Profile: Sa Rit Gol, aka Ryan Convinces His Intern An Incomplete Would Look Bad on the Record
Sa Rit Gol. Panchan for the soul. Ahhh, I can taste it now. Jonathan Gold. You old master, you. Not so old, at that. (I assume.)
Thanks for the nod. Thanks for the push. It is here, at last, that I shall convince our intern to continue writing for this questionable website: Unpaid. Heavily edited. All for three hours of non-transferable credit.
Me: So, my friend. Just when you were beginning to develop your own voice, you go under the radar. But now: We meet again in the heart of the city. When last we met, I was jobless. But now the tables have turned, haven’t they. I’m a resident of cube city. I’m a working man, Mair. Daddy’s got bills to pay and points west to be approaching, come morning. At 10 pm we begin the meal? Dubious.
Mair the intern says nothing. She may be humoring me.
Me (following slight pause for effect): Again I say to you, it is 10pm. What better time for a full steamed meal! Say I. So then. I can assume you’ve decided to continue your internship after all and attempt a passing grade. You should be proud, but that’s not important now. Where the hell’s our waitress. Not five minutes ago I was allowed to sit with everybody else, out in the open. She moved me to the corner just before you arrived. I think she feared you weren’t coming. I knew better. You need this grade.
Me (suddenly): I will now go to gentleman’s lavatory. If she comes, I’ll have a Hite.
Me (suddenly, again, two minutes later): Where the hell is the waitress. She hasn’t come? I’ll handle this. Tell me about your accident. Are you driving a rental?
At this point the intern proceeds to tell me the story of the 18-year-old kid who merged seamlessly from his driveway into her moving car two days prior, causing an assload of damage and subsequently pleading to keep the accident unreported to his insurance company. Predictably, he is now attempting to screw her over on liability. The outcome of the story is not important. This is a food review. The long and short of it is that the intern has in her possession a very pure heart and a very old, battered car whose days are numbered. Her father drives it now.
Me (dubious): I’m just saying. You might consider reporting it while you can. Four thousand dollars I got for a car I probably couldn’t have sold for two. Was your car in good shape?
Car wreck stories are both predictable and uncomfortable, especially over food. With the benefit of hindsight we now skip ahead.
Me: What do you mean, you have to go to church every week and your brother doesn’t. That doesn’t seem right.
Mair: For some reason, it just works that way.
Me: Where the dickums are our panchans. This place is reknown for the panchan array. We might get something really good.
As if on cue, ten dishes of panchan arrive. They look lovely. My best guess as to the contents follows:
1. Korean potato salad
2. Spicy rice cakes
3. Pickled ______ (squid? -ed)
4. Kimchi-esque green cabbage
5. Warm egg foamy custard
6. White jelly dingus
7. Kimchi – very fresh!! very good!! No jars here
8. Bean sprouts
9. Tofu dish
10. Korean collared greens
Mair: What’s a dingus?
Me: You’ve never heard of a dingus? The thing. That thing. That thingus there. It’s a dingus.
The soup course arrives, bubbling and steaming in a black pot.
Me: Spicy Black Cod. Excellent choice for a late-night meal. Not too heavy. Just heavy enough. Let me get a photo.
We continue to eat and talk throughout the evening. In the end, the intern agrees to continue to write for losanjealous and wash the occasional car or two. This situation just might work out for all parties involved, after all.
Coming soon: Mair’s version
Sa Rit Gol
Tucked into the corner at 3189 W. Olympic
(Note: I should also like to mention, if you are working your way down the infamous Jonathan Gold Koreatown Top 40 list (not that I am; merely suggesting that perhaps YOU are) and you haven’t been paying attention to the neighborhood itself during the last two years, well, you can forget all hell about the LA Chicken Center at 3400 W Eighth. It’s now called Honey Pig, it’s a BBQ joint, it’s packed, and the frontage sports cartoon pigs [photo].)