Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Los Angeles' Madang Plaza: Korean Shopping

Located in Los Angeles' Koreatown, Madang Plaza is an outdoor, multi-story mall that surrounds a small courtyard.  This cozy mall has a variety of Korean businesses, including eateries, a hanbok shop, a gym, a movie theater, and more.  I visited Madang Plaza at around 8AM, so most businesses weren't opened yet. Here are the places I saw:

The Face Shop
The Face Shop is located on the street, before walking into the actual courtyard.  Interestingly enough, this branch shares the same space as Chocolate Chair, with no barrier dividing the two businesses once inside.  I peaked in through the glass doors, and saw The Face Shop products are neatly displayed on shelves and tables on the left half of the space.  You can also see Kim Hyun Joong in the front display!

Caffe Bene
Two doors to the right of The Face Shop is Caffe Bene, a popular Korean coffee shop chain.  My Korean friend said this place is overrated, like Starbucks, and had more negative views of this chain.
What drew my eye, however, was the cutout of Jang Geun Suk peaking behind the glass paneled walls!

Cosmetic World
Inside the actual mall is a fairly large cosmetic shop that carries high end Korean, Japanese and Western brands.  Also there are photos of Nichkhun around the store, enticing potential shoppers!

Doni Burger
I didn't know Doni, entertaining MC of the variety show Weekly Idol, had his own chain restaurant!  One branch is located in this very mall, with an advertising banner just out front. This restaurant offers Korean burgers, with patties like bulgogi and pork katsu.

Paris Baguette
Paris Baguette is a Korean bakery chain with a defined presence is the US.  This branch opens at 7AM, and by the time I arrived at 8:30AM, all the tables were full.  I guess people, mostly Korean, stop by here before going to work.
The theme appears to be like a classy, Parisian cafe, which can be seen by the logo.  The workers even wear French inspired outfits like berets and black and white striped shirts.
This theme can also be seen by the decor.  Inside does look classy, with a dark gray color scheme on the walls and diamond pattern cushioned benches, elegant mirrors and chandeliers hanging overhead.  It's a bit hard to see, but the right half of the bakery is the sit down area, with the mirrored walls and upscale looking atmosphere.
The set up is like a typical Asian bakery, with tongs, trays and paper place mats neatly displayed at the front and rows of clear containers filled with different baked goods. Here is the view of most items on display, with individual buns inside the displays and prepackaged sets above the center displays.
Here is what I bought!  I honestly forgot what these are or how they taste...but the quality is pretty good and I definitely had a satisfying breakfast.
The cups are so adorable!  They are made to look like faces (there are two black dots as eyes and a smile towards the bottom).  I bought a green tea latte and a smoothie, both of which were very tasty.  As for my entire experience at Paris Baguette, it could have been better.   I was waiting patiently in line and was about to order, when the cashier interrupted me and said that I had cut in line, and then served a Korean man who was definitely not before me.  Then when she finally let me pay, she wasn't very friendly.  Despite this mishap, I didn't let it ruin the rest of my Korean bakery experience.

Overall, this mall is quite small but has a variety of shops.  I came too early to actually go into any shops besides Paris Baguette, but it was still fun to experience a mall centered around a courtyard!

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