Thursday, November 6, 2014

Anthony Bourdain Can't Hold Candle to Alan Nakagawa.

My friend Alan Nakagawa is an LA-based food blogger/velo enthusiast. He has pedaled through most of LA County sampling the ever-changing food and drink fare.  Alan's taste buds are finely honed from experience and passion, and I think he does a better job spreading the news than CNN's Anthony Bourdain (my opinion).  Turns out Alan's folks were in the restaurant biz themselves, so our roving reporter comes by his bona fides organically.

In the post below our intrepid cyclists visit a neighborhood watering hole, two blocks from Alan's house. Nakagawa hadn't been through the door in 30 years.  Imagine his surprise when he ......   well, read below for details. 

"I asked some friends and my daughter to accompany me to a restaurant I have not visited for over 30 years. Well, more specifically, this Korean restaurant was once a Japanese restaurant called Beni Basha. This was my parents restaurant, which they ran for 15 years. It was the restaurant my brother and I grew up in, worked in and eventually said goodbye to. Although it is located only two blocks away from my house, I haven't had the emotional will to enter till recently. The interior is somewhat different now, so it essentially did not feel like the old restaurant. Noel Korten, Sheila Schoonhoven, Kyungmi Shin and my daughter ordered a pork belly dish and Korean BBQ. The bancha was spectacular. My friends Koh and Sojung (Document Coffee Bar) frequent this place often, i found out later, and know the owner, Sue. Kyungmi explained my connection with their restaurant and they allowed me to view the kitchen. i was shocked to see the dish washing sinks and the main stove top/oven (by Wolf) were the same units my Father purchased decades ago. it was like seeing old friends or maybe even ghosts from the past.

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