after painting (scraped a few window panes, primed all the exposed wood up in the attic storage and cleaned up the junction of the ceiling fan box), julie came by to pick me up to go to koreana for lunch. it was warm enough for shorts, but julie had on her jeans because her legs are all scarred up from poison ivy, which she'd periodically scratch over her pants. this was my second time this week going to koreana. it took us a while to find parking, julie was afraidto risk taking a cambridge permit only spot, so we ended up driving down to central square and found a place to stow the car in a municipal lot, where we then walked the few blocks up to the restaurant. the lunchtime crowd was only a handful of tables, a lot of korean patrons. 5 waitresses, 1 hostess, 2 sushi chefs, and a bartender, not to mention however many people working in the back of the kitchen, a full staff, which seemed kind of wasteful for such a little crowd. second time around i had a chance to really take in the new renovation. every table had a recessed barbecue grille (which looked like a manhole cover when not in use). the new floors were wooden, which is a rare sight seeing floors of this type in a restaurant. julie and i both got some kind of bulgogi korean box lunch special, she opted for the california roll box while i had the sashimi. apparently my sashimi experience in brooklyn didn't teach me the lesson well enough for me, as i was doomed to repeat eating quantities of raw fish when i really don't care very much for that stuff.


which korean restaurants in the greater boston area has the best box lunch specials? i present before you a showcase of korean box lunch specials i've known from the past two years. notice how sparse the current koreana box lunch special is compared to its box lunch special in the past.


apollo grille

(union square)
suishiya used to have a pretty good special, and i really like its fried tempura (jumbo shrimp, slice of sweet potato, string beans), but the few times i've gone recently, the quality has become steadily worse, less food for a higher price. i thought koreana was pretty good when i discovered it early last year (before it burned down), fairly inexpensive for a pretty good amount of food, but seeing the quality and quantity in today's box lunch, my opinion of the place has diminished somewhat. it's bulgogi leaves something to be desires, i thought it was somewhat bland, both today and earlier this week. you can tell from the color, it's very light, not enough flavor. wuchon has very tasty bulgogi, but the serving isn't as ample as some other places. in terms of ambience however, i like wuchon better, it's cozier. koreana is too modern, you wouldn't be able to tell it's a korean restaurant, it could just as easily be one of those foo foo trendy places. the all time best place for box lunch specials though would probably be the apollo grille. i've only had their box lunch special once, and it's by far the most expensive of all the box lunch specials (at least $10 if not more), but what you get is a lot of variety presented in a very aesthetically pleasing palette of compartmentalized sections of food.

julie, who has less of a tolerance for raw fish than i do, ended up giving me her two pieces of sushi (tuna and mackerel). for dessert, we had these little containers of sugar water with white flecks floating around at the bottom which i thought were pieces of ginger but they were probably crushed rice. afterwards, we drove through harvard square, where the closer we got, the more graduates with their parents we saw, until the place was swarming with either people in graduation robes of various designations and others in nice suits and dresses. we went to a few bike stores because julie needed a new bike lock, then we went to the porter exchange to get ice cream. i had a green tea mochi, followed by a small container of mango ice cream, while julie had the postachio ice cream. we walked to joie de vivre where we browsed around a little bit but didn't buy anything, before returning to the car, returning to the bicycle exchange on mass ave for julie to get her lock, before she drove me back to my place.

i immediately took a nap, something i haven't done in quite some time. i just needed a little supplemental sleep, having not had many evenings where i got a full night's rest. i slept on the couch starting at 5pm and didn't wake up until 9pm. my father stopped by at one point to deliver some tsong-tse (these packets of pork & mushroom inside a shell of sticky rice wrapped with palm leaves), some of which i ate when i finally woke up (yesterday was some kind of chinese holiday).