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The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU


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From DCist:

DCist on Kojo at NoonTwo DCist writers will be on the Kojo Nnamdi Show today at noon, discussing the local restaurant scene on this first day of Restaurant Week. Our new Food and Drink Editor, Jamie Liu, and Assistant Arts Editor Missy Frederick (representing the Washington Business Journal, where she's a reporter) will join Washingtonian Magazine's Food and Wine Editor Todd Kliman. They'll talk about how the current economy is affecting business, as people decide to eat out less, and on a lighter note, will cover the slew of affordable joints that have opened up recently. Tune in at 88.5 FM or catch the live webcast at the WAMU web site.
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You might notice synaesthesia isn't signed on right now - that's because she's on her way to WAMU where she, Missy Frederick, and Todd Kliman will be discussing the economic impact on area restaurants.

Click HERE to listen live!

ETA: Jinx!

Edited by DonRocks
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http://wamu.org/programs/kn/09/04/29.php#25123

12:06

D.C. Dining & Developing Neighborhoods

You can learn a lot about people from what they eat -- and in today's economic climate, you can learn just as much about a neighborhood from the restaurants that call it home. In recent years, the explosion of Washington's food culture has spilled over into developing neighborhoods throughout the area. But other pockets have had a lot of trouble attracting business outside of chains. Join Kojo as we explore the new neighborhoods that pioneering restaurateurs in the Washington area are penetrating and ponder why other corners of the region have been left behind.

Guests

Todd Kliman, Food and Wine Editor, "Washingtonian" magazine

Michael Landrum, Proprietor, Ray's the Steaks, Ray's the Classics, Ray's Hell-Burger, Ray's the Heat

Gillian Clark, Chef and Owner, General Store and Post Office Tavern

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Worth listening to, interesting discussion of race, class, geography and restauranting.

Though I admit, given Gillian and Landrum's sometimes short tempers, and Todd's penchant for bomb-throwing, I was kind of hoping that the whole thing would melt down into a near-psychotic screaming match...

Alas, all remained calm, although Landrum does manage to get a shot in at The Source -- though not the re-interpreting thing.

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Worth listening too, interesting discussion of race, class, geography and restauranting.

Though I admit, given Gillian and Landrum's sometimes short tempers, and Todd's penchant for bomb throwing, I was kind of hoping that the whole thing would melt down into a near-psychotic screaming match...

Alas, all remained calm.

A very thought-provoking discussion, although everyone really was on their best behavior. To make it much more entertaining, they should have taped the show on Saturday night at about 2 a.m., after everyone's had a few. The topic was ostensibly the dearth of decent non-chain restaurants in P.G. County. Thank goodness Todd wasn't promoting the crappy Mexican places in Hyattsville. Kojo is a great host--I listen to his show all the time. He's the best interviewer on NPR.
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I'll third that it was worth listening to. A pretty interesting discussion, despite the surprisingly constant level of calm throughout. I'd never heard Gillian speak before, and now I'm even more interested in going and giving her new place a try. I particularly liked the story Todd shared about the pizza place that went for the whole authentic decor aspect yet proceeded to pull all of their ingredients out of cans. I've seen so many restaurants that run on similarly flawed logic, and it's crazy. As Gillian said, if you're only going to focus on the furniture, go open a furniture store.

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I'd never heard Gillian speak before, and now I'm even more interested in going and giving her new place a try.
If you'd like to hear more from Chef Clark, she was on NPR's All Things Considered this afternoon. The story is entitled Immigrants' Daughter Americanized in the Kitchen. After eating the Pineapple Upside Down Cake so many times at CK, it's good to know why it was put on the menu.
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Having long enjoyed the excellence of her cuisine and the no-safety-net riskiness of her subversive nature; having always marveled at her indomitable work ethic and indefatigable spirit; and having only recently been able to experience first-hand the depth of her intelligence and the pointedly generousness of her insightful wit, I can not say how pleased I am to hear Gillian finally being accurately recognized and portrayed solely for her graceful embracing of the complexities--both intensely unique and contradictorily universal--that lay at the heart of all of our experiences as corroded, patina-ed, newly-minted, or not-yet-recognized Americans, as evidenced most clearly is in the restaurant world.

Fuck blue-eyed peas or Ashley Wilkes' Sustainable Capon and Waffles or Sportin' Life's Head-On Day-O Boat Prawns with Anson Mills Organic Unbolted Meal (Gershwin is a gimmee but someone's going to have to go deep into disputed blues lyrics and Frederick Douglass' My Bondage and My Freedom for that last one)--I can't wait to try some pork chops with kugel.

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Having long enjoyed the excellence of her cuisine and the no-safety-net riskiness of her subversive nature; having always marveled at her indomitable work ethic and indefatigable spirit; and having only recently been able to experience first-hand the depth of her intelligence and the pointedly generousness of her insightful wit, I can not say how pleased I am to hear Gillian finally being accurately recognized and portrayed solely for her graceful embracing of the complexities--both intensely unique and contradictorily universal--that lay at the heart of all of our experiences as corroded, patina-ed, newly-minted, or not-yet-recognized Americans, as evidenced most clearly is in the restaurant world.

Do you have a permit for the construction of that sentence?

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Do you have a permit for the construction of that sentence?

Despite the radical use of semi-colons to distinguish and join the links of the opening chain of gerundive, adjectival phrases (necessitated by their sheer complexity) and the surprising--nay, shocking--following use of the weaker comma to set off those phrases from the subject, that sentence exhibits a Calatravan elegance, grace and mechanical precision in its construction.

Faulkner would have done it without punctuation at all, and better; Hemingway would have sissied away from such a complex sentence to mask his obsessive, self-shaming, but never fully concealed, homoerotic fear; and Fitzgerald would have never have dared semi-colons in the first place, knowing that Maxwell Perkins would just replace them with commas anyway. (Notice the adroit use of the semi-colon in the last sentence to avoid the comma splice, the ignorance of which marks the current coddled, semi-literate, meritocracy--despite their $200,000 liberal arts degrees and six-figure government-funded (Oh, but that's not welfare, now is it? It goes to us) student loans).

Or I could just be sleeplessly drunk of my ass, both then and now.

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Despite the radical use of semi-colons to distinguish and join the links of the opening chain of gerundive, adjectival phrases (necessitated by their sheer complexity) and the surprising--nay, shocking--following use of the weaker comma to set off those phrases from the subject, that sentence exhibits a Calatravan elegance, grace and mechanical precision in its construction.

All I know is that kinda writing goes better with spicy mustard.

*duck*

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Despite the radical use of semi-colons to distinguish and join the links of the opening chain of gerundive, adjectival phrases (necessitated by their sheer complexity) and the surprising--nay, shocking--following use of the weaker comma to set off those phrases from the subject, that sentence exhibits a Calatravan elegance, grace and mechanical precision in its construction.

Are the opening phrases truly gerundive? The use of "having" is more along the lines of a perfect active participle, rather than a gerund, is it not?

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Today on WAMU Kojo hosted a discussion of Korean food and restaurants in Koreatown in Annandale. The website includes recipes and a google map of recommended Korean restaurants.

http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2009-10-14/local-restaurant-worldtour-korean-cuisine

Thank you so much for posting this! I am working with a visiting Korean scholar, and he'll find this info helpful in several ways. And it's also especially useful to me since I'm a novice when it comes to Korean food!

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Thank you so much for posting this! I am working with a visiting Korean scholar, and he'll find this info helpful in servic ways. And it's also especially useful to me since I'm a novice when it comes to Korean food!

If you need help with Korean food, cuisine, customs, cooking, you can always get in touch with Grover. She's introduced a large number of people on DR to Annandale and Korean food. She's led many Korean food tastings (including food for people who "can't eat spicy food"), so I'm sure she can help you.

After reading the Washingtonian article on Korean food, a number of places listed in the article are either owned by different people or changed food specialties or are no longer in business. If you plan on going to any of the listed restaurants, I'd suggest you call ahead first.

For starters, you might want to try:

Yechon

Gom Ba Woo

Gamasot

To Sok Jip

All of these are in Annandale and all will help the novice Korean food eater without compromising true Korean cooking.

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After reading the Washingtonian article on Korean food, a number of places listed in the article are either owned by different people or changed food specialties or are no longer in business. If you plan on going to any of the listed restaurants, I'd suggest you call ahead first.

Thanks, Escoffier, especially for pointing out that some of the restaurants mentioned are no longer in business. I'm primarily interested in passing on this info to the Korean guy I'm working with and may accompany him to one of the restaurants. I may also do some exploring on my own although I rarely go to Annandale. I know that there are just a few Korean restaurants and food carts in D.C. proper and that the more authentic, better restaurants are probably in Annandale. To my surprise, the Korean guy told me yesterday that he really likes Mandu and that the food reminded him and another friend of his of the style of cooking they are used to back in Seoul.

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To my surprise, the Korean guy told me yesterday that he really likes Mandu and that the food reminded him and another friend of his of the style of cooking they are used to back in Seoul.
That shouldn't be much of a surprise. The owner's mother (who is the chef) was born and raised in Seoul. She cooks Seoul style (I'm avoiding the impulse to say Seoul food). At the first bite of the kimchi, Grover said "Seoul" which is why he would like Mandu if he was born and raised in Seoul.
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That shouldn't be much of a surprise. The owner's mother (who is the chef) was born and raised in Seoul. She cooks Seoul style (I'm avoiding the impulse to say Seoul food). At the first bite of the kimchi, Grover said "Seoul" which is why he would like Mandu if he was born and raised in Seoul.

Well, to me it was a surprise, because so many people I know here in the DC area who live and venture out to the suburbs more than I do, including Korean-Americans have told me that Mandu paled in comparison to so many restaurants in Annandale. Anytime I've mentioned that I'd probably end up going to Mandu before making it out to Annandale, they've made faces as if to say it wasn't very good or not anywhere near as good as the Annandale restaurants like Honey Pig. So when the visiting Korean scholar I'm working with said that he and and his friend felt at home at Mandu, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Well, to me it was a surprise, because so many people I know here in the DC area who live and venture out to the suburbs more than I do, including Korean-Americans have told me that Mandu paled in comparison to so many restaurants in Annandale. Anytime I've mentioned that I'd probably end up going to Mandu before making it out to Annandale, they've made faces as if to say it wasn't very good or not anywhere near as good as the Annandale restaurants like Honey Pig. So when the visiting Korean scholar I'm working with said that he and and his friend felt at home at Mandu, I was pleasantly surprised.

There's some truth to that statement. Mandu food while good is somewhat pedestrian when compared to the Annandale restaurants which specialize in one food or another. If you try to be all things to all people, you end up disappointing everyone. If you stick to Mandu's strengths, you're fine. If you go there looking for good Japchae, you might be disappointed. Surprisingly the mandoo isn't bad at Mandu, it's just not as good (or complex if you will) as the mandoo at Gom Ba Woo (or the kimchi either for that matter). This is turning into a discussion more of Mandu the restaurant then mandoo the Korean food and there's already a Mandu forum. Perhaps you might want some information on some of the restaurants that were highlighted in the program.
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Korean restaurant may have a very wide menu or a narrowly focused one but most ahve a limited range of types of dishes they specialize in. So it pays to know what you are looking for: Soups & stews made for a very different recommendation that BBQ. If you want both, you may wind up with lesser examples of both.

My comments on the places mentioned that I have been to...

Hee Been is a mostly buffet place with good enough offerings but for buffet, I much prefer Ill Mee. Expensive for what you get IMO. Very nice decor, so that is the tradeoff.

Sorak Garden is another nice looking place that does a lot of thing well but I would rather go to a more specialized restaurant.

Oe Gad Gib is a favorite for ssambap with pork belly {Grilled pork belly with a large variety of accompaniments and sauces and appetizers} , bossam {oyster and porkbelly rollups}. soups & stews {especially the chicken with ginseng, the sausage & meatball and the potato & pork. Not a fan of the AYCE BBQ because the beef portions are not as good as the pork belly. Dong Dong Ju is the real reason to go.... a fermented rice drink of note!

Honey Pig - great BBQ and Chul Pan {casserole dishes that can be turned into fried rice at the end. If they squirt on a goodly amount of the red sauce, this can be as fiery as any Sichuam dish you will ever have.}

Gom Ba Woo probably the best for a wide variety of dishes but I wold rater go to Honey Pig for BBQ and Oe Gad Gib or Gamalsot for soup. Gom Ba Woo is for when we can't decide on a particular category.

Vit Goel is superb for Soon du Bu but many of the cooked items are either a little pricy r not memorable. The exception is the stir fried baby octopus and the seafood pancake.

YeChon used to be a favorite especially late night, but I think its service is a little rushed and the food isn't quite as spot on as it used to be. I do not know how the service is before 11pm so take this with a grain of salt. But they do have BBQ tongue which is amazing and their BBQ Brisket is every bit as good as Honey pig's. Still some of the best Banchan.

Gamasot - I am not a fan of their signature dish: Seul Long Tang but I love their other soups especially the Soon Dae Soup. The gost stew is amazing. Very nice service as well.

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Dean, I was hoping you would weigh in here, so thanks for your comments.

I was actually at Ching Ching Cha yesterday with the Korean guy/visiting scholar I spoke about earlier, and the owner of Ching Ching Cha mentioned that she had eaten at the Honey Pig the night before, but ordered the wrong thing (beef, instead of pork, which is supposedly the thing to get there). Honey Pig is definitely on my list, and now I'm interested in Oe Gad Gib too (the chicken with ginseng soup sounds particularly interesting).

@goodeats, thanks much for trying to help.

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Dean, I was hoping you would weigh in here, so thanks for your comments.

I was actually at Ching Ching Cha yesterday with the Korean guy/visiting scholar I spoke about earlier, and the owner of Ching Ching Cha mentioned that she had eaten at the Honey Pig the night before, but ordered the wrong thing (beef, instead of pork, which is supposedly the thing to get there). Honey Pig is definitely on my list, and now I'm interested in Oe Gad Gib too (the chicken with ginseng soup sounds particularly interesting).

@goodeats, thanks much for trying to help.

The chicken soup at Oe Gad gib comes out bubbling and purting in an iron pot. It is bland beyond belief. But you get a dish of salt & pepper. Take a bot of the meat, dip it int he salt & pepper and then back into the soup. Then eat the chicken. Repeat until the soup is salted just enough to bring out the flavors. My favorite of the soups these days is sausage and meatball. As in Vienna sausage or mini hot dogs and American meatballs and packaged ramen. the broth has veggies, kimchee and more. THe story is that after the war, the food supply chhin was in a shambles and the food available to many was what was being distributed by the US Army. Thus a national dish based on packaged foods and non Korean ingredients. But somehow, this dish just sings. But riught now I am so high on the ssam bap which needs 4 to 6 to do it justice.
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My interpretation of this list is that it is fill with people with an agenda. I do not agree with the rankings in general. The comments are often snarky.

Thanks so much Dean! Sorry I left you out as an guru in this arena!!! Sounds like we need to do another late night DR run for testing purposes.
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Was about to start a new topic but then tought, nah, has to be one here already. And found this one. No activity in over two years.

Anyway, Kojo had the proprietors of Toki and Daikaya on his "Food Wednesday" show today talking all things ramen. No link yet but maybe someone else can post it? I only caught part of it but, for those interested in ramen, this will probably scratch the itch. Topics including broth-making-approaches, the pros and cons of making a shop's own noodles, where they both buy their noodles, whether they'll open for lunch and much, much more!

Maybe this thread should be retitled "Kojo Nnamdi's Food Wednesday Show" if that's really a standing thing? Not sure.

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^Yes, Kojo devotes part of each Wednesday's show to a food-related topic. Sometimes it's the entire 2 hours; more often, it's less.

Kojo's show on Ramen: Within the next couple of hours there will be a Listen link just above the title of the show. Click it and you can hear the whole show which ran for about 35-40 minutes today.

If you'd like to suggest future food-related topics for the show, email kojo@wamu.org, or leave a message on the show's Voice Mail: 202-885-1226.

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^Yes, Kojo devotes part of each Wednesday's show to a food-related topic. Sometimes it's the entire 2 hours; more often, it's less.

Kojo's show on Ramen: Within the next couple of hours there will be a Listen link just above the title of the show. Click it and you can hear the whole show which ran for about 35-40 minutes today.

If you'd like to suggest future food-related topics for the show, email kojo@wamu.org, or leave a message on the show's Voice Mail: 202-885-1226.

Cool. Thanks LauraB!

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