Thursday, December 22, 2005
Hotcakes, And They Weren't Kidding: Koo's Grill, Koreatown
It's the Super Pancake Trailer!
On the way in or out from Koreatown's California Market, my usual Korean grocery stop, I've got an option of one of three things: to go buy grilled corn from the corn guy, to take religious pamphlets or cassette tapes from one of the various middle-aged Korean folks that bombard me everytime I walk past, or spend a buck at a shiny trailer called "Koo's Grill."
I think I'll spend the buck.
The trailer is so colorful and shiny that it's reminiscent of something you'd find at a carnival or state fair. I knew they sold pancakes of some sort--there's a poster sized collage of different circular masses of dough that makes you think that maybe they sell different kinds of pancakes. In reality though, the poster shows the stages of making just one type of pancake that Koo's Grill specializes in: the grilled rice flour pancake.
"One please," I said to the lady as I handed her a dollar in exchange for a small, piping-hot styrofoam takeout container. Eager to try my new purchase, I opened it up in the car only to find out that the core temperature of this golden brown four inch disc was well over 400 degrees. Screw pouring hot oil down the fortress walls at your enemy, just toss one of these at them and watch their face melt off! So during the drive from Koreatown to my next destination, the La Brea Trader Joe's, I let it sit and cool down until it was manageable to take a bite out of.
It's a grilled rice flour pancake with pancake syrup inside...that's it. I mean, it was OK, just nothing special. I liked the chewiness of the rice flour dough, but for what it was worth--the dollar, the cool-down period, the extreme syrupy sweetness--I could have toasted an Eggo at home and put Aunt Jemima on it.
But at least I know what the shiny trailer's all about now. Next time, I get to choose between the corn guy and the religious pamphlets.
Koo's Grill at the California Market
450 S. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90020