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West Coast Virtual Road Trip: Stop One, Koreatown

Tonight I'll put up a game thread, but I wanted to start a little tour first as thinking about the Dodgers reminded me of the ritualization of game day.

Back when I lived in LA I loved finding quirky places to eat to get in the mood for the games I would attend. And while on some nights when I knew there would be a large Korean presence at the game, I might have been tempted to make a venture into the territory of my hated rivals to get myself a kimchi-kalbi burrito made by a Mexican Jew, a treat probably not available in most places in the world. However, I think on a night like this where both starting pitchers hail from the great Han Empire, we should go directly to K-town and pick up some tasty Korean bulgogi.

So, plotting a course from my old apartment in Los Feliz, we'd follow the aqua blue line to the stadium rather than the more mundane Purple directional that has us get on the one-o-one (AKA the Hollywood Freeway for the uninitiated)and go directly to the stadium. It's yuck versus yum, in my book, so the choice is pretty clear. We set out down Western, er scratch that -as if you've ever set down Western you'll know this is a bad idea, let's go down Wilton instead- and then cut across somewhere around Beverly when Western clears up quite a bit. We'll then hang a left on Eighth Street and start looking for a good cheap K-town barbecue house. The closer you get to Vermont, the more expensive the food gets without that much improvement in the quality. We're going to settle on going to Soot Bull Jeep which has a wild and loud crowd perfect for a pregame atmosphere. Plus its fare is a lot friendlier to Western palates and one of the biggest gripes about the place (that because of poor ventilation, you come out smelling like what you just cooked) becomes moot at the stadium anyway.

After that yummy dinner we continue on our way to Dodger Stadium via Vermont to Beverly to Sunset and pay eight dollars to park a half mile away and walk uphill to our gate where we will listen to the sounds of Nancy Bea warming up on her organ. As we prep our scoring cards, if we were truly going the Korean fan route, we'd pull out the smuggled in gim bahp we brought with us and so long as we're not in the outfield seating, go buy a beer to go with it. Yes, that would be the way I would do the first night of this trip.