Tonight I Will Be Miss Saigon

August 21, 2010

in dinner, restaurant, theatre

Controversial as it’s been, I am seriously obsessed with the musical “Miss Saigon.” I spent all of high school and college wanting to play “Kim,” and by the time I graduated and was ready to seriously pursue my acting career, IT CLOSED ON BROADWAY. I did have one opportunity to audition for a touring production, but it was the day after September 11th, and you can imagine how well I did on that one. So I’ve accepted my fate – I’ll have to settle for singing the songs only to my family (as I did the entire time I was in Vietnam)…unless Paula Wagner wants me to star in the movie one day...

But this isn’t about musicals. It’s about burgers!!!


Met up with some friends at Kalbi Burger in a Koreatown strip mall. It’s kind of like The Counter (where you have the option of customizing your toppings/sauces) meets Kogi/Lee’s Philly (all those Asian fusion food trucks). There’s valet but I easily found nearby street parking at 7:30 on a Friday night. The place was small and crowded…


…we parked our butts in some very comfy stools by the kitchen…


…and were sitting there for about 10 minutes until we realized no one was going to take our order; you have to place it at the cashier. They let us cut the long line, though, since we had already been waiting.


Of course, I got the Saigon Burger.


(Wouldn’t that be random if I told you a story about wanting to be “Miss Saigon” and ordered the Chili Cheese Burger?!)

All their beef is Humanely-raised certified natural Angus Beef, both hormone and antibiotic free. They’re automatically cooked medium-well, unless you tell them not to.


I also had a couple of my friend Skye’s Salt and Vinegar fries – they had come out cold at first, so they made her a super fresh batch to replace them. Not overpowering in sourness; just right.


“What’s that I smell in the air? The American Dreeeeam!!!” ♫♫♫


Yummy! These burgers were a very different experience from my beloved Umami (which are a bit fattier and gourmet). This was a lot leaner (but still juicy) and simpler. With its airy, crispy-but-soft bun, crunchy veggies, and spicy kick (the heat IS on in Saigon) it tasted exactly like you’d want it to – a delicious Banh Mi Burger. I can’t wait to come back and try their whole menu (they also offer hot dogs and salads) but probably not until they offer a vegetarian option so Abe can go too – I talked with someone there about it and he said he’s working on it; hopefully in a few weeks!

Even my dessert back home reminded me of “Miss Saigon.”


The vegan Pecan Zucchini Cookie represented “Kim,” the hooker with a heart of a gold…


… surrounded by her more flashy and experienced colleagues (this was a hacked-up organic nectarine that was starting to go bad)


Excuse me…I need to go blast the Original London soundtrack now and sing along!

Last chance to enter the giveaway!

Kalbi Burger on Urbanspoon


1 lequan@luvtoeat August 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

Oh my, that chili cheese burger is sounding great right about now. I have a weakness for melted cheese.

I’ve never seen Miss. Saigon (blush) but have always heard how great it is. Have a great weekend Ms. Lynn Chen/Miss. Saigon.

And yes, Ameena’s cake absolutely rocked!

2 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 21, 2010 at 10:49 am

I was totally entertained by this post! I love it when you can live a Broadway Play through your food!

3 greensandjeans August 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

Such a fun post! You never know, Broadway loves to re-open shows these days…

4 Mimi August 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

Yeah, I heard! I always preferred Les Miserables, but Miss Saigon has some beautiful songs. And I love any time the Engineer comes onstage.

5 Marina August 21, 2010 at 11:54 am

You’d be perfect in Miss Saigon! That’s a great musical too. :)

6 Banana Wonder August 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Burger looks and sounds great, but I kinda want your cookie (maybe a few of them). Love zucchini sweets!

7 Jessie August 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I absolutely LOVE Lea Salonga. I’ve always said that she is the one person that if I w0uld cry like a 13 year old Backstreet Boys fan (or I guess nowadays Justin Bieber). She is absolutely phenomenal. I also had dreams of being in the show, but now it looks like I’m at least staying for a good while offstage working on props.

8 Sara K August 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Sounds and looks great! I have a weakness for “gourmet” and “fusion” burgers. Yum!

9 Monet August 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Salt and vinegar fries? Now that sounds heavenly. I used to love eating salt and vinegar chips, but my tongue would always get sore by the end of the bag (I probably shouldn’t have been eating that much). Your burger looked amazing too! And I’ve never seen Miss Saigon…a shame, I know!

10 Jen Cheung August 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm

OUUUU! I see delicious FOOOOOOD! yum yum yum!!!

11 dianacheung August 22, 2010 at 5:06 am

zomg. when i went to la I wanted to go to Unami sooo badddd. I want an asian fusion burger!

12 rebecca lustig August 22, 2010 at 6:41 am

holy bun, that looks delicious.

did they really close miss saigon?! ive always wanted to see it!

thinking of you

hope you have a splendid sunday, dear
love, becca

13 Emily August 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I am also completely obsessed with Miss Saigon. I LOVE the music…so beautiful! I’d love to be in that musical, as well. I love the duets..Sun and Moon, Movie in My Mind, I Still Believe…ahh, so many great ones!

14 MizzJ August 24, 2010 at 11:00 pm

hahha it’s so cute how your story relates to the foods in this post, particularly the dessert. A banh mi burger sounds strange, but very very appealing.

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