“I know the perfect dessert place in K-Town.” Armed with knowledge of Koo's Ho-tteok Cart, these are magic words for a 20-something on a date. In a city full of faceless, members-only bars and superclubs, there's something especially sweet about waiting in the cold outside a Korean supermarket for a piping-hot pancake wrapped in a paper plate.
Here the ho-tteok, or sweet rice pancake, is fashioned out of rice flour, filled with cinnamon and brown sugar syrup and crushed peanuts before being smashed onto a sizzling griddle and held there to crisp, its chewy-gooey appeal only intensifying.
It's $1 for a single pancake, but they come most naturally in twos, to be gobbled up ravenously before a quick trip into the market, where the daters can taste-test various kimchi products and imagine the meal they'll inevitably cook together. Walking back to the car leads past the truck for another ho-tteok and the eventual kiss goodnight.
Our Best of L.A. issue is now out; this is one of over 400 pieces in this year's issue. Check it out.