December 2, 2005

Asian on a bun

Korean BBQ sandwich with kimchi and a boba drink at the East West Sandwich in Westwood

Sometime ago, a colleague outside my department and I formed a lunch partnership. It started as once-a-week bitch session where each of us could vent to an outsider about things happening in our own departments. It was convenient that we weren't involved in each other's department intimately but at the same time knew the characters and personalities involved in the dramas in which we were unwilling pawns.

Over time, as bitch sessions can only go so far in helping to establish a friendship, these sessions turned into a more positive affair, one that was less exclusionary and psychologically and physically more satisfying. It became community of culinary celebration where, more often than not, I'd introduce my friend to the world of exotic - at least to her - foods and fruits. Each week, I'd open my lunch with some strange - to her - Korean food and share a fruit, persimmon for example, that she had never tasted before.

Gradually, we'd invite folks from our own departments who somehow had sniffed their way into our culinary excursions. So in a matter of few months, these gatherings have now become a staple in my department (the less dysfunctional of the two in question)'s weekly life. Instead of my own, personal, intimate time of refuge, it's become a weekly gathering for a rather large number of folks who can cram into my friend's SUV in search of the next interesting culinary experience. I'm not complaining.

For our weekly lunch gathering this week, we headed over to Westwood where some had already experienced the Asian food on a baguette. It didn't sound that strange to me but apparently it was to some others in the group.

There, in the rather spacious and very casual restaurant, you can get pretty much some kind of Asian food on your baguette. You can get Korean bbq, Chinese pork, chicken satay, teriyaki, lemongrass beef, tofu curry, etc. The clientele is composed mostly of students and staff from UCLA and the hospitals nearby.

I tried the Korean bbq. I didn't have high expectations and my expectations were met. The meat was overwhelmingly sweet and the baguette was soggy. In addition, the boba was really hard but if you complain to the staff there, they'll offer a replacement. Since I had had enough of sugary water, I declined.

The thought is good, but I think I'll pass next time.

East West Sandwich
"Chopsticks not required."
1116 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024


john patrick said...

soggy bread is a deadly to my digestion.

have you taken your coworkers to eat crab yet?

Evil Jonny said...

Ah ha, there you are. I'm so glad you haven't left us. Yes, Korean BBQ-on-a-bun doesn't sound all that great, although I do love Vietnamese sandwiches with that tart carrot-radish salad... drool...

ding said...

here you are!
euww. asian food on a bun. for the love of all that's tasty, why??

hermz said...

The kalbi and kimchi burrito at Jose Bernstein's is much better than the Korean bbq at East West.

ding said...

db, we miss you!

john patrick said...

we do. we miss you every day! :(

jchoi said...

i remember trying to look up the calories in naeng myun on google, and your blog showed up. just wanted to let you know that i truly enjoy reading it.

weigook saram said...

Hmmm, I think that actually sounds like a good idea, not so different from a Vietnamese sandwich or a Southern barbecue sandwich with pickles.

Too bad it didn't taste good. Maybe I'll try to make one at home.