This past week, we headed back home for my sister's... shindig... and I mentioned to my step-father about the massively disappointing Korean meal I'd had. Well, this would never do. (Says a man who buys homemade kimchi by the huge bottle-full from his "source" -- the mother of the woman who does my mother's nails, because "it's not the same when it's store-bought".) Friday we all piled into the car and headed off to the best Korean place inside an hour's drive, and my Mom and I shared pork bulgogi while CP and the SF had some kind of noodle-beef-spice dish (didn't catch the name). After we demolished all of the awesome little dishes that came first, of course.
We get home today, and it's blistering hot and the A/C is still broken (but due to be fixed tomorrow, yay). Naturally this means we might as well eat out -- anything for non-104F temps, basically -- and we decide we want more Korean. Ah, new place getting good reviews in our local Asian shopping center (represents of Taiwan, PRC, Korea, and Vietnam), so off we head.
Even more little dishes ahead of time, plus (our eyes being bigger than our stomachs after spending most of the day on various planes) seafood pancakes -- oh so good -- and then a kind of four-bulgogi sampler called SsamBob. Whomever told me on the last post that Korean food is somewhat hot, sometimes (spicy-wise), but always complex, spicy-wise, totally spoke the truth. So spicy, so incredibly yummy.
Except I had this one question... When the proprietor came over to check on us, she'd been so helpful with what-to-get recommendations that I figured, maybe she could answer this question. I explained I'd watched a Korean show with Moon Geum-Young, in which the actress was making kimchi. I saw the sliced cabbages and some other chunks of vegetables, and then this HUGE BAG (like 2lbs worth HUGE) that was nothing but red powder. Was that, uhm, entirely chili powder she was dumping by the double-handfuls into the vegetables?
First, the proprietor said, yes, it was. And then she said, "you know Moon Geum-Young? You watch her television shows?" I said, of course, she's adorable, and I've done my best to see everything she's in. (Excepting Tale of Two Sisters, which I have but haven't watched yet because it may be over my creep limit in re horror, but anyway, I did see Innocent Steps and Painter of the Wind, and most of MSOAN, so, yeah.) But, she wanted to know, was that all I watched? I said, "no, I've also--" right as CP goes, "My Girlfriend is a Gumiho!" and the proprietor just cracked up (while managing to look surprised that CP had also watched the show, and unsurprised he thought Shin Min-ah is gorgeously charming with dimples that kill). ...and then she asked what else I'd watched. I said, "I'm watching Lie to Me, because it's got Kang Ji-hwan," and she put her hand to her heart and looked like she was going to swoon.
Next thing you know, I'm rattling off all the pretty boys: Lee Min-ki (Dalja's Spring), and Lee Jun-ki (Time Between Dog and Wolf), and Lee Min-ho (City Hunter) -- except I hadn't even gotten out what LMH is in right now, just his name, and the proprietor says, "City Hunter? Are you watching City Hunter?"
Me: OF COURSE. It's got a pretty boy in it!
Then I told her what the American-language fandom calls most of these young actors: noona killers (as in, "older sister killers"). She cracked up all over again, and said that fit perfectly. Clearly a woman after my own heart, and we totally bonded over Hong Gil Dong and Chuno and Greatest Love and Civil Servant Grade 7 and so on. Although notably, neither of us were all that about Yon-sama (or whatever his Korean name is, I can never remember) who was in Legend. We'd trade him in for Lee Min-ho any day. Or Kang Ji-hwan. Though clearly we'd have to get in line.
ETA: Almost forgot, the universal symbol for a particular hot leading man (who, incidentally, is actually older than me, so not really a noona killer). She mentioned Greatest Love, and I tried to say the actor's name. Cha Seung-won, I think his name is spelled? She didn't react, so I knew I said it wrong, so instead I ran my fingers over my face to make the "cow" symbol -- the way the guy's beard is trimmed, it looks like the Chinese character for "cow". Immediately she did the same, and knew exactly who I meant. Bwah.
I am totally going back to try the rest of the dishes (and next time, bringing friends, because that's a lot of food for two people, even if we did come home with leftovers). Besides, the proprietor was willing to patiently explain the parts of the usually-slurred-so-fast-on-TV way to say hello: anaunhah-seoh. Hmm. Maybe I should stick to trying to slur it.
Nice to know I'm not the only noona in this town, getting killed twice weekly.