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But that would apparently put me in the minority. According to an article in today’s New York Times, people in L.A. are flocking to Kogi Korean BBQ-To-Go, a food vendor that announces its locale via Twitter. (Oh yeah, I’m on Twitter now. Follow me or something.) Now, tacos are a wonderful thing. Why would anyone want to go and ruin them with something as gross as kimchi? Maybe I’m biased. I’ve only had kimchi a few times, so I have not grown to love it. Nor will I ever, as apparently it is made with shrimp brine, and I’m a Jew, so none of that traif for me.

You might ask then, Melissa, what do you eat?

Well, faithful fans, let me tell you. When I’m not cursed with peritonsillar abscess (Note: George Washington died from it) and can eat solid food, I fair pretty well in the food department. But in a country dubbed by many English teachers as kimchiland, where the pork and squid are ever-present, a girl can only eat so many things. Every Monday, Erin and I (and whoever else we coerce into coming with us) go out for Indian food in nearby Dongdaemun. I’ve spent more evenings at Indian restaurants in my five months in Korea (good God, has it been that long?) than in my 21 years in America. But now, I’m hooked. So whenever I wind up back in the States for good, expect to indulge me.


Also, expect me to order something so ridiculously spicy that I break a sweat trying to eat it and down half a dozen glasses of water (at least) in failed attempts to cool down my mouth.

We also have our Mexican nights, our Italian nights, etc. Basically, we do whatever we can to avoid the food in the cafeteria, which usually also involves avoiding Korean food. But if your meals generally consisted of processed pork and white rice in some sort of sauce, wouldn’t you do the same?

Luckily, we here at SEV have been blessed with someone very special. His name is Donny, and he hired Erin and me back in August (so obviously he’s got fantastic taste). Donny knows some great places to get a decent meal, even in barren Suyu. Last week, Donny convinced some of the teachers to go to a local restaurant for Korean barbecue and soju (oh, that potent, potent soju…). Typical Korean BBQ uses pork, but this particular place served meat. Donny said it was some of the best beef he’s had, and I’ve got to agree with him. With a price-tag only slightly less than Mercado, and the obvious plus of being located in the neighborhood, this place is pretty swell.

Donny tends the meat...and the soju

Donny tends the meat...and the soju

While the beef cooks on the grill, we eat soup and salad...Korean-style

While the beef cooks on the grill, we eat soup and salad...Korean-style

David models the final product--beefy deliciousness

David models the final product--beefy goodness

But of course, a night out with Donny–or any Korean, for that matter, wouldn’t be complete without some soju. Soju always seems like a great idea in theory, but in actuality, well, she’s quite a bitch. Let’s just put it this way: Nobody feels good the morning after drinking soju. Nobody.

However, this doesn’t stop us. Donny came up with his own concoction–one part Coke, one part soju and one part beer–and made us all down a glass.

David was the first victim


Unfortunately for perhaps all of us, the shotglasses holding the soju on top of the Coke got stuck together, and the drink was an epic fail. Donny insisted that we were doing it wrong, and to prove that we were idiots, made himself a drink.

Now that you’ve witnessed it, I think we can all agree that “Donny’s Drink” won’t be a bestseller anytime soon.

While Donny’s Drink may have been a flop, it goes without saying that I’ll be returning to the restaurant–the food was absolutely incredible, and not just as far as Korean food goes. I would probably shell out the same amount of money (21,000 won, which is roughly $17) for the meal. Of course, that’s provided my Korean friends don’t try to make me drink any more crazy concoctions…