Follow Me To The Deep End!!

Jul 24, 2005

Rude Food. Live Octopus Tentacles. The Prince. Los Angeles, CA.

live tentacles
The Prince. Los Angeles, CA.

Not too long ago, when the world was a much more innocent place, my pigtailed, little sister came across the only golden egg at the annual neighborhood Easter egg hunt. This gilded egg lay cleverly camouflaged in the crook of a felled tree’s branches. Baby (that’s my sister’s nickname) was the sole contestant to spot the winning egg and was very thrilled. At that point in her life the only contest she had won was the second grade’s Arbor Day essay contest. Her triumphant entry “Oaks are oak-ay!” fetched her a cheap, flame-retardant, blue ribbon that read “1st Place”. Baby, however, didn’t get to keep that ribbon for very long because my younger brother and I figured out a way to make that flame-retardant ribbon flame-able in short time. But on that Easter morning her prize for winning the egg hunt was no simple dyed blue rag. Rather, it was a tiny, yellow, puff of a baby chick. And it was love at first sight. My sister cradled her new feathered friend while caressing its fuzzy wisps. Then, perhaps from an overwhelming sense of foreboding, she named her fluffy bird “Lucky”, hoping that by doing so it would protect the tiny chick somehow. And certainly she did this because my younger brother and I were standing right behind her, breathing asthmatically like Lord Vader. The incident of the burning blue ribbon happened years prior and my younger brother and I had since moved beyond pyromania to bigger and badder things; this fact however seemed to be of no comfort to my sister. She shot us a vicious look then cupped Lucky like a football and extended her arms as far away from her two big brothers as possible.

Lucky lived without a care in a large cooped up area on the side of our house. Lucky’s diet was the family’s leftovers e.g. rice and vegetables. Lucky thrived and grew up from a chirpy, mini cotton ball into an impressive specimen of a rooster with a massive V-breast, terrible talons and the rest. Once in a while we were treated to some real life nature drama when Lucky would swoop on a millipede, snatching it from the dirt and gulping it segment by segment down his sizeable throat. Lucky was even a bit of a lady’s man and had a couple of hen girlfriends who provided my family with some heavenly fresh eggs every morning. Lucky was literally the cock of the walk to us.

Further, Lucky wasn’t just the family’s millipede slayer but our alarm clock too. Early every morning he would let us know that it was sunrise. And he wouldn’t stop letting us know for about an hour give or take. Lucky was so generous with his wake up calls, in fact, he’d also let our neighbors know that it was time to rise and shine whether they wanted to or not. He woke lots of our neighbors — about a square mile's worth of neighbors. And soon after, the homeowner association mailed us a brief note that amounted to a one-way ticket out of the neighborhood for Lucky. But where could we possibly send him?

My mother had an idea where and she wasn’t about to let my sister
know…

There is a controversial school of thought that says if you eat meat, you should know where it comes from and how it gets to your dinner table. Our culture of convenience shields most of us from the realities of how the meat we eat is raised and processed. However, it's not clear whether this notion carries the ultimate agenda of turning consumers off to eating meat altogether or simply encouraging folks to appreciate the creatures that nourish them.

Well, if that’s the case, why stop there? Why not really get to know your food. You know, like the lions do when they take down a wildebeest. What is it really like to tear chunks of flesh off of an animal that is still alive and fighting for its life? Do you feel the warm muscle coursing hot blood as it throbs down your throat? Do you get the occasional whack to the side of the head from a flaying leg during a death throe? Do you appreciate your food more? Does it taste better? Is feasting on dying wildebeest like having really, really, really fresh beef carpaccio or steak tartare? Is it like picking your own lobster from the tank at your favorite seafood restaurant only better because you can just crack her right open on the spot and tuck into the sweet succulence that is lobster flesh?

Could it be that this prospect is just too messy and upsetting for us humans to handle? Then it’s a good thing there aren’t any restaurants out there willing to do live food.

Or is there?

The Prince is a peculiar restaurant much like Michael Jackson is a peculiar individual. This is not to say that The Prince resembles anything close to Neverland Ranch or Chuck E. Cheese’s for that matter. It is to say that The Prince gives new meaning to the word eccentric. Michael Jackson is neither “black or white”; he’s “stuck in between.” The Prince is also quite ambiguous and defies you to neatly categorize it. Residing in the historic Windsor Hotel in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, The Prince is stodgy and kitschy at the same time. It is an unconscious homage to timeless steakhouses and The Haunted Mansion. It’s seedy and classy. If there’s something strangely familiar about The Prince, then you may recall Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway here in a scene from the noir classic “Chinatown” where this location doubled as the legendary Brown Derby.

However, the food at The Prince pays tribute to something entirely different.

Popular for its Korean bar snacks, The Prince also pushes an odd assortment of dishes ranging from the restaurant’s crowd pleasing fried chicken to sea snails cooked various ways. The Prince, however, has a culinary dark side. At the end of the heavy bound menu near the bottom of the page are a couple of secret items known only to those who can decipher the Korean script. Are you one of those who wish you could sample something from the non-English menus in Asian eateries? Well, if you are, be careful what you wish for. Acting on a tip from a Deep End Dining reader, I scanned the menu for the live octopus tentacles he recommended. Not seeing it right away, I noticed other intriguing yet suspect items like sautéed silk worms. Then, believing that I spotted my quarry on the menu, I asked the waiter if the “raw octopus tentacles” listed on the page were also live tentacles. He shook his head no and guided me to the back of the menu then pointed to the Korean words. Here is where the live tentacles are found.

He asked stoically, “Are you sure you want that?”

I shot back, “Absolutely.”

I have never been more excited anticipating an exotic dish because I knew this one was going to be extraordinary. Ever since my brother Warren told me about his live tentacles experience years ago in Japan, I’ve been dreaming about the day I’d have live tentacles squirming in my mouth. (Yeah, I know, these Lin kids are batty. Mmmm, bat.)

A couple of soju shooters later, the waiter returned and unceremoniously set a plate in the center of the table catching me and Diane off guard. Some time was needed to register what we were viewing. The sight was uncanny. It was ridiculous and sublime. Both comic and tragic like Greek theatre masks. "What fresh hell is this?" Extremely fresh hell, evidently.

The raging plate of squirming, writhing and willful baby octopus tentacles awed us. If I was the Greek hero Perseus, then this plate before me was the severed head of Medusa the Gorgon with her locks of seething, slithering serpents. Hyperbole? How about understatement. Much like Medusa’s disembodied head, these tentacles still believed they were alive — the limbs attached to a phantom body. Diane’s head spun in a figurative way but bordered on literal. Her brain signals and emotions were cross firing so dramatically that she was laughing, gagging, hyperventilating and sobbing all in the same breath. I offered her the first taste but she replied, “When hell freezes over.” This I interpreted as a “no”.

You have to understand Diane had the wrong perspective on this whole thing. She saw the tentacles as half-dead and I saw them as half-alive. It's all how you see things.

So with a firm grip on my chopsticks I grabbed the first…hmmph, okay…let me start again. So with a firm grip on my chopsticks I grabbed the…alright, just a second…I grabbed my chopsticks and nabbed the first tenta…damnit!!

I was experiencing some technical tentacle difficulties.

You see, one doesn’t grab live tentacles. They grab you. And they grab the plate and the sauce dish and the slices of garlic. In fact, the suckers suction on to anything they contact. If you are able to dip the tentacle into any of the three escorting sauces (a chili paste with raw thinly sliced garlic and jalapeno peppers or the pink, sweet and spicy sauce or a salt and pepper vinegar), then, congratulations, you cleared the first hurdle. Now try getting the thing to come off your chopsticks and into your mouth. This is not a passive piece of toro sashimi we’re talking about. This is an entity that does not want to be eaten alive, dead or otherwise. This is, perhaps, even a thing that would happily take you down with it if it were big enough.

This food hates you and what you did to it!

In every scenario I played out in my imagination as far as eating this dish was concerned, I predicted nothing more than a brief slimy struggle then stillness — the last words of an insignificant creature low on the food chain. Silly me. I could not have underestimated my dinner more because once in my mouth, the tentacle went into attack mode and suctioned on to my teeth, tongue and bottom lip making it nearly impossible for me to manipulate my mouth in order to eat it. My dinner was instinctively trying to preserve its own life while attempting to take mine by asphyxiating me. Needless to say, I was just a little mortified by all this. It was—how would you call it—*bleepin’* freaky!!! And if that wasn’t enough, the tentacle then launched phase two of Operation Indigestion and began to whip itself about in a frenzy like it was krump dancing. In my mouth was the mollusk version of the Tasmanian Devil, ferociously flaying at the roof of my mouth and gums. I could not believe it. The feisty, little shit was kind of hurting me. I snapped out of the absolute stunned trauma of having to fight with my food and attempted to regain control of the situation. Overpowering the tentacle with my tongue and with a little assist from my fingers, I pried the wicked thing from my gums and teeth. At last the tentacle became vulnerable to my molars. Without hesitating, I bit hard on it over and over and over again while mumbling “Die! Die! Die!” Before it could resurrect itself and do a surprise attack like some slasher movie villain, I swallowed deeply and gulped it down. “Get in my belly!” I gasped.

The dust finally settled. After all that, how does live octopus tentacle taste? A little like fury fused with fear. Spicy and garlicky because of the sauce. If you are an especially demented diner, then live octopus tentacles erupt with the flavor of schadenfreude where any gastronomic joy is derived from the creature's (or a part of the creature's) misery. There is no aftertaste but there are aftereffects. (Just don’t think about what the tentacle might be doing in your stomach.) Almost devoid of any flavor, it doesn’t taste a thing like cooked squid and nowhere near fried calamari. The tentacles are highly viscous, more resembling mucous. As far as attitude, it’s the meanest and rudest piece of food I have ever brawled with. And this was only the first piece.

Diane handed me another shot of soju. It promised to be a long night.

Live Octopus Tentacles: The Music Video

The CSI:NY Connection

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

O-some. I was thinking a short movie would help but that might kill my personal vision. adrian

elmomonster said...

OH...MY...GOD! I...CAN'T..STOP...LAUGHING!

That was just about the funniest post of yours that I've read. And I thought your stinky tofy post was perfect!

"Die! Die! Die!"...oh god...

You are da man!

Santos said...

noodlepie hosts a video clip of fatman seoul's tentacular experience. not the best quality, but you'll definitely get the idea.

George Hobica said...

Thanks for the early morning laugh fest. Everyone, including my dog, was trying to figure out why I couldn't stop chuckling this early in the morning! Is there such a thing as a food humorist?

Eddie Lin said...

adrian, see santos' comment (above) for the short video clip.

elmo, let's see how funny it is when you have a live tentacle trying to choke you to death!

santos, yeah, i've seen that one before. i forgot about it. thanks for linking it! i should've videotaped it because my plate was much more, um, animated!!

george, hey, thanks for posting. love your airfare watchdog blog. heard it on NPR and became an instant fan! everyone, go to george's blog and save $$$. and i suppose i am a food humorist. hmm, i like the sound of that. thanks again!

megwoo said...

Eddie,
You are a brave, brave man. I saw the picture and title of your post and briefly wondered if I even wanted to read it. I am one who does like to know where my food comes from, but I have no desire to ever, EVER eat anything that, uh, "fresh".

So, I'm curious... Did you finish the whole plate? Did Diane end up trying any? Could she even watch while you ate it? Would you order it again?

Eddie Lin said...

Meg, if you ever visit LA, I am taking you out for a special Deep End Dining experience.

To answer your questions:

1) I did not finish the whole plate. I had half of the plate before I gave in. The reason I gave up was that I almost vomited at the table. That's your body's way of telling you that it would rather drink supersized Long Islands all night at the Saddle Ranch than put another pissed off, homicidal piece of tentacle in your stomach.

2) Diane never touched a single one.

3) She was about to vomit just watching me. If she did puke, that would've led to me vomiting then the table next to us, our waiter, the bartender, the floor manager, the busboys, etc.

She's a wuss just like you, Meg.

4) I would order live tentacles again just to video tape the horror and add my first video clip to the blog. "Faces of Death 2005" anybody?

Jack said...

Fantastic! Thanks for the recount. You are brave. I can't imagine eating something squirming with suckers attached to it. It just suggests that it won't be going down easy...

Ty said...

I completely ran across your entry by chance while searching for "Dim Sum" images. My entire office now thinks I'm a crack head~ lol.

baustin said...

I was referred to this article by my daughter at GladGastronome. Couldn't decide whether to laugh or go throw up. It's truly hilarious, and congratulations on going where few men have gone before. I HAVE to visit again, read back articles, etc. Talk about fun for foodies!

Eddie Lin said...

jack, you're pretty brave for reading my story. i hope it wasn't before lunch.

ty, don't you know that dim sum is the new crack? well, it is. and those ladies who push the carts are called "pushers". coincidence? i don't think so.

baustin, thank your daughter for me. i'm glad you're into this madness i call my diet. come on back and fill 'er up!

peace.

Daily Gluttony said...

OMG Eddie! You took me on a sad (but funny) trip down memory lane with this one.

No, I have never eaten live octopus tentacles (yet), but I did have 2 pet ducks named Lucky and Ducky as a kid that also grew up to be very loud and stinky. To get rid of 'em, my mom and grandma pulled the wool over my eyes, told me they "ran away," but in reality grandma ate them. I didn't find out the truth until about 10 years later.

I'm sure the octopus tentacles tasted better than the ducks though. My dad told me that grandma thought they were kinda tough. LOL!

Eddie Lin said...

yeah, pam, this chickenocide happens a lot more than people think...especially with certain families. wink, wink. is there an amber alert for missing family poultry?

TP (tiffany) said...

after posting a few comments, i decided to reveal my name.

anyways, i enjoyed your play-by-play commentary. you are indeed a brave eater. i remember seing the live squid on an episode of amazing race before for a challenge. they even showed the preparation. the one team that attempted the challenge couldn't do it and ended up going to do the other one anyways. half a plate seems like such a huge accomplishment!

Eddie Lin said...

Tiffany! Thank you. Your secret identity is safe with me.

Half a plate of live tentacles is already half a plate too much. The problem is even if you don't think about what you're eating like you can with other weird foods, with LIVE tentacles, they WILL remind you of what exactly you are about to ingest. Tickle, tickle.

megwoo said...

Eddie - I'm taking you up on that offer. Next time I'm in LA, you'll be the first person I'll call. Although I may pull a Diane and just spectate.

I'm glad that you stopped before the vomit-fest started. Good to know you have some common sense (ha)!
I think you're on to something with the Faces of Death 2005...

ch2 said...

Great story !

Cybele said...

Woe to those who wonder about the cryptic Korean writing at the bottom of the menu...it's a life lesson.

SportChick said...

Eddie,

I actually heard the clip on KCRW and checked out your site. I had heard your story of the live tentacles on the KCRW podcast and my husband and I were rolling. Now that I've read your piece, I'm a dedicated reader of Deep
End Dining!

Cheers!

Eddie Lin said...

CH2, thank you. glad you like it.

CYBELE, you don't want to know what else was on that "secret" menu. mmmwwaahahahaa!!

DONNA, that's great! you heard me on-air. it was a great experience being on "good food". they actually invited me back, but how does one top live tentacles?!! thanks for reading.

Spinning Girl said...

oh my.

Dave said...

Thank you for a wonderful description of a fascinating eating experienc. Your description was so good I can skip actually eating live tentacles and feel completely satisfied with the imagined experience.

Anonymous said...

Diana from Illinois asks: "You didn't eat Lucky raw too did you? I hear chickens flop around even when their heads are missing ... I'm wondering how long it took the tentacle to quell within your stomach."

Eddie Lin said...

dave, i'm glad your imagination is good and that you spared yourself from eating live tentacles firsthand.

diana from illinois, "lucky" was lucky enough to be prepared as a chinese steamed chicken served with a ginger sauce. and the tentacles, well, they will dance around a bit if you don't make sure you listen to your mom and chew those suckers forty-five times before you swallow. see how mom's advice comes in handy...eventually.

Bijou's Boudoir said...

This is so funny and so well written. Thank you

Eddie Lin said...

bijou, you are very welcome. thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

lmao, loved the intro about the rooster, it happened to my mom as a kid.

she told me "we had a rooster that was pretty aggressive, it got so annoying... so we ate it"

Eating that undead octopus makes me think about the stuff they pull on jackass, like eating ingredients of an omelette, vomitting it all up and then cook it as is.

das_wunschdenken said...

The only thing that came to mind while reading post was a programme that I watched on tv. Antony Bourdain just gobbled up a live-beating cobra heart. Yucks!
Don't know if the cobra heart pounded all the way down his gut. I must say this was a pretty neat description of how you sent a piece of squirmy stuff down your gullet. Will watch out for more!

Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard I had to leave the office! Everyone thought I was crying!

Madz

Eddie Lin said...

The chicken story seems to have struck a chord with many people. I suppose it's not a surprise because what else are you going to do with problematic poutry?


das,

hey, my girl megan mccormick was shooting down freshly extracted, still beating cobra heart in vietnam in front of television cameras when tony bourdain was still yelling at bus boys and actually searing grill marks onto meat for a living. yeah, a girl beat him to it. you can see her do this on the "vietnam: food guide" episode of Globe Trekker. peace.


madz,

that's a really great compliment. but next time i'm going to make you laugh so hard you'll need some Depends. whoopsie.

RedOregon said...

Been there, done that... spent 12 years in Korea and had the raw octopus at the wife's prodding once. You have it down pat.

Oh, and by the way, every year several Korean guys die... seems the tentacles will occasionally grab at just the right time and block the windpipe. What a pleasant way to go.

Eddie Lin said...

redoregon,

eat live octupus and die??? really die? i mean, in my article i was kinda kidding-ish about the asphyxiation by tentacle thing. holy crap. never again.

hey, who wants some fugu? anyone?

Petra said...

I was unfortunate to be eating my lunch when I read this and thought I would gag. Never in my life have I been sooooooo HAPPY to be eating grilled vegetables and a baked potato!

Eddie Lin said...

petra,

aren't you aware of the NEN rating on this website? NEN stands for No Eating Nothing. btw, you're lucky you weren't viewing the live tentacles movie while you were enjoying your grilled veggies. gagging would've been the least of your reactions.

thanks for visiting and the comment.

Tara said...

I wanna try it now. Next Time I am in LA.....How much was the plate?

Eddie Lin said...

$20.00 not including tip. Enjoy, you sicko!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Dude...guess what? I'm The Octopus...I reincarnated...I'm back!!! I'm an over 7" tall/ 300 Lb blog-master!!! One day I'll find you, and this time, I'll be the one holding the chop-sticks!!!! Tremble, Eddie, tremble....

Eddie Lin said...

uh, yikes.

Vaniloc said...

My sister forwarded my your blog. The live o-pus story must have brought back pumpernickle breadpudding and smelt pizza memories from our childhood. God I hope she didn't forward this to our father! I'm going to let my 7-year-old daughter read it next time she asks for fish sticks instead of "what's for dinner". Thanks for a great read!

OutdoorGrrl said...

Oh goodness! By the time I was in my own life or death struggle to keep the contents of my stomach down, it was too late. I had to finish the story to see how it ended.

kairi said...

Hi!

I've been trying to look for live octopus tentacles to eat for over a year, when I moved to NYC for design school. That was in 2005. Now that I turned vegan, I'm stuck in a moral dilemma. Do they serve this dish in New York City?

Eddie Lin said...

vaniloc,

you sound as twisted as me. mmmm, fish sticks.


outdoorgrrl,

life is an epic struggle like that. at least you didn't watch the video during lunch, right? did you?


kairi,

omigosh!! from live octopus savage to vegan??? what the?? do you normally make such major conversions in your life? that is amazing and not easy to do, i can imagine. anyway, i do not know of any nyc restaurants that serve live octopus. although, if one did the odds are it is a korean place, esp. a korean bar restaurant.

maybe one of my readers will know or go to chowhound manhattan. good luck, you swinger!

Anonymous said...

half hilarious and half hoorendous...
oh. my. god. you got my vote for best post.

Eddie Lin said...

unknown,

i am grateful for your vote.

exotic poultry said...

what a cool blog, so interesting and giving knowledge abou food.

Anonymous said...

It's not so bad as that. No one taught you how to eat it?? You use two chopsticks. One you pinch the tip of the leg, then use the other to hold the fat end and roll it on itself with the suckers on the inside. It will relax on itself and is easy to eat. It also prevents the suckers from attaching to the back of your teeth (terrible when that happens... if you try to rip it off, the sucker can sometimes break from the leg and stay attached to your tooth.).

In my country, Japan, it is a delicacy to visit a traditional restraunt that only charges by the plate. There is no menu... only what their boats bring in for dinner, and everything is served live.

Baby eels are served in a covered cup. Use you hand to cover the top and take mouth size gulp. Be sure to cover the back of your throat with your tongue until all are chewed. Use your cheeks to help hold them close under your back teeth. Many people just swallow them live and whole, but what's the point? Can't taste how sweet and wonderful they are by swallowing your food whole.

Shrimp is finger food. Grab the head and tip of the tail... bend them together (belly to the outside) pinch, then dip and bite. When they are stretched backward, the legs will quit moving.

Fish, lightly deep fried or raw, simply lift off the portion size cutlets with your chopsticks. Don't "poke" at the fish or you may puncture the internal organ area and end up with a mess.

Eyes... use your forward teeth to make a small break in the front and squeeze out the jelly. Then chew the remainder with your back teeth. If you try to bite it whole, you will flood your mouth and embarass yourself with jelly coming out the corners.

Crab... best to eat it first. They are chilled in ice so they will go into slight hibernation. If you wait... they will warm up and make a mess of your table trying to escape. If you want to enjoy your crab a little at a time through the meal break off the lower sections of the legs when first served. It keeps the upper, meatier, part of the leg fresh, but prevents them from walking around the table.

It's all very easy and delicious if you know "how" to eat it.

Eddie Lin said...

anonymous,

thanks for the lesson.

ZenKimchi said...

I've been a regular eater of live octopus since I've lived in Korea. There's a place next to my house that offers a special of live octopus and two beers for 10,000 won ($10). Great on a hot summer day.

Got some video of eating live octopus on my site (see "Sashimi!") for anyone who wants to see this in motion:
http://www.zenkimchi.com/videos.php

Anonymous said...

thanks, i enjoyed reading this article. you have a talent for writing -- bshanks

Abigail said...

Wow... I think there may be something wrong with me. I didn't eat this when I was visiting Korea, and now that I've read your article... I want to ! Sheesh. And I already knew *how* to do it (didn't know about eating eyes though - so thanks, anonymous!)

Luckily, I don't work far from the restaurant... Sounds like a great one. On the other hand, I can't believe I'm even thinking about that.

(And the crab idea idea is too far out even for me...)

And I am putting you on my Favorites list... you are a rare bird. Thanks for sharing!

Abigail

Eddie Lin said...

zenkimchee,

"live octopus and two beers." ten bucks??? i'll risk my life again for that kind of deal. i'll see you in korea!


bshanks,

you are very kind. please spread the word. thank you!


abigail,

one of my niece's is named abigail. she doesn't eat live octopus...yet. you sound like a fellow deep end diner. welcome. i'm glad you like my blog. now go eat something extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

you're so retarted. live octopus tentacles may not be what most people would eat, but if you're gonna whine and cry and be a pussy about it, i have to wonder..why did you order it in the first place. Why don't you just suck it up. i've been to the prince. It is one of the most excellent and classy restaurants.

Eddie Lin said...

anonymous,

if you're going to call me retarded, then at least spell it correctly. i thought you were calling me some kind of kinky recycled tart, fer chrissake!

anyhow, i love the prince. it's a funky place and a unique scene in LA. i bring my friends whenever i can. i even ordered their octopus for an episode of CSI:NY. i bet i love the prince more than you do...and not in a "brokeback mountain" way neither.

Anonymous said...

There's a famous (and very good) Korean film called "Old Boy" that has a terrific live tentacle eating scene. It's readily available on DVD.

Eddie Lin said...

Anony,

Thanks. Yes, I've heard of the film but have yet to see it. Others have mentioned the scene to me and have seen the slight similarity between my experience and that movie's scene. Slight similarity.

cin said...

I just came here through a comment on Pim's blog and I don't say this often but...OMG! I didn't know whether to laugh at your description of eating that tentacle, gasp in terror or squirm in discomfort at the thought!

Anonymous said...

Great article, i cant wait to try it!!!!!:)

Xopher said...

Alas and alack, woe is me! After reading this magnificent post last week, I was feverish to try this. I just returned from the Prince and it appears that they no longer serve this dish. It's not written in Hangul anywhere on the menu, and we asked (in Korean) about it, only to be told that the raw octopus with spicy sauce was the only cephalopod option. Let the teeth-gnashing and breast-beating begin, for the Prince is dead; long live the Prince.

Anonymous said...

Go †o hell (and you will). You are not funny. You are the worst kind of carnivore--you don't do it for sustenance, you do it for laughs and applauds. I hope a wild dog catches you and rips you apart while you scream and die.

Anthony said...

Obviously there are issues in eating meat full stop, as well as how animals reared for meat are kept and live until death. However only an idiot cannot see the difference between an animal that is dead and one that is alive. I have done some research and it seems that Octopi are in fact highly intelligent, the most intelligent invertibrates in fact. In some countries medical experimentation on them is limited for this reason. They have a well developed nervous system and would definitely feel themselves being eaten alive. There is a commonly held but wrong theory that stressed octopi can eat their own limbs but actual research into this myth has indicated that this is much more likely a cause of neuroligical disorder and not an indication they they aren't bothered by having the odd arm eaten. Instead of pointing fingers at other countrys customs why not think about what you yourself do and whether it is morally justified. The wellbeing of animals is far more important than arguing about whether America or Korea is "better".

Daniel said...

I've eating live octopus tentacles before! I'd eat them again if I had the chance.

But indeed, they do tend to put up some resistance as you chew.

Anonymous said...

Nice posting, enjoy the story.

Anonymous said...

Is there any place in Chicago that serves live octopus tentacles? I want to try it. I also want to try Fugu.

Tobias said...

I just went to The Prince with high hopes of obtaining the moving tentacles. We were given odd looks and told that they don't serve that dish. It wasn't clear if they didn't want to serve it to non-Koreans or if they actually no longer serve the dish.

I had the sea snail dish, which was AMAZING, and the chicken gizzard dish which was very good as well.

(Sadly, for our vegetarian guests, the "vegetable pancake" turned out to be peppers stuffed with pork.)

Alex said...

Great Post mate

Anu said...

Dear Eddie,
You are a brave, brave man! and you write really well. your blog was totally addictive... I dont know how I chanced upon it, but I did and I'm glad. I'm Indian (and non-vegetarian) and though I eat pretty much anything that moves, I'm still quite finicky about the tiddly bits!! Your blog really made me laugh, the tentacles video was awesome!!
take care, will visit you more often now!
cheers,
Anu.

April Showers said...

I've tried the live squiggling octopus dish. I'm a vegetarian - no, really I am; I was veeerrry drunk that night, though. I have to say that I had a sense of achievement at having risen to the challenge, but the next day when I sobered up and it dawned on me that the octopus (which is a very intelligent, fascinating animal with what is obviously a very complex and developed nervous system) had to be alive when its legs were hacked off, I felt sad that I had eaten it. I can't imagine going out of my way to find a restaurant that sells meat that has been made in such a cruel way.

dining table said...

Very exotic. I haven't tried that and I don't want to try it. I am not that adventurous to try exotic foods like that. I will just live it to others.

Aquasana Shower Filter said...

This is truly a great review of a food I don't care for. But it was a lot of fun to read! Keep up the good work.

Kristine Alvira said...

When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

live octopus (sannakji) is absolutely delicious, I ate the octopus as a whole which was a little bit scary at first, check my video for a good laugh: http://www.reformatt.com/blog/noryangjin-fish-market