Friday Drama Review: “World Within”

UThe-World-That-They-Live-In-Poster1aka “The World They Live In” – Hidden Jewel Among Dramas

[Soju Drama Queen] Review of “The World that They Live in 그들이사는세상”

Falling under the heading of “How in the heck did I miss this one?”, ‘World Within’, also known as ‘The World That They Live In’, is a hidden gem, to be sure. It wasn’t on anyone’s ‘Must See’ lists. It wasn’t on KoreanDrama.org’s ‘Most Shared’ list either. Yet it stars Hyun Bin (Mr. Gorgeous, himself) and Song Hye Kyo of ‘Full House’ fame and now starring in the new drama ‘That Winter, The Wind Blows’.

 Storyline/Synopsis: My rating 7/10

Ok, so it’s a drama about making dramas, which in and of itself can be somewhat tiring as a theme. The writer, however, took off in a nice direction: “Live Your Life Like a Drama.” Focusing episodically on different characters in the drama production company, the writer (and actors) were able to make truly interesting characters real. Had it just been a story of how dramas are made and the stresses involved, the drama probably would have been a flop. This however, was about character development.

 Script/Acting: My rating 8/10

Those now familiar with my peculiar tastes, may know that I have a particular fondness for Castgreat characters and good character development. This drama sported some unusually complex characters. Painstaking attention to detail was used in creating realism in the characteristics of the players. Our heroine learns to love and respect countless personalities that she (and the audience, to be sure) despises at first blush, by coming to understand the human side of their nature rather than just the surface characteristics. Take Bae Jung Ok as actress Yoon Young: at first glance a promiscuous, shallow and completely unlikable persona develops into a rich, complex, intelligent, strong woman who knows herself well, including her weaknesses.

hyun binThere are frustratingly realistic relationship woes – people so wrapped up in their own twisted feeling that they can’t express what they really feel. Frustrating in the sense that we can empathize with the feelings, not that it creates dissatisfaction in the viewing. Even the people we see as total jerks or idiots in the beginning (sorry, Uhm Ki Ju and Daniel Choi) become real human beings by the end of the drama without sacrificing their personality traits one iota in doing so.

The relationship between Jung Ji Oh (Hyun Bin) and Joo Joon Young (Song Hye Kyo) was also convincing and captivating. Real love, real fights (about real issues), real break-ups and make-ups. Nothing seemed forced or inauthentic.

The cast, by the way was stellar: Along with those mentioned above – Seo Hyo Rim (Sungkyunkwn Scandal, Scent of A Woman, Me, Too, Flower), Kim Yeo Jin (Can You Hear My Heart, Road Number One), Lee Joon Hyuk (City Hunter, Secret Garden, City Hall, Equator Man) and veteran actors like Kim Gab Soo (Sungkyunkwn Scandal, Cinderella’s Sister, Chuno), Kim Chang Wan (Coffee Prince, Iljimae, Queen of Reversals), Kim Ja Ok (Coffee Prince, High Kick Through the Roof), Lee Ho Jae (Goong, Flames of Ambition), Na Young Hee (Rooftop Prince, Baby-Faced Beauty, Style), and the inimitable Yoon Yeo Jung (King 2 Hearts, Unexpected You, Can Your Hear My Heart, What’s Up Fox).

 Cinematography: My rating 8/10

The cinematography for a drama about dramas would be expected to be exemplary. I will admit that I was not disappointed. Fun and interesting tidbits enticed my sense throughout the series. The retelling of an old story was acted out ‘Broadway-stage-style’ by the main characters with spot lighting and stage set-up. The directors’ imaginings were dramatized using pencil/pastels for one director, photo-shop style for another. Great special effects abounded – fun (or sad, as the case may be) dissolves as fantasies faded, etc.

The locations were limited but put to good use. Great lighting and sound.

Music: My rating 6/10

While the music was appropriate to the drama, there was nothing that I’m going to go running after to put on my iPod.

The ballad is really nice, though: ‘Care’ sung by Sung Si Kyung http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NaVjjnMrPE

“It Was You All Along” Kim Jo Han (Spanish subs was all I could find!) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBR9a21jlNQ

Overall Charisma: My rating 8/10

There was an ineffable quality to this drama that made everything work. I loved the characters. I loved the tensions. I loved the theme. I loved the realism. The writer did a remarkable job creating memorable people that I wanted to empathize with. Not something I can say about every drama.

Put this one on your ‘To Be Watched” list!

Happy Drama Watching! huggy

 

Dining out: MARU – The New Place to Be on Convoy

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마루(Maru): A wood paneled floor or platform outside a traditional Korean home used for gathering and entertaining.

MARU Lounge: A social platform for people of different cultural backgrounds to gather over great food and drinks.

 

Featuring a fresh, comfortable décor with tempting bench seats dotted with comfy pillows and a chic black and neutral toned interior, MARU creates an atmosphere that invites DSCN0144guests be at home. Owner/chef Ben Park specializes in Korean cuisine with a vision: make Korean food interesting and approachable to Koreans and non-Koreans alike. With that concept in mind he creates not only traditional favorites like Spicy Rice Cake (꺽볶이), but Cream Rice Cake, a Carbonara-style dish with Alfredo sauce, bacon and vegetables. Bulgogi (불고기) is served, but so is French Fries & Bulgogi – Chef Park’s Korean twist on Carne Asada Fries. The menu, which will likely change over time as inspiration motivates, includes salads, grilled and fried options, and warm-your-heart stews. And the dishes look every bit as fabulous as they taste: if you’re into food porn, I highly recommend MARU’s menu Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/maru.sandiego/photos_stream

DSCN0155When asked what made MARU different, manager Kevin Park responded: “We believe Korean food is about balance and harmony. Whether it is in terms of food or community, to achieve balance and harmony you need knowledge and awareness of what is available and ability and willingness to incorporate different elements. I think what we are doing reflects that. We take something that we are very comfortable with like Soju and collaborate it with western cocktails: Soju Margarita, Soju Mojito, Blended Soju Smoothies, etc.” (They’re really yummy, by the way!)

MARU wants to be proactive in the community, not just with Koreans, but with the community as a whole. They want to be part of and support any cause that will reach out and connect people together. One step inside the door and guests feel the connection MARU hopes to create. The staff is friendly and warm.

So I asked: Why should people come to MARU?

Kevin answered: “Because we want YOU to be here. We want YOU to be part of us and what we do. Yes, we have quality Korean food made from fresh quality ingredients for connoisseur or new-comers, we make phenomenal cocktail soju, and we have awesome staff that are good-looking as well as friendly. But come to enjoy quality time with your friends and family and experience what diversity has to offer.”

I have, and I do. Remember the T.V. show “Cheers?” Where everybody knows your name. That’s MARU – but with class, and much better food!

건배!

 

MARU is located at 4861 Convoy Street, Suite A, San Diego, 92111

Hours
Mon – Tue: 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Wed – Sat: 5:30 pm – 2:00 am
Sun: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

 

Hyuna Joins the Toyota Advertising Team

hyuna-corolla-my-color4미닛 현아, 도요다 코롤라 모델되다 – First it was Lee Min Ho with Toyota Camry’s “The One and Only”  ads. Now Hyuna has joined hands with Toyota to create fun music videos promoting the Carolla. Jini and Cheryl were given a heads up about the impending ads at the Lee Min Ho Event in Los Angeles and sure enough, the music video “My Color” is now available!

So what do you think? Are Korean celebs effective marketing agents? The video is sure fun. 🙂

SEOULSONIC is bringing a K-indie rock concert to San Diego!

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노브레인과 구남과여라디잉스텔라, 로다운30이 샌디에고 다운타운의 Tin Can Alehouse 에서 공연을 갖는다.

세 팀은 `서울소닉`이라는 타이틀로 3월 7일부터 4월 6일까지 북미 지역에서 공식 일정을 소화한다. 샌프란시스코로, 텍사스 주의 SXSW, 캐나다의 CMW를 포함해 로드아일랜드, 뉴욕을 거쳐 샌디에고로 오는 것이다.

4월 5일 금요일 오후 9시
Tin Can Alehouse (1863 5th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101)

ROKNROAR 2K13 SEOULSONIC Revs Up for Its North American Tour 3.0!

“Kicking off March Madness, K-Pop creative agency, DFSB Kollective, has just unveiled the confirmed dates and venues for the third edition of its highly anticipated SEOULSONIC concert series.
For Spring 2K13, SEOULSONIC will be rolling out its North American Tour 3.0 featuring
AltROK renegades Goonam (2012 Korean Music Awards : Modern Rock Album of the Year – Nominee), Lowdown 30 (2013 Korean Music Awards : Rock Album of the Year – Nominee), and No Brain (2007 Korean Music Awards : Band of the Year – Winner).”

April 5th from 8pm -1am this concert will take place at the Tin Can Ale House in Downtown San Diego! Since this event is located at a bar it is 21+ only. Stay tuned for updates on where tickets can be purchased and prices. If you’re underage like myself then I recommend taking a listen and supporting these indie groups. They sound awesome!

no brain

lowdown 30

goonam

No Brain- One Cup of Soju: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTQ3yey1sAU

Lowdown 30- Asphalt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oav49sp7ANQ

Goonam- Blood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC1myVkmNAA

_____________________________

Soundcheck http://seoulsonic.kr for the latest news, reviews,
updates, and other tour dates in the US.

SITES
http://seoulsonic.kr
http://facebook.com/seoulsonic.kr
http://me2day.net/seoulsonickr
http://twitter.com/seoulsonic
http://youtube.com/seoulsonic

[MangezAvecFateh] Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill (ENG Version)

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THE HUNT FOR PROPER SEAFOOD- Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill:

A KKonnect Restaurant Review

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Moby Dick has been found! And it is nowhere near New England, in fact it is a little closer to 4805 Convoy St in San Diego.

I recently had the opportunity to visit one of the hidden foodie spots in San Diego. Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill as the name alludes to is a Fish Market and restaurant. The market sells an impressive array of fresh premium seafood from as close as Southern California to as far as New Zealand, Hawaii, Chile, and Japan. The restaurant takes the fresh seafood and makes classic poorboy sandwiches, tacos, and salads to complex pastas, miso zuke dishes, intricate sushi and Korean mixed rice dishes.

One of the great advantages of eating at Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill is that the seafood is as fresh as can be. Fresh seafood means a more colorful, vibrant and delicious seafood.

Entering the restaurant I was immediately greeted by a very attentive and sociable staff. The restaurant grounds were spacious, clean, and well maintained. However beyond the amicable staff and aesthetics, more importantly the restaurant had a true mark of a fine seafood establishment… No fishy smell!

After sharing a few capricious anecdotes with the staff, I then had the wonderful pleasure of meeting the owner of Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill, Mr. Chris Park.

ABOUT THE OWNER:

Saying Moby Dick Fish Market & Grill owner Chris Park has a passion for seafood is an egregious understatement. Not only does Mr. Park have a keen sense of the flavors and preparation of seafood with his culinary acumen, he owns his own fish market, and he also did his undergraduate studies at the University of California San Diego studying Oceanography and Marine Biology. His knowledge and appreciation for seafood would easily show when I and my colleagues were presented with his signature dishes.

DUNGENESS CRAB:

The Dungeness Crab from Washington State was quite succulent, moist and juicy. Not much needs to be said here, the crab was prepared excellently and only needed to be complimented with a lemon butter sauce.

CHERRYSTONE CLAMS:

The Cherrystone Clams came from Connecticut. The clam shells were colorful, easily showing their freshness. The clams were meaty and tender to the bite. A small squirt of lemon added a nice tartness to the savory clam meat. Simplicity and elegance all in one shell.

ROCKFISH:

Seafood is generally presented in a bourgeoisie filet in most seafood establishments. In Moby Dick, when you order fish, you literally get a whole fish presented to you. The Rockfish from Boston, Massachusetts I was presented with was fried perfectly, my fork pierced through the crispy exterior, into the soft and flaky fish meat. My colleagues and I had quite an easy time sharing the Rockfish as the meat separated from the bones so stress-free. The fish was buttery and was presented with a unique tart coleslaw.

JUMBO PRAWNS:

The next dish I was presented with was an array of fried prawns with a spicy ponzu sauce. The bold taste of the giant prawns was complimented with a unique spice seasoning which provided just enough heat to pucker your lips and crave more. The ponzu sauce added a wonderful layer of tartness to the already flavorful prawn. And the portions were quite satisfying.

CONCLUSION:

Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill excels in offering a veritable bevy of fresh fish and seafood including but not limited to ; Yellowtail, Shark, Calamari Steak, Red Snapper, Salmon, Hawaiian Ono, Albacore, Mahi Mahi, Seared Ahi Tuna, Halibut, Swordfish, Chilean Sea Bass and Alaskan Halibut. In addition to the restaurant, a Sushi Academy is offered where one can learn the fine art of Sushi making from a classically trained Master Chef from Japan.

Ultimately, the freshness, variety and owner’s appreciation of seafood sets this establishment apart from others. I look forward to revisiting the restaurant, chatting with the attentive and amicable staff, trying another regional delicacy, discovering new flavors, textures and aromas and learning my way around cutting a piece of Japanese Tuna.

-Fateh K.

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[MangezAvecFateh] Loving HUE Na Eotteokhae What Should I Do?

Cafe Hue Gelato

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[MangezAvecFateh] Loving HUE Na Eotteokhae What Should I Do?

Good Golly Miss Molly, this is not an Asian Market article! *hyperventilates a little*. Surely I have nothing more to contribute, Na Eotteokhae? But wait…

My trips to Asian Markets seldom are just to the markets alone, often times I will visit the peripheral stores around a market complex to examine, ethnic music stores, stationary stores, restaurants, and other interesting places to part ways with the remaining money you had after grocery shopping (plus finding parking in a lot of these complexes typically takes 15 minutes so why not stay a bit longer?).

On my pseudo-sojourn to Japan via Nijiya Market I made quick stop- over to examine a restaurant called Café HUE. Titillating images of Belgian Waffles, Japanese Crepes, Home-Made Gelato guided me to the store while the melody of Korean Pop Music (not sure if it was Kara, T-ara or other some other “-ara” variant playing) emanating through the speakers kept me inside.

Walking inside the ambiance was hip and trendy with the option of customers being able to watch sports, and culinary shows, playing games while relaxing on stools, chairs and even a sofa cushion. American and Korean Pop Music entertain the customers inside the store as well as in the restrooms where the party apparently doesn’t stop.

I examined the menu and elected to try a Nutella with Mixed Nuts Crepe with Taro Gelato (~$8). While watching the very charming employee skillfully make the crepe with excellent batter moving wrist technique, I played devil’s advocate and tried to distract her by keeping my head eye-level with the pan as she carefully flipped the crepe.

A few flips later and a drizzling of caramel and mixed nuts, I was presented with an artistically crafted, beautifully decorated, sexy crepe which clearly passed the vision test. Taking my first bite, time slowed and the only noise I could here was the noise of my lips resonating “Mmm” and an exhale of pure joy. The crepe was simple, elegant, and wonderfully decorated with fruit syrups and filled with whipped creamy goodness. The home-made taro ice cream provided a nice temperature contrast to the warm crepe. The home-made whipped cream inside the crepe added a layer of luxury to the crepe’s flavor profile and a nice compliment to the melted chocolate hazelnut spread. I can honestly say without blatant hyperbole, this was the best crepe I have ever had.

The food, ambiance, and service were all on point when I visited and I have seen this as a consistent theme throughout my subsequent visits and sampling of the other permutations of crepes that exist. It is also worth noting that Café Hue also serves, Coffee, Boba Tee in addition to the aforementioned Belgian Waffles and Home-Made Gelato.

Café Hue is in my opinion the premier creperie south of Montreal, and it is located on 3860 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111 This KKonnect writer highly recommends and is highly satisfied with this side quest.

And yes, this place is not a “Korean Restaurant” per se, but sometimes Dduk just doesn’t cut it.

And SISTAR, if you’re not keen on me using your lyrics on my article, let’s discuss over four scoops of gelato. I put dibs on three scoops.

-Fateh K.

Waffle

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HMART OPENS IN SAN DIEGO: A new chapter in the Asian Market Chronicles

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HMART OPENS IN SAN DIEGO: A new chapter in the Asian Market Chronicles

H-Mart made it’s much anticipated Grand Opening in San Diego on November 17, 2012. The atmosphere was electric as a mass of eager shoppers awaited the opening of the doors, stretching across the large parking lot and looping a few times. Pungmul dancers were frolicking through the crowds, beating drums thunderously, playing horns which resonated throughout Mira Mesa. Representatives from HMart came to commemmorate not only their new store opening, but also their 30th anniversary of existence.

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As the store doors opened, a flux of shoppers charged inside with shopping carts and a flurry of baskets. After surviving a pit of excited shoppers poking and bumping me for room (or perhaps flirting), I emerged and got my first glimpse of the market. Inside a very modern market with both Korean and American products, a deli section, fresh meat, organic produce, and fish market. H-Mart San Diego has the distinct feel of an Asian Whole Foods offering rare high-end American products in addition to Asian products. In addition, there is also a small bakerycalled “Paris Baguette”, offering desserts, pastries, fresh bread and croquettes.

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From my many travels across the United States, I’ve noticed that each H-Mart offers a different selection of products, bakeries and food courts making each H-Mart unique and adding a little intrigue with each store opening.

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In other news, Mira Mesa is slowly becoming the new hub of Asian grocery stores in SanDiego with Lucky Seafood, Seafood City, Vinh Hung Supermarket and now H-Mart.

Now we wait to see how Korean markets like Zion Market will respond to this opening… This writer expects more competitve prices and happier customers.

-Fateh K.

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The All-American Korean Market Melee!!!

THE ALL-AMERICAN KOREAN MARKET MELEE:

An Pseudo-Scientific Comparison Between Zion Market and H-Mart

Preface:

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of K-Konnect. Yada yada yada, time to start the article!

The Selection:

Zion Market: Zion Market offers everything you need to prepare a Korean meal including but not limited to fresh meat, produce, sauces, curry, kimchi, in addition to pre-prepared meals to heat and eat.

H-MART: H-Mart San Diego also features everything you need to prepare a Korean meal in addition to large variety. high-end organic natural products and regional products. H-Mart has a distinct feel of an Asian Whole Foods.

Advantage: Based solely on variety, and not by the fact that I would be a poorer (albeit healthier) individual eating organic foods, advantage goes to H-MART.

Parking Spots:

The most vexing and demoralizing experience in visiting Asian Markets is parking (unless you are a sadist). Parking spots are non-existent any time after 11:00 am. Arrange your preset radio stations on your car by music style, do your taxes, and reflect on the purpose of life because it is going to be a long time before you find a spot.

If you prefer parallel/street parking, advantage Zion Market. If you prefer parking spots and a scenic 0.3 mile walk beside traffic, advantage H-Mart. Once leaving your spot, feel free to take a glance back at the ensuing battle two cars are partaking in for the spot you left.

Advantage: No one wins here. We as a society must face this dire issue of Asian Market Parking Lot Insanity.

The Extra Experience:

Zion Market: Zion Market offers two Korean restaurants in Tonkatsu and Happy Family in addition to the Zion Bakery for your cookie, doughnut, and cake needs. Zion Market also has a gift shop, a clothing store, a cosmetics store, and a living goods store. Zion Market also plays Korean Music on their speakers to add a cultural experience.

H-MART: Surprisingly enough, unlike many other H-Marts in the United States, the San Diego location does not have any Korean Restaurants or additional stores within the store. However H-Mart San Diego has a nice bakery/café in Paris Baguette which produces fresh pastries many times in a day (However, word is Zion Market will have a Paris Baguette in the near future).

Advantage: Zion Market

The Checkstand:

Zion Market: The Zion Market staff appear to instill discipline and military efficiency on their employees in expediting food from the conveyor to the bag. No chit-chat, just business, before you open your wallet to pay, they have already started scanning the next customer’s food.

H-MART: From my experience, the staff are a bit more relaxed than Zion Market. This small window of time allows for the employees to ask the customers how they are doing, or how their shopping experience was.

Advantage: Depends on who you are. If you are not keen on small-talk and like to get on with your business, go with Zion Market. If you believe the shopping experience is not complete without interaction between staff and customer, go with H-MART. Since this is my article, I get the final say.

We are humans, we should be interacted with as if we are humans. H-MART wins.

The Location:

Zion Market: Zion Market is currently located off Balboa Ave on Interstate 15, a couple of signals and you are there. Traffic is not usually an issue on this stretch of road even in rush-hour.

H-MART: H-Mart is located off Mira Mesa Blvd on Interstate 15, a couple of signals and you are there. The difference? The traffic near Mira Mesa Blvd is infamous on weeknights.

Advantage: Zion Market

The Verdict:

There is no verdict. This was just an article comparing the two markets, remember? Do you really think I would risk being banned from any of these stores? Now go to both markets and make an informed opinion.

-Fateh K.

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