Thursday, June 29, 2006

Beck...& Bugolgi: Finding Post-Concert Eats Near the Wiltern

Chrissy and I went to see Beck at the historic Wiltern on Wednesday night. Several weeks ago, I had logged on ticketmaster at exactly 4.00pm with multiple windows open desperately trying to score precious pre-sale tickets before they sold out. After 7 carpel tunnel-syndrome inducing minutes of hitting the 'best available' button over and over again, I got through and got the tix.

That was the easy part.

The hard part was now that I'd acquired the tix for the 8pm show, where, oh where to have dinner walking distance to middle-of-nowhere Wiltern along Mid-Wilshire?

Sure, there's Denny's next door. Ha! Never! (yes, I freely admit to being an anti-Denny's snob) and on the other spectrum, the operatically snazzy Opus attached to the Wiltern (but really, which Wiltern concert-goers want to pep up for a concert with dignified, white-tableclothed, 4-star eats beforehand?) Being thisclose to Korea Town, we decided we should take advantage of some kim-chee'd delights. There are scores of potentially really yummy Korean restaurants nearby, however, to unintiated K-Towners such as myself and Chrissy, who knew if 'Young Dong' or 'Bok Duk Bong Bakery' (restaurants that came up on with no additional helpful descriptions) were good choices or not?

Our hemming-and-hawing resulted in us switching to post-concert dinner plans instead me and me having to buy a white peach at the Ralphs next door (which I snuck in for a healthy concert snack) before rushing into the concert. Late-night dinners usually isn't a prob since many K-Town spots are open 24hrs or at least until 2am. We decided on BCD Tofu House, a proven spot post-clubbing spot we've tested before at 2am, a couple blocks away. In addition to their bbq'ed meat dishes, they have this tasty tofu, veggie and meat filled spicy kim-chee soup so hot you're given a raw egg to drop in (which cooks in a second).

Alas, for some reason it was closed, we wandered into a random spot called Speedy Zone, a random tented late-night spot about 5 blocks W of the Wiltern, north side. (Clean and good food but hole-in-a-wall enough that I can't find any more exact info listed on google, yellowpages or 411 on it). Each table came with a 'cook-it-yourself' bbq grill. We ordered the bugolgi (grilled garlic beef) we asked if the waitress could cook it for us, then felt immediately guilty at our laziness while watching her grill our meat for us. One order of the heaping plate of raw beef accompanied with a bowl of rice and the usual sidedish suspects (glass noodles, pickled cabbage, seaweed, friend tofu) was more than enough for the both of us. $17 for everything.

The remains of our 1am dinner. (I had my camera to take pic's of the delicious-looking food but we were too busy eating and forgot until we were done.)

BCD Tofu House (with their great tofu side dishes, tender beef and hot kimchee soup) would still be my top pic for my next Wiltern outing. but Speedy Zone was good, and while not amazing, still a solid choice over the corner Dennys for pre or post-concert noshing.

Oh, and Beck? His awesomeness doesn't need a concert review, I've seen him 3 times and he always puts on amazing live performances; Beck's show involved elaborate mini-Beck dancing puppets, bear costumes, a honky-tonk version of Travolta/Newton-John hit, "All That I Want' with Cia and two encores covering everything from 'Loser' to 'Lost Cause' to Guero's 'Girl' other words, a perfect combo of crowd-pleasing favorites, melancholy acoustic solos and dance-happy new tunes.

Thanks again for the Beck concert birthday present Chrissy!

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