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From The Founder May 2023 Update

Product Page New Look

I am excited to share what Korean Convenience has been working on the past month.  We strive to create a community where people are inspired to learn more about each other.  Everyday we manage food allergies, do more to solve environmental issues, fight food insecurities, and find Korean snacks and grocery products as easy as possible. 

First off, I concluded practicing in the Los Angeles Cleantech Founder Business Accelerator and have now transitioned to their six-month Equity Innovation Program.  Learn more about LACI here.  The focus on building a strong foundation, offering transparency and creating milestones has been so valuable.  

We’re now on Linkedin!  Follow the Korean Convenience page to find out more about us, get the latest updates, and future job opportunities.

May is food allergy awareness month don’t forget to “Turn It Teal” and be an ally by sharing the stories, events, and resources with your network.  You can find resources on the FARE, or the Allergic Living website.

Speaking of food allergy advocacy, I’m excited to share what’s new and what’s coming to the Korean Convenience app and website.  I would love to read your thoughts on the new changes!  

Product Tab Information 

product page new look image for Korean Convenience

The new design tackles customer concerns head-on without needing to scroll.  The product: overview, ingredients, and nutrition tabs offer FASTER fact checking on product labels:

– Calories, sugar, protein, and total fat at a glance 

– Simplified ingredient information 

– Recommendation tab offers additional Korean snack products

Our team is working on even more features to give you more product label information. On every product you will be able to see if a product is labeled or certified as gluten free, vegan, etc. We don’t have 100% product coverage yet, so if you come across a product that needs updating, please do let us know by leaving a quick comment down below. This will help us improve Korean Convenience for everyone.  More to come on this soon!

With that being said, I must give credit where it’s due. Shoutout to Brandon the website designer, for KNOCKING this out of the park. Check him out on Instagram @bdot868.

What Coming Up Next?

Over the next few months, you’ll see more highly requested features on the Korean Convenience app and website. These include being able to reset your username profile (in case you forgot which account you set up), better searching within the Korean Convenience app (more products means better subcategories and categories), and being able to find and buy Korean food products that fit your dietary lifestyle.

I also want to thank everyone who has supported Korean Convenience by subscribing to the Korean Convenience website and providing your mentorship and support. A tremendous amount of effort and resources go into keeping Korean Convenience as accurate and helpful as possible, and your contributions help us do that work and add new features for years to come.

Final Thoughts

As part of our commitment to making Korean Convenience as useful and easy to use as possible, I really want to know:

What’s one thing keeping you from using the Korean Convenience app and website more?

You can reply directly to this blog post. Keep it anonymous and be as honest as you’d like – after managing shellfish allergies and nut sensitivities, I am as flexible as gumby!

Founder Headshot

Last but certainly not least: I believe that everyone should be able to find Korean snacks and grocery products that fits their dietary requirements. This couldn’t have been done without the consistent support from friends, family, and mentors who have joined Korean Convenience, and everyone who has shared the app with others! THANK YOU AGAIN!

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Food Safety While Buying Korean Products

Recycling and Composting Korean Food With Food Allergies

What I bought at the Korean Convenience Store is a popular trend these days on TikiTok and Youtube.  People love watching shoppers go into the Korean convenience store and buy snacks and “nosh.”  Unless you have been living under a rock then you also know that climate change is real and everyone needs to do their part.  All of us must focus on properly composting, and recycling food packaging.

I want to share some tips for recycling and composting that anyone can implement even if they manage food allergies.

Food Allergy Safety

For people who are managing food allergies taking extra precautionary steps will help prevent cross-contamination with coming in contact with your food allergen.  An article was written by the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology that discusses Composting With Food Allergies.  

Below I have included three of their most popular tips for people with food allergies who want to compost:

  • Wear a dust and pollen mask to prevent inhaling any particles
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants to prevent skin exposure
  • Use protective gear on your hands and eyes to prevent contact

Read the full article from the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology here.  

Buying Products

  • Bring reusable bags and ask the store to bag the items for you. If they will not do this, please use either sanitized hands and/or gloves.
  • Don’t try to identify what the item is in case you make a mistake or the item has touched another item with other food allergens inside.
  • Make a list ahead of grocery shopping either in-person or online.  You will only buy what you need and you can learn about the product’s ingredients, and food allergens in advance.

Here are some tips that will help with composting with food allergies.


Buy products that make it easier to use so that it doesn’t feel tiresome.  Popular products include: 

  • Kitchen sink strainer mesh bag that’s biodegradable  
  • Buy and use compost bins
  • Take the guesswork out!  Have handy infographics or a mobile application that will help you quickly identify what can and can’t be composted in your local area.  

Compost Bins

It is easier to compost if you keep a small trash can on top of your counter.  Food scraps that can be placed into the compost bin include: (fruits, egg shells, seeds (apricot seeds, etc.), teabags, hard shells (crab, walnut, pineapple skin, etc.) dairy, meat, and newspapers.

Below are some of the popular methods for food composting they already use in South Korea. 

Compost Bags
  • Use eco-friendly compostable food storage bags
  • Freeze bags until trash collection 
  • Use different color trash bags for easier separation of trash, recyclables, and compost/leaves

How To Separate Food

  • Mix layers of dried leaves between food scraps and coffee grounds
  • Drill holes around the sides and bottom of trash bins for drainage (outside large bins)  Add mesh screens over all of the holes to keep bugs away.
  • Keep the top solid so it is not affected by weather conditions (outside large bins)

Tips For Reducing Your Plastic

Zero Waste

  • Buy grocery and snack products in bulk
  • Bring your own cup/bottle to purchase coffee and beverages
  • Use reusable bags at the grocery store


  • Buy fresh fruit at your local Farmer’s Market 
  • Buy surplus food from shops and restaurants *Check out the Too Good To Go App*
  • Donate food to local homeless shelters, Feeding America, or food rescue organization
  • Buy foods that can be used in multiple meals/recipes.

Popular ingredients in Korean cooking include grains, garlic, onions, sesame oil, and vegetables.  Switching out the protein, or cooking method and you can create any number of meals every week. 

To cut out plastic usage altogether when buying your favorite Korean product opt for more environment-friendly versions you can use:

Stainless Steel Alternatives

  • Lunch boxes
  • Stainless steel drinking straws
  • Reusable tins for makeup, candles, dish soaps, etc.

Are you looking for resources that your small business can implement? Check out The United States Environmental Protection Agency.  They have a very informative small business graphic that environmental citizens can do to prevent and prioritize food waste.  The graphic is available in English and Korean. 

Do you have any food waste or composting tips to share?  Add them in the comments below, I can’t wait to read them!

Know someone who would like to read this post why not share it using the social links below?

Korean Convenience mobile application provides assistance for people with food allergies or intolerances to find Korean snacks and grocery products easier.

The Korean Convenience app makes it easier to find Korean or Korean-inspired food products as easy as possible.  Check out our How It Works page to find out how to use the app or the FOOD section to see a list of Korean food products and their top nine food allergens.

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One Year App Anniversary

Celebrate with us! 

The Korean Convenience App 1-Year Anniversary

January 10, 2023, marks the one-year anniversary that I launched The Korean Convenience app.  It’s a huge milestone in a product like the Korean Convenience app and I’d love to share a recap of the past year and also look ahead to what is next.

First, I wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of YOU!  The Korean Convenience app has become the product it’s today because of your feedback, and suggestions I’ve had with you.  Looking back over the last 12 months, I’ve learned so much as a non-tech founder, and I now know that my technical background will forever expand as problems arise.  I am passionate about being a Food Allergy Advocate for Korean food.  Working with developers, photographers, graphic designers, mentors, and those in the food allergy community is what gives me strength every single day to do my best work.

Cheers or 건배 to many more years of the Korean Convenience app and the community.

You can grab the latest version of the app on the App Store or Google Play Store:

Year In Review

The essence of the Korean Convenience app lies in not just what it does – but who it does it for.  One of the main reasons why I started building the Korean Convenience app is that I felt frustrated with trying to read the back of Korean snacks and grocery products.  I believed that if I had the front and back image of a product, with food allergen and ingredient information I would be able to save time and money and focus on what I could eat instead of what I couldn’t.

Following these core principles, I set out to compile a list of popular ingredients that can be found in most ready-made food products.  The cooking dictionary was born from wanting to have a reference for packages that have a long list of ingredients like most ramen, and chips.  Other core features included being able to add in multiple food allergies or intolerances so that the product could help the largest audience possible.

As I focus more on the efforts of providing convenience, multiple categories, a larger food database, and more search options, when I launched 12 months ago the Korean Convenience app was missing features.  Having these features in place is exactly what I focused on implementing the app updates last year.  

Our efforts in marketing yielded working with content creators and the non-profit organization Food Equality Initiative.  What I learned is how to maximize creative content, and the need to formalize a content marketing strategy.

During the month of August, I joined the Los Angeles CleanTech Founder’s Business Accelerator program.  This six-month program is designed to help underrepresented founders and startups to formalize a business model and create a solid path to profitability.  If you would like to find out more about the FBA at LACI check out their website here.

In October last year, we experienced our first app outage.  I learned three very valuable lessons.  The first lesson I learned was I needed to set up a formal communication system.  The second lesson I learned is to have a backup with the products and food allergen information available for the community.  You can browse the FOOD section and obtain product details: brand name, food allergies, ingredients, and weight/calorie information for every product as an additional resource.  

The last lesson and it’s perhaps the most valuable is the Serenity Prayer.  I’ve heard this prayer repeated many times before, but never was it so poignant as when I was waiting for the issue with the Korean Convenience app to be resolved.  I’m a non-tech founder, with several classes via community college, Youtube, and Linkedin Learning, however, when your app is broken it’s best to let the professionals handle it.

Looking Forward

There is still so much more work to do with the mobile app, forming business partnerships, and holding a pop-up store (look for more updates later this year).  Going forward, I want to get the food allergy and Korean food enthusiasts community more involved.  I want to improve the app and get more feedback on what we still need to achieve so that every update makes it as convenient as possible to buy Korean snacks and grocery products.

Features updates include being able to provide ratings/reviews and a full nutrition label.  *If you check out the LEARN MORE in the bread, canned, and chips categories you can already see a full nutrition label.*  

Whenever I chat with people in the food allergy community I am delighted to hear about how happy they’re they found the app and how they are managing their food allergies.  I’ve heard from someone who planned to visit South Korea on vacation and was concerned because their child has a food allergy.  Another person who lives here in the States is happy to have a mobile reference when they visit their local Asian mart.  The app addressed their concerns about the placement of the translated food label, lettering size, and having so many unfamiliar snacking options.

Stories like these help me to understand how I can improve the Korean Convenience app and is a great motivation to see the value the product delivers to the food allergy community.

If you have an original Korean snack or quick meal recipe you created – I’d love to share it!    

I am extremely excited about the next stages of the Korean Convenience app.  I hope to continue this journey with all of you together.  Have a great rest of the week, and I hope your grocery experience whether online or in-person is a positive one.

Erica Dozier


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2021: Year In Review

Mobile App, Korean Studies and Travel

I enjoy looking back to reflect. I want to recap recent blog posts, along with some milestones, and my personal achievements. One of my biggest personal accomplishments this year is developing the Korean Convenience mobile application to assist people with food allergies and intolerances to find ready-made Korean food easier.

Get The App: App Store or Google Play Store 

So much happened this year and I owe each and every one of you a big thank you for showing up and offering encouragement, to me this year.  2021 has certainly been a year full of ups & downs, but there are many wonderful moments and accomplishments as well!

Here are some of my favorites:

Feature Projects

Let’s count them down from three…

#3 ~ Disneyland

This was the third time I ventured into large crowded areas since the beginning of the safer at-home order.  My family and I made conscious choices that might have been a little different if it was any other year.  We chose to go to the park when it first opened, wore our masks the entire day, and didn’t wait in any long lines using Disney’s Fastpass & mobile application to pre-order our food.  Check out my three-day Disney adventure and hotel experience below.

Read More: Disneyland Vacation Experience

#2 ~ How To Read Korean Food Labels

I was shocked that Dalgona candy was trending in the U.S. as well as the rise in people wanting to learn the Korean language this year.  With so many translation hours spent building a food directory, I wanted to share what I’ve learned by reading Korean food labels.  It’s much faster and easier to read if you have some key tips to understand the front and back labels.  Check out my tips on how to read Korean food labels below.

Read More: How To Read Korean Food Labels

#1 ~  Advice From A Non-Technical Founder

More than half of this year I’ve spent working with developers and other freelance artists to build my mobile application.  I’ve learned so much about the hidden costs of mobile applications, and what it takes to build a product from beginning to end.  I have a newfound respect for any tech entrepreneur.  Check out the advice I give to other first-time non-technical founders below. 

Read More: Advice From A Non-Technical Founder

Get the Korean Convenience app: App Store or Google Play Store 



Duolingo is an “American language learning website and mobile application” that you can download for free.  The company was formed in November 2011 and recently went public in July of this year.  My time spent learning Korean this year on Duolingo: 422 minutes total, 139 lessons, 144 words, and I’m in the top 11% of Korean learners on the app.

If you want more information on Duolingo check out their website here

Lastly, I’d like to close the yearly recap with a big THANK YOU. Though I can’t fit everything into one blog post, I hope you enjoy the above year in review and some of my favorite projects.  I sincerely mean that. I loved chatting with the brand-new and longtime followers you all are the greatest. Warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year with your loved ones.

I’m working on my vision board/goals for 2022.  I’m excited for a new chapter and more fun here on Korean Convenience, cheers or 건배 (geonbae) to everyone.

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Get Snacks From South Korea

Favorite Korean Snacks

With the massive popularity of Squid Games this year, South Korea’s food and snacks have been on full display.  However, Dalgona is not the only candy or snack that’s fun to eat and slightly sweet.  I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite snacks.

Looking for information about Korean snacks? Get the Korean Convenience app on the App Store or Google Play Store 


Pepero are thin pretzel sticks that are crunchy and not too sweet.  They’re the perfect snack while watching your latest Netflix or Viki drama.  You can buy several different flavors (almonds, cookies & creams, plain or strawberry).

Honey Butter Chips

Before there was ever a hit song, these popular chips were selling like hotcakes.  If you like the sweet and savory combination, you might want to try this popular snack.  Chips are relatively inexpensive, and if you don’t like the flavor, you haven’t invested much money to try a new flavor.     

Related: How To Read Korean Food Labels

Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed is rich in iron, calcium, and other vitamins/minerals.  Making this snack a little more on the healthier side.  It’s a thin flakey square sheet with a slight taste of fish and salt.  You can find it in almost any store nowadays.  There are also different flavors that you can try, including (onion, wasabi, sea salt, etc.) *Wrap it in steamed white rice for a more savory and salty snack experience.

Ace Crackers

This crispy sweet butter cracker goes perfectly with a hot beverage in the morning or can be enjoyed by itself.  They are also great to include in a gift baskets for the upcoming holidays. If you look closely on the side of every package there is the option to write a name and a cute message.   


With Korean ramen the possibilities are endless, with many flavors and ways to eat this snack.  All you need is hot water, and you will have the perfect quick bite to eat.  Add green onion, egg, or even spam/sausage, and turn this quick snack into a meal.  My favorites are the black bean ramen, vegan ramen(Samyang), and Gomtang Noodles with Cream Beef Bone Broth.  

Related: Where To Buy Korean Food

Choco Pie

A choco pie reminds me of the marshmallow snacks I had when I was a kid.  This snack consists of two small fluffy layers of yellow cake covered in chocolate with a marshmallow center.  *Heat for five-seven seconds in the microwave for a more gooey treat.

There are also a variety of flavors you can try: check out the banana, green tea, or strawberry choco pie.

Orion Chips

Standard flavors include original, onion, and hot(spicy), which are great to try if you want a chip similar to Lays in the United States.  However, every country has unique flavors you can’t buy anywhere else, and South Korea is no different.  If you’re feeling adventurous, try the corn soup, lime pepper, chocolate, and seaweed varieties.   

Looking for information about Korean snacks? Get the Korean Convenience app on the App Store or Google Play Store 

Yogurt Jelly

Yogurt Jelly candy is one of my favorites because the packaging is shaped like a cute yogurt bottle, and the jelly has a mild fruit flavor.  These are perfect snacks to munch on while binge-watching your favorite K-drama or variety show.  *Yakult is the probiotic yogurt drink these jellies were modeled after and also a great drink to have after a meal.  

 Disclosure: If you give the links a love tap now! Buy snacks online for all your Korean snacks and grocery needs. I get a tiny referral percentage, being a part of the Amazon Affiliates program at no extra cost to you.

What are some of your favorite Korean snacks?  I would love to read about them in the comments down below.

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Giving Back To The Community

Show Appreciation With A Gift Or Donation

With the holidays in full swing, I feel especially grateful this year.

Grateful for the community of entrepreneurs, and travelers who provide inspiration every day. Grateful to the creators who share their knowledge and insights on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And grateful to my readers, for sharing my appreciation for Korean food, music and culture.

But of course, I couldn’t do it without you.

As I look forward to 2022, I want to thank you for your support with engagement, encouragement, and patience. And during a season unlike any other, I promise I’ll continue giving you my best, highlighting the best Korean cuisine, snack products, variety programming, music spotlights, and more.

In this post, I want to share two communities that have undergone major changes this year and it’s my wish that you keep them in mind this holiday season.  Whether it’s through a donation, volunteering, or showing public support.   

Shop Local Shop Small

Support local businesses and shop small today on the American Express website.  Or if you want to support black-owned businesses check out the website here.  Small businesses need our support now more than ever as they adjust to the ever changing regulations from the pandemic. 

Please visit these organizations across the country in supporting local small businesses by shopping at a small business today and throughout the holiday season. 

It takes resourcefulness, and determination to continue running a business. Korean Convenience is proud to do its part to provide entrepreneurs and travelers with these vital resources.

Support For The AAPI & BLM Community

Korean Convenience stands firmly against all acts of racism, violence, prejudice, and hate. We must all come together to end discrimination, and that includes attacks on people of color in our communities.

I believe in creating a community where people are inspired to learn more about each other, do more to solve societal issues and become their best possible selves.

I also strive to shine a business spotlight on the brilliant contributions and influence these communities have had on all aspects of American society including arts, culture, and cuisine. 

For more information and to explore more diverse stories, please visit

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What are some ways that you’re giving back this holiday season? I would love to read your comments down below.

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Season Greetings & Happy New Year

New Year Banner Image

2020 Year In Review

Dear Subscribers and Readers,

It’s certainly been an interesting year, and I’d like to thank you for your engagement, and participation throughout 2020. Yes, it’s been a tough year, between the pandemic, and the Black Lives Matter movement.  Yet the country showed its determination to change and it has been amazing to witness the kindness and the mutual support for this cultural awakening.

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone

With new awareness, many businesses began to highlight BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color).  A collaboration between Seed Spot and Let’s Care gave me the courage to step out of my introverted comfort zone. 

I spoke to Matt the founder of Let’s Care for the Reimagining Impact podcast about my goal of launching a mobile application to assist people with food allergies.  Our common frustrations about food management and daily obstacles renewed my passion of assisting the food allergy community.  


Black Business Owner Abroad

James Holmes created Songtan Mugs where he sells custom apparel and mugs.  Working in the military gave him a sense of community and an entrepreneurial mindset.  Living in South Korea he discusses how he deals with discrimination, multicultural development, and his hopes for the future.   


Marketing Strategies In The “New Normal”

Many conferences and events turned virtual and the Tech In Asia Product Development Conference was no different.  AirAsia and Grab technical pivot amid the pandemic provided key takeaways and insights for businesses both large and small.


I couldn’t have guessed at the beginning of the year being accepted into the Association of Women in Science business accelerator that my path would lead to where I am today.  I look forward to next year and seeing what challenges and exciting events will occur.         

Share It

If you found value in any of the posts this year about small businesses and South Korea please forward this post and share it on your social media.  If you’re new here and this is your first-time please subscribe for future updates. 

I’ll be back in the new year with more resources to make your next small business steps the best yet.  Until then, Happy Holidays and A Happy New Year! 

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Escapism Amid Pandemic

Stay Safe, Stay Home Playlist

Instead of blogging about business topics or what I’ve learned during a recent webinar or conference.  I want to share what videos I have been watching when I need a good laugh, to relax, or feel nostalgic.  

So without further ado here’s my recent playlist of Youtube videos I can watch again and again.  *Closed captioning is available on most videos so don’t worry if you don’t speak Korean.

Kim Hyun Joong

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a second-generation K-pop fan who loves the group SS501, Super Junior, Big Bang, and Shinee.  Whether it’s solo, individual, or duos I like all of the combinations.  Kim Hyun Joong shares behind the scenes of his concerts, mukbangs, and band rehearsals.  

There’s plenty to watch if you’re an avid music lover with his albums Bio-Rhythm or New Way.  Or if you just want to watch reviews of Korean restaurants check out his video segment called Everyday Joong.  Look out for the PD’s commentary throughout the videos as it shows their comradery and his hilarious take on Hyun Joong’s antics.  

Find out more about Kim Hyun Joong on his Website | Facebook | Instagram accounts.

Heo Young Saeng

Recently, Heo Young Saeng set up a one-man agency with plans to work on a new drama OST and a solo album. On his Youtube channel, he’s journaling his activities as he produces a new album and works within the Korean entertainment industry. So far his videos include a little bit about his personal life at home, (Ramen segment), his activities working as an artist, and his MBTI personality test.

His fellow SS501 members Kim Kyu Jong also make a brief appearance as they work on a duet together. Find out more about Heo Young Saeng on his Instagram | Twitter accounts.

Kim Hyun Jun

I can’t forget to mention Kim Hyun Jun the youngest member of the group SS501.  His voice immediately stands out, it’s soft and angelic.  He has both original songs and some popular Korean tv drama covers on his channel. 

If you’re into Twitch then there are also several videos where he posts video game highlights.  I wish that he published vlogs and everyday content more regularly however, there’s plenty to watch if you’re new to his channel.

Find out more about Kim Hyun Jun on his Twitch | Instagram accounts.    

Ryeowook’s AGIT

While three are several Super Junior members who have Youtube channels my favorite by far is Ryewook.  I like his style and aesthetic of filming the behind the scenes videos of Super Junior music videos.  Not only does he show his professional side he also shows all of the hard work he does behind the scenes.  If you like vlogs of Southeast Asia, music concerts, and the occasional band member injecting random commentary then you should check out his channel.

See Ryeowook chic and sentimental style on his Youtube channel.      

NCT Daily

I know that I mentioned the above four groups are the musicians that I really like and follow.  However, there’s a group that’s slowly creeping toward becoming number five.  I don’t know if it’s because Jhonny a native-born Chicagoan or Mark via way from Canada is in the group.

But I honestly really like some of their songs.  I can admit that when I need an energy boost I’ll listen to Cherry Bomb, and Regular.  Johnny Communication Center, NCT travel vlogs, and behind the scene concert preparations are the videos I highly recommend.

If you want to watch an energetic group coupled with young talented artists check out NCT 127 Facebook | Instagram | Twitter accounts.

Honorable Mentions


Morissette Amon 

First, she can sang…  I discovered Morissette after going through a time of just wanting to listen to Disney songs.  Her and the next artist’s rendition of “A Whole New World” together is breathtaking.  She started her career auditioning for the voice kids in the Phillippines and has since collaborated with some of my favorite Phillipani artists. 

Darren Espanto

If you haven’t heard of him then quickly click on the link and listen to him singing.  Not only is he handsome, but his talent will be around long after his looks begin to fade.  His song “Sasagipin Kita” although it’s in Tagalog is so beautiful and poignant.  Check out the comment section on his YouTube video for fan translations.    

Find out more about this rising star on his Facebook | Instagram | Twitter accounts.

So plan your next vacation whether it be to South Korea or closer to home, research the places you want to visit, take snapshots of all the yummy places to eat, and take selfies.

Even if it’s just for a make-believe staycation, you will still find something positive by just keeping your mind focused on the future. The COVID-19 pandemic will end and so will all of the stress and anxiety. Take some time to do something that helps you “rise again” and recharge your mind, body, and soul.

Do you like my playlist or know of another artist I should add to the list? I would love to read your comments down below!

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Big Rice Korean Cuisine Review

Bulgogi Lunch Box

Spring was in the air as I walked around the Descanso Gardens.  The gardens were filled with happy children waiting to ride the mini train.  Touring the colorful tulip beds, rose and lilac bushes, I came upon a Cherry Blossom tree in full bloom.  I was reminded of my time spent in Korea during the cherry blossom season.  Whenever I began to miss Korea I usually visit a Korean restaurant and this time was no different.

Big Rice Korean Cuisine, Temple City, California

Big Rice Korean Cuisine is located about twenty minutes from the Descanso Gardens in Temple City, California.  I found Big Rice after searching Korean restaurant reviews and I liked the pictures of their food and restaurant decor.

I was in the mood for bulgogi and rice and I was excited to see the food is served lunch box style.  The banchan dishes that accompanied the lunch box was spicy cucumbers, bean sprouts, seaweed (miyeok muchim), and kimchi.


The bulgogi and rice lunch set include a tofu and seaweed soup for a total of $10.98 not including the soda or gratuity.

The bulgogi and rice tasted a little too sweet for my liking, but with some added sriracha sauce it was perfect.  Overall, I liked the large portion size and the combination of meat, rice, and vegetables.  Other popular menu items include the topokki, kimchi fried rice and glass noodles.  *Tip: I went to the restaurant when it just opened and the Kimchi stew was not available.  Call ahead if you’re set on ordering a specific menu item.

Inside the Big Rice restaurant, it has square communal wooden tables with dark colored wooden seats.  Along the back wall, there’s a cushioned bench that allows for an optional seating area.  On the wall near the kitchen area, the latest K-pop music videos play.

Big Rice Korean Food

Nearby stores include a Daiso Japan, various Asian restaurants and a Chipotle Mexican Grill.  There’s plenty of free parking located within the plaza.  However, it’s a very busy parking lot and my suggestion is to park further away and walk the short distance.

Big Rice is located at 5703 Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, CA 91780.  For more information on their menu and hours of operation visit Big Rice Facebook page or call (626) 940-5543.

For more information on the Descanso Gardens and its blooming scheduling check out their website.

Do you have any Korean restaurants in Los Angeles that you recommend?  I would love to read your comments down below.

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International Fans: 5 Ways To Not Feel Left Out

Ideas For International Fans Who Like Kpop/K-dramas

So you’ve started on your journey of learning more about South Korea since you’ve discovered a K-pop group or Korean drama that you really like.  Yet, how do you stay connected to events/life in Korea when you live thousands of miles away?

I’ve noticed that a lot of K-pop idols and Korean dramas are using more English in their songs and tv scripts.  It’s a good thing because we’ve something in common.  We’re both learning a new language and hopefully learning about each other’s culture.  It’s a common theme these days everyone trying to figure out what we’ve in common instead of focusing on our differences.

But how do you feel connected when you live thousands of miles away and you don’t fluently speak the language?  Here are five tips on what you can do as an international fan and you’re feeling disconnected from your latest K-pop idols comeback and fan signing events.

Study Hangul

This may seem like a no brainer, or a broken record since I’ve mentioned it so many times.  But if this is the first time you’ve read my blog then this is one of the best tips I can give for anyone planning on visiting Korea.  Become as familiar with Hangul as you’re with your native language.

Although, you don’t need Hangul to use public transportation, eat at most restaurants, or visit major tourist attractions.  Knowing the language will make your life so much easier. Being on the constant search of finding a program with English subtitles can make you feel frustrated.  Overcoming this obstacle will make travel, and watching Korean programs a whole lot easier.

Korean Cooking Class

If you live in a major metropolitan area like I do here in Los Angeles, you may have noticed there are several Korean cooking classes are now being offered.  If you’ve ever wanted to try your hands at making your own kimchi, research cooking classes near your area.

Create Your Own Class Tip: If there aren’t any cooking classes near your area then check out popular Korean foodie Bloggers and Youtubers.  *Don’t forget to take pictures and share on social media.  I promise you’re not the first person to try and cook Samgyeopsal at home and realize that you’ve purchased the wrong type of lettuce.

Dine Out: Korean Restaurants

Visiting a Korean restaurant is a great place to meet people who like Korean food and also try new dishes that are too advanced for your own budding cooking skills.  Also, a great way to sample new dishes you’ve seen on the latest K-dramas or variety shows.

*I’m specifically mentioning this one since I’ve since started watching the variety show “I Live Alone” and I want to go visit Na Rae Bar and try Park Na-Rae’s home cooking.

Join Meetups/SouthEast Asia Travel Group

Travel meetups are not only helpful for planning your vacation to South Korea they’re also great for meeting new friends.  You may be the type to plan your own itinerary and so you’re not planning on using a travel agent or tour group.  Joining meetup groups can connect you with individuals who can recommend things to do off the beaten path and are not listed on tourist websites.

Who knows you might find a new location that you want to visit besides Seoul.  There’s so much more to explore in Korea and you want to maximize your trip as much as possible.  But I’m starting to get preachy so I’ll move on to the next tip.

Volunteer: KCCLA or Korean Resource Center

There are so many volunteer opportunities available that I couldn’t complete this list without mentioning this tip.  Not only is this a great way to meet people who may have similar interests as you do, but it’s also a great way to give back to your community.

If you’ve have taken a Korean class or attended a Korean cultural event why not check and see if there are any volunteer opportunities.  I’m familiar with the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles which holds monthly events and performances.  I’ve attended events in the past which made me think about the people sitting at the check-in station, or the friendly person helping you to your seats or the parking attendant.

These are all ways you can volunteer without offering a large time commitment.  It’s also a great way to practice your Korean language skills.

Final Thoughts

I’ve listed things that you can do to feel connected as an international fan who lives thousands of miles away.   I’ve tried to compile a list of things to do that will make you get away from the computer which offers (social media groups, and binge-worthy content) to discover your own local community.

I’ve prepared this list not only for my readers and subscribers but also for myself as I’ve recently binged on several Korean dramas.  * Are you looking for new Korean dramas to watch?  My recommendations: Sky Castle, The Crowned Clown, Kingdom (Netflix), and The Last Empress.  Are you looking for websites to watch Korean programming check out my post on Top South Korean Variety Shows To Watch

Do you have any additional suggestions for being an international fan?  Comment down below and let’s get the conversation started!

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