December 5, 2004

There's nothing like watching and reading about the tsunami disaster to make you feel lame. M and I donate money but that's so little and passive. But,we aren't professional relief actors and we don't build roads.

So at the risk of sounding crass and insensitive, we headed to the mountains - Big Bear- with our niece Lauren to see some snow and go sledding. Part of the road to Big Bear is shared by those going to Palm Springs and Las Vegas, so the traffic was as you can imagine.

Once we got into the mountains, the air was crisp and snow pure. My husband was beginning to get impatient with Southern California drivers who don't know how to drive in the snow (or in the rain, for that matter) but it was worth it to play in the snow with Lauren. We bought a large plastic round disk that serves as a sled and pulled off the road where there was a clearing. We slid down a relatively steep hill for a while. By this time, it was getting dark so we headed down back to the city. Bad and stupid drivers is all I have to say.

Resorts like Big Bear are great when there are few people around. During the ski season, or other holidays, getting around the tiny city is a nightmare. Besides, it's not like a European ski resort with lots of cozy cafes stocked with yummy, not to mention precious looking, food. Here, it's fast food chains and family restaurants with questionable quality.

We happened to pass through Little Tokyo in downtown and M. suggested yakitori for dinner. Lauren, who before had been less than enthusiastic for Chinese food in Monterey Park, suddenly lit up and said "Yeah, yeah!" The best Yakitori is in Weller Court in Little Tokyo. Yakitori is bits of seasoned meat or vegetables skewered on a thin stick roasted over fire. Compared to Korean bbq, what I like about it is that they roast it for you, not at your own table, so that you don't get that smoky smell on your clothes. When I go out to eat, I'd rather not cook myself. Perhaps that's the reason why there were so many Koreans at this restaurant? And since the fire is within view of the diners, you can see where your food is coming from. The seasoning can be a bit salty, so be prepared. Order one of the combinations, since it's a better bargain than ordering many items separately. M also ordered cod roe soup but we both preferred the Korean version with more spices. But Lauren loved it and there's nothing like watching a child enjoy her food.

Yakitori Koshiji
Weller Court
123 S. Onizuka Street, #203
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Parking under New Otani hotel. Validated.

No comments: