Living in LA affords me some awesome things, like dirt cheap tacos that are the best you've ever had, affordable Korean food 24/7, and outdoor events all year round. The Los Angeles Korean Festival was back in September, and it was a collection of Koreans packed beneath long tents and over-priced (but yummy) food.
The cool thing about this event is that vendors bring in all sorts of products. These booths were selling banchan, or side dishes, prepped specifically for the festival. They had tasters out to entice you to try and go home with a bag full of goods.
And a lot of these products are from Korea! They're better quality than some of the stuff we have here in the States, from what I've been told.
As you emerge from the tents (where we saw a few Korean-American shows filming the event), you are greeted with the smell of barbecue and the sight of lines and lines of food...
The Korean version of tempura..
Haemul pajeon, or seafood and green onion in batter. This is a personal favorite!
Odaeng, or fish cakes in broth. In theory, it doesn't sound all that appetizing. But damn, it is gooooood. To me, this was the most overpriced as it's not that difficult to make at home and you can do it for a fraction of the price they were charging!
And some sort of spicy seafood mix, shoveled into bowls. Only for the daring and those who aren't wearing white.
Naturally, I went for the pajeon.
Away from the food, there's a section guarded by security personnel (you can't take open food in there, which I think is a bit awkward as it's right next to the food stands) that sells all sorts of other goods. They had a stage where there were performances and contests, along with a number of stalls selling hair products, Korean boyband goodies, and pottery.
Look at how gorgeous all of this is!
We stuck around to watch performances of traditional Korean dancing. I used to take lessons when I was a kid, but I didn't really get along with the other girls. I was a dark, chubby girl who was younger than most of the other kids in the class. Everyone else was not only older, but prettier and skinnier.
As a result, nobody really talked to me. I was a bit of a loner, and dropped the class. I wish I had stuck it out, though, because I actually really enjoyed it. I wonder if they have classes for adult beginners?
My favorite! These little kids were so cute. They had masks on the back of their heads to be 'two-faced' and it was hilariously adorable.
Finally, the drums. They didn't have the standing drums, but this is the dance that I was assigned in our class. It was crazy fun, and you feet a little bit important with the drums slung across your body.
I wish there had been more to do, but it was fun to get out and see a celebration of my heritage. I'm looking forward to next year's festivities! Though I think I'm going to eat beforehand -- those prices were ridiculous, especially when you can get a lot of that stuff around Koreatown for dirt cheap.
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