Last night I met up with my old friend, Famous Artist Brendan Lott, at Dan Sung Sa on 6th street in Ktown. I live on 9th Street, but pretty far west of there, so I thought it would make more sense to take the Purple Line than to walk. I thought wrong, and I ended up arriving pretty late. I got there, and Brendan was already set up with sojo and slightly spicy cabbage/bean sprout/potato soup.
"You can smoke here," he said. He was sitting at the counter, under a sign with crossed-out cigarette. All around us, young, attractive Koreans puffed Marlboro reds. Brendan doesn’t smoke, but he seemed more charmed than annoyed.
I had read the above Jonathan Gold piece when I first moved into the neighborhood last month, so I knew that magical things had been done to legally outfit Koreatown establishments for smoking, but it wasn’t until last night that I found time to go out and see it for myself. Having been in one of these places, I still have no idea how they make it work. To Brendan’s left last night was a wooden beam, half-assedly constructed to look like a tree — as if all they need to claim that the entire indoor restaurant is actually an outdoor patio is an obviously fake gesture towards nature.
Anyway, I loved it. The seafood pancake and pork ribs were pretty amazing. The omelette and fresh sea squirt were not.
Full disclosure, I guess: Jonathan Gold and I are technically co-workers.