Dining and Shopping at Lakewood's Koreatown
My wife and I enjoyed a recent afternoon at what has become known as Lakewood's Koreatown (officially: the International Business District). Koreatown is a collection of 200+ business along South Tacoma Way between approximately 84th and 96th Streets. Two grocery stores, Pal-Do World Market and Boo Han Market, and the large Shin Shin variety store anchor the shopping district. Pal-Do World had a couple interesting sights I photographed: a beautiful European style bakery and a tank of live (ugly) flatfish from Korea for $69.99 each. The flatfish looked like they have two ounces of meat on them at most - I didn't see the attraction.
Many fine Korean restaurants abound in the area. For our lunch, we chose Cho Dang Tofu (see review on Yelp.com), around the corner from Pal-Do World. What we knew of Korean cuisine is Kim Chi and barbecued meats. Cho Dang offered a specialty new to us: tofu soup. They offered about a dozen varieties of tofu soup. They were out of oysters, so I tried the dumpling tofu soup. The soup came out piping hot - still cooking really - in a miniature metal cauldron. Elizabeth ordered Bebimbap, another signature Korean dish of rice topped with vegetables, chilis, and meat or egg. The waitress brought us also a fried fish each and another half dozen side dishes.
After lunch, I dutifully tagged along, while Elizabeth shopped to her heart's content. We visited a linen store with beautiful bedding and authentic Korean silk dresses. We ended at Shin Shin, a big housewares and variety store. Elizabeth likes to look at every little thing in a store like this, so I had a good hour nap out in the car.