained so poignantly on mainstream media.
I really enjoyed the show, being a fan of all three gentlemen, and feeling more and more proud as they introduced Anthony to each new beloved haunt: the glories of Beverly Soon Tofu, the rohsu gui at Dong Il Jang, and this amazing-looking dumpling place called Myung In Dumplings which I now have made my life's goal to find and set up camp in. The Koreatown they showed him was sexy, delicious, laid-back, and rife with gorgeous examples of the ever-fabled melting pot.
One stick in my craw was the lack of a strong female Korean American voice. David Choe's mom was featured quite heavily, which I appreciated, but if he's looking for "bad Koreans," he would have benefitted from getting to know some Korean renegade riot girls too! I personally would have loved to have taken Anthony around Galleria market, fed him gamja tang, haemul jungol, and soondae, and drink him under the table at the noraebang! Maybe next time, bro!