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李苑 – Korean Barbecue in Nakano!

In Japanese Food, Japanese Holidays on January 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

The holidays are over. My Christmas and O-shōgatsu breaks are finished. Even though I went back to work, the last 2 weeks have been 3 day weekends this year which really helped me ease into the new year. However, with funds low I just spent my days off loafing around the house with the girlfriend watching DVD’s and sleeping late. In other words, too busy to write anything in the blog.

Yeah, I know it’s bad. I just started this blog and already I’m slacking off… Well, for better or for worse, slacking off is one of my talents. I really have it down to an art.

I don’t have any super interesting topic to cover this time, but I feel compelled to at least make some sort of an entry.

Ummmm… so what to say? Today was freaking cold. It rained all day today. Ummm… oh! I know, I found a really big hole in one of my socks!

japanese socks

i need a hole in my socks like i need a hole in my head

Oh yeah. I know what to talk about. The other night we were craving some Korean food so we went to Nakano to try a place we’ve seen all the time but never went inside. It’s a tiny little shop called 李苑. There’s another Korean restaurant located directly across the street from it which seems to be connected, because we saw a cook run over with a pot of soup broth (or something) from the main shop where we ate. I didn’t realize there was such a Korean Konnection in Nakano, but right around the corner from this spot is an area notorious for Korean sex workers who operate in unmarked (and I’m assuming unlicensed) vacant spaces. Not sure if there’s any connection to the restaurant beyond location, but it’s an interesting prospect. (The gf and I wondered if you could negotiate that into the price of dinner if you wanted something special for dessert).

Anyhoo, if you follow the link above, you can see the shop’s menu and location.

I was craving sam gyup sal and we were about to order it, but the chapche (a Korean rice noodle dish) and selection of Japanese beef and pork cuts of meat (Korean Barbecue) quickly grabbed our attention. This place also offers “all you can eat” sanchu for 715 yen — which is a steal. (For those who don’t know, sanchu is Korean lettuce used for making barbecue wraps and the like – in Japan you usually have to keep ordering it again and again so it starts to get pricey even though it’s just lettuce.)

The meats were beautifully striated and juicy. They provided 2 sauces, the regular Japanese “tare” yaki niku sauce and a their own Korean style sesame oil sauce which was wicked. Combined with the Korean miso, the sesame oil and sanchu combo won the night. Fucking DELICIOUS!

I wanted to drink some soju, but it was by the bottle only, and the gf was down with it. So I ordered atsukan (hot sake). (Soju is the Korean equivalent to shochu, I think). Anyways, it was a damn good meal and I’m looking forward to going back again.

Here are some pictures for your viewing enjoyment.


awwwwwwww yeah!
mαrky( -_-)凸

  1. holes in the socks, I have had throughout my childhood

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