Korean Goodies

I enjoyed Moss Gropen’s article on the Korean spirit soju (“Our Favorite Drinks and Where We Drink Them,” Cover Story, April 23). I was introduced to the stuff by my friend and his Korean in-laws. I love it! Especially the variety made from sweet potatoes and green tea. Just a few suggestions, however. Go to the Zion Market in Kearny Mesa. It is a Korean supermarket and devotes an entire section to the elixir. While I enjoy going to upscale Mitsuwa for uniquely Japanese items, Zion carries everything Korean and is less expensive than its counterpart down the street.

Soju, in my opinion, is best complemented by the Korean beer Hite (pronounced “hee-tay”).

Gun bae!

Tom Farrell
via email

Five Stars? All Stairs!

When Naomi Wise first started doing her reviews for the Reader, I wrote to thank her for intermittently including information concerning wheelchair/handicapped access to the restaurants that she reviewed. Inclusion of this information has been spotty at best but much appreciated when included.

It is astounding to now see that she has awarded her highest rating ever to El Bizcocho, a facility that is one of the least handicapped-friendly in the area (Restaurant Review, April 23). Prior to the most recent renovation, wheelchair users had to enter via the trash-and-storage area of the restaurant. There was no way to enter the main dining area, so then — as apparently now — chair users are segregated, and the only accessible restroom was approximately a half-mile away via an uncovered walkway. We discovered the preceding information when we attempted to eat at El Bizcocho based on a prior review.

We were informed by the management that all of these problems would be solved by their remodel and that they would like to comp a return visit. We simply wanted to eat a wonderful meal in the same area as all the other patrons and to use the same facilities, so we simply waited and returned unannounced after the renovations. We were unpleasantly surprised that there was still no access to the dining area via the main entrance, and the restroom near the restaurant was still inaccessible. I take it from the comments in the “need to know” box that wheelchair users are still segregated and require special valet assistance for entrance. As usual, there is no comment in the review about the restroom facility accessibility.

The Michelin criteria for that much-coveted third star include a restaurant that is worth a special trip just to eat there. It’s hardly worth a special trip when you require special assistance to enter the place, are forced to eat in a special area, and have no convenient toilet. No matter how wonderful the food is, all of the other inconveniences leave a bad taste in your mouth. Perhaps Ms. Wise should rethink her five-star selection or there should be a separate category for food.

Needless to say, my socks are still on, and we probably couldn’t even hear the music in the “special” accessible section, let alone face it and dance.

Dr. Bill Casper
via email

My Hero

I, for one, feel safer knowing that Mr. Xtreme is out there (“San Diego’s Superhero,” Cover Story, April 16). Thanks for the story and the way it was written. The description, for example, of the 30-plus-year-old nocturnal skateboarder riding through downtown, oblivious to our hero, evoked a comic book feel. Well done.

Keith Vertrees
via email

Goodman Good, Coe No

Re “Blurt” — “Long hair can’t cover my red neck” (April 16). It was Steve Goodman, not David Allan Coe, who wrote the ultimate country song, “You Never Even Called Me by My Name.”

Eric Reichard
via email

Too Old, Too Out-There

First of all, I would like to thank the Reader for publishing great articles that affect San Diegans. Mr. Varela responded on April 16 to one of my letters, and now I would like to respond back.

I’m glad that someone out there has been paying attention. I welcome the response to my views. Mr. Varela must have spent many sleepless nights to write to the Reader. His letter was filled with outdated information and lacked any form of reality. He obviously doesn’t understand the threat to the United States from what he calls “a few isolated criminal incidents.” I won’t bother giving all the examples of violence the drug war brings. All you need to know is that people are getting brutally murdered, kidnapped, and raped very close to the United States. Without our borders being protected by military forces, it opens the door to violence and terrorism.

I would agree that enlistment numbers are somewhat up. But after speaking with a few recruiters, they attribute this to the bad economy and fewer jobs for young adults rather than to bonuses, as Mr. Varela states. The true number of active military personnel is not known to the general public. The low-intensity conflict you speak of from the ’70s to the ’90s did not have the manpower or the technology of today. Ever heard of the Predator?? Yes, the U.S. is not perfect. They have tried many things that ultimately failed. Ever heard of the Vietnam War? For the same reason we failed in Vietnam, we will fail in border security.

We need to go full force at it or not at all. Yes, it will be expensive, but I’d rather spend my tax dollars on that than bailing out Wall Street, the banks, etc. Joint Task Force 6 failed because there was no political will to make it succeed. This time I’m talking about the same type of effort as in Desert Storm. Let the Border Patrol conduct operations within the country and not on the borders. No need to resurrect Alexander the Great. If it meant the preservation of our safety, culture, and mankind, I would pay the $5 for produce. That’s the difference, Mr. Varela, between you and me. I’m willing to pay the price for freedom. You would rather enslave people that have no legal right to be here. And your rant about the 90 percent of guns in Mexico coming from the U.S., when it’s actually 17? Yep, the good old Department of Homeland Security put out that number, and Fox News put the actual number at 17. I see how trustworthy the Department of Homeland Security is. Putting our veterans, people that oppose illegal aliens, and those that don’t agree with the president on radical watch lists. Very credible.

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