Hello, visitor, it’s Heidi here, Experience Olympia & Beyond’s Content and Brand Manager, and current resident restaurant nerd. Food can be subjective – what I adore you may not quite care for, and you have every right to feel that way. These are just my thoughts about the food I’ve enjoyed in our region lately. I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.
For me, Korean food can be described as a cuisine of extremes. The seafood is freshly caught and often still moving, soup is served scalding hot and still bubbling in cauldrons, cold food is served in bowls of ice, it’s really red, it’s really spicy, it’s super flavorful, and there is no shortage of garlic.
I suppose its extremeness is why out of all the restaurants serving Asian cuisine right now, I’m seeking out Korean food the most. It can be like a hardcore, yet loving, face-punch of flavor, and while I consider myself a highly-sensitive introvert, I also conversely crave “more feelings”. Kind of how I often feel lonely but hate being around a bunch of people. (Sorry, people, I just do.)
If you’re also a lover of Korean cuisine and have found your way to us from the north, perhaps you know that Tacoma (specifically the neighborhood of Lakewood) has the best K-Town outside of L.A. From the mid ‘60s to the early ‘70s, immigration restrictions on Asian countries eased and tens of thousands of Koreans flooded into the country, leaving behind a war-torn country and joining friends and family in L.A. before expanding to the PNW. The Koreatown that sprang up in Tacoma area has, luckily for us, spread its influence south into Lacey and Olympia, and it’s these five restaurants I’m featuring in this restaurant crawl.