Wednesday, May 12, 2010

can food affect your mood?

i decided to try the korean restaurant, cham, located in pasadena. generally if i want korean food i drive to koreatown b/c it's so close. you get authentic korean food at a great price.

however, i heard of this restaurant, and i decided i'd like to try it. they had a simple menu. i ordered a california bibimbap. maybe the addition of the word, "california" should have been a clue. bibimbap is a korean dish with rice and vegetables like bean sprouts, steamed spinach, carrots, along with a fried sunny side up egg and some kind of protein. then you add a bit of hot pepper paste and sesame oil. i ordered it with the spicy chicken.

well, the presentation was nice, but it definitely was not what i expected. it had sliced red cabbage. but where was the spinach? where was my sunny side up egg? the spicy chicken was tasty, but overall, it was NOT what i expected to taste. reluctantly, i finished my meal, but i felt so unsatisfied. do i even dare say annoyed and angry? what i ordered wasn't what i expected.

what i've always appreciated about korean food is that we don't try to change it up. what you order at restaurants is also made at home. koreans don't have an american version of bulgogi or kimchi chigae. i've eaten and tasted chinese food in a chinese home, and my chinese friend's mom never made sweet and sour chicken or beef with broccoli.

well... i won't be returning to cham again. if i want korean food, i'll drive 20 minutes to head to koreatown and eat something that tastes like authentic korean food. otherwise i'll make something at home. it would have been nice to be able to get authentic korean food in pasadena.

i was so disappointed by my meal that i needed something to make for it. hm... what would turn my frown upside down? dessert! in walking distance was a beard papa!

a fresh beard papa cream papa filled with yummy vanilla cream is just what i needed. these are my favorites cream puffs. the outside is so light and flaky with a tiny bit of crunch to each bite. the cream inside is oh... so heavenly. just the right amount of sweetness and that subtle hint of vanilla. each one is dusted with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

my dinner may have been disappointing, but my dessert made me smile. a big fat kool-aid smile.

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