Itaewon: I feel a little less foreign

It’s no surprise that I stick out a little here.  South Korea is an extremely homogenized society.  About 97% of the population is ethnically Korean.

But that percentage doesn’t apply to Itaewon.

Itaewon is in the Yongsan district of Seoul.  A lot of immigrants live there and it is close to an U.S. military base.  I went there one weekend because I was told there was authentic Mexican food, an elusive cuisine in this country.  I was no longer the only non-korean person in the crowd.

You can find Mexican, Turkish, American, Uzbek, Indian, Pakistani, Russian, Mongolian, Kazakh, and who knows how many other types of food.

I was going to get tacos until I came across an Uzbek restaurant.  I know nothing about Uzbek food, but if this is what it looks like, I need to get on the next plane to Samarkand.

lamb kebabs, rice, bread, and plenty of veggies

lamb kebabs, rice, bread, and plenty of veggies

the restaurant decor

the restaurant decor

The restaurant is called Lazzat and I can’t even remember how I found it.  I was just wandering around Itaewon station and I saw a sign for Uzbek food on the second floor of a random building.

I also tried Turkish tea.  I like my coffee or tea with lots of sugar and milk because I’m a wimp.  This tea was so tasty I didn’t need more than one tiny sugar cube.

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I bought some cookies to go with it

Itaewon is also well-known for Namsan tower and Namsan mountain.  You can see all of Seoul from the tower and the mountain is popular with hikers.  I didn’t get to the tower this time, but I did go to a beautiful park near the mountain.

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What can I say, I like parks.

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