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Play in This Real ‘Squid Game’ Experience in LA Without Actually Dying

A Korean market with food designed by chef Katianna Hong helps complete the immerse pop-up experience

Opening Of Gamescom In Cologne
‘Squid Game’ display at Gamescom in Cologne.
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Fans of the Netflix series Squid Game can sign up for the latest immersive pop culture experience called Squid Game: The Trials, which takes place on the CBS Television lot beginning December 6. Just like the show, there’s an actual competition of six stages that requires strategy combined with a heavy dose of luck. Fans will get to meet the Front Man as well, but the real payoff, aside from the winnings (which probably isn’t going to be billions of South Korean won), is a Korean marketplace of sweet and savory items and drinks curated by Yangban chef Katianna Hong.

Remember that in a prior version of Yangban, the Arts District restaurant had a quasi superette with beer, soju, premade cocktails, and Korean convenience store snacks. And of course, there’s a merch section for proof that you were able to endure the Squid Game. Tickets go on sale beginning October 11 at 10 a.m. and will cost $39 per person. The immersive experience will operate Wednesday to Sunday indefinitely.

A dinner to support a good cause

Mélisse is hosting a dinner with guest chefs William Bradley, Marcus Jernmark, Walter Manzke, Niki Nakayama, and Carol Iida on October 8 to support Stop the Void, an organization meant to bring awareness to sudden deaths caused from the use of illicit drugs such as fentanyl. Mélisse chef Josiah Citrin is supporting this cause because he experienced the loss of his 23-year-old son Augie from fentanyl poisoning. The dinner costs $750 per person, and there are still a few seats left. It includes passed apps and six courses.

A look into LA’s Hollywood stars and moguls ate on the lot

Pat Saperstein, deputy editor at Variety and longtime restaurant journalist, is hosting a talk at LA Public Library in Downtown LA on Saturday, October 23 at 10:30 a.m., sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Southern California. The topic of discussion is how stars and moguls ate at studio commissaries in decades past. Sign up for a seat here (no cost).

The Santa Monica Halloween vibe

Sister restaurants Esters Wine Shop, Birdie G’s, and Sweet Rose Creamery are hosting a slew of Halloween-themed events this month, including decorations and spooky-themed dishes called Boo G’s (at Birdie G’s). Sweet Rose Creamery has new seasonal flavors like pumpkin cheesecake ice cream and a Halloween sundae with orange sprinkles and a marshmallow ghost. Esters has a “Hallo-Wine Party” on October 28 with horror movies, dancing, and themed cocktails with tickets going for $25 a person.

Wise Sons has closed in Culver City

Very quietly, Jewish deli Wise Sons has closed in Culver City after a two-year run. The restaurant first opened in summer 2020 and offered this statement on this website:

We opened in Southern California to bring our neighborhood Deli and Jewish comfort food classics to a wider audience. We’re proud to have been a part of the legendary Los Angeles Jewish culinary scene, serving and connecting with our wonderful customers and neighbors. While we enjoyed enthusiastic support, we experienced many of the same headwinds facing other restaurants in the area, including changes in traffic patterns and purchasing behaviors.

Since opening in Summer 2020, we have struggled to operate a casual restaurant that remains financially viable while supporting its employees, remaining affordable for its customers, and serving a quality product made with the best ingredients.

We have relished every minute of our time serving you whether it be celebrating birthdays, B’nai Mitzvahs, or hosting lunch with your bubbe. We are grateful for your love, patronage, and appetites. Thank you for your support of Wise Sons in Culver City. Please continue to visit your neighborhood Jewish Delis—we’ve tagged a few of our friends—they need your support now more than ever.

Love & Pastrami,

Wise Sons