Eat Drink Style West LA X'mas Party, Ugly Ass Christmas Sweaters and Dokpokki

I’m a huge fan of the Farrelly brothers – writers of Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin and Something About Mary. You guys remember that one scene in D&D where Jim Carrey fantasizes about Lauren Holly? I love that part when he’s in the ski lodge with his other sweater friends lighting up his natural gas. God, those sweaters were so awesome. Our 2nd annual West LA party happened on Friday and I wanted to liven things up a little by sporting one of those sweaters. During my lunch break, I headed down to the vintage/thrift shops on Melrose. After going to about three stores, I was worried that my plan wouldn’t happen. Thrift store shopping is hit-or-miss, but once you find something you like, it’s like striking an oil reservoir in your backyard. And to my surprise, I found three of the most hideous sweaters pictured above for me and my 'sweater friends'. I’m the pixellated guy on the left. My friend in the middle actually liked his sweater and is keeping it for reals.

I quickly went home and started to cook food for the potluck. My friend was bringing Korean bbq ribs and I thought some dokpokki, Korean rice cakes cooked in red paste and kimchi, would complement them nicely. Too bad we didn't make any yogurt soju. So I showed up to the party and gave my friends their sweaters. We got a good response and I made the couples take turns wearing the sweaters for photos in front of the fireplace. Truly, a dorky Christmas. Best part of the night besides Best of LA’s smooth-tasting Belvedere vodka was the “Secret Santa” gift exchange. My “Secret Santa” hooked me up with Nobu Matsuhisa’s cookbook. Killer gift. I can now scratch that off my Amazon wishlist of about 20 cookbooks.

After the West LA party, I headed down to some dive bar in West Covina called the Sunset Room… with the red snowflake sweater still on. I walked in and looked for my friends. If there had been a dj there, you would’ve heard him stop the records. My red sweater could not be avoided haha. I got looks from everyone. Good times. Why not? It’s Christmas.

Dokpokki Recipe

Oval or Cylindrical rice cakes (dok)
Gochujang (Korean red chili paste – sweet & spicy)
Kimchi (duh!)
Carrots (diagonally cut discs)
Onions (sliced onions)
Green onions (sliced in 2” lengths)
Soy Sauce
White Pepper

(1) Start by boiling the rice cakes in a pot until desired ‘al-dente-ness’.
(2) Saute garlic, carrots and onions.
(3) Add the Gochujang into a bowl of water and mix the paste up. Gochujang is quite thick and needs some water and air to loosen it up. Dump the Gochujang/water mixture in with the garlic, carrots and onions and stir.
(4) Add Kimchi and a little bit of soy sauce. Use water and sugar to balance out spiciness/sweetness/saltiness according to your liking.
(5) Strain the rice cakes and dump them into the sauce. Dokpokki has a lot of sauce, so make sure you make enough.
(6) Lastly, add green onions and enjoy.

Happy holidays and thanks for reading.

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