Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Korean in Eugene

Yummy Dol-sotbap in Jeju, Korea

So while I'm woefully ignorant of Korean culture (especially with my quasi-literacy of Japanese culture considered)... I do know what Korean eats in Eugene I would classify as GOOD. And for the most part, I will be honest, they are ALL GOOD.

With that said, I will say that my favorite Korean eats in Eugene are as follows:

-Cafe Ari-rang: food and sweet owners
-Sushi Seoul: dry cleaning, food, karaoke, American, breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, sweet owners
Backups: Cafe Seoul , Korea House, Noodle Bowl (people love noodle bowl, however, I personally prefer to go to the places where they state outright that they do not use MSG based on my sensitivities) I would say all of them have good service and usually there is a sweet owner-type figure around that really makes you feel at home. Not the feeling you get when you go to all the commercialized restaurants these days.

So I knew that there was this little area of Eugene that was suspiciously Korean. There was what looked like a basic sort of "go buy your lotto-ticket and get a philly-steak sandwich, coffee" kind of cafe by the supermarket I go to next to a dry-cleaning shop... when I noticed that there was a cryptic little message beside the door... that was a Korean menu where they had Korean food a few days of the week. Then, just a week ago, I noticed that the whole place had changed and the name was now "Sushi Seoul" The food is good~~~ extremely fresh and delicious side dishes (kim ch'i and various pickled things) My favorite for hot-stone bi-bim-bap (Korean vegetable rice with spicy sauce dish) is still Ari-Rang but theirs wasn't bad and the bulgogi was really good. So now they have Korean food all the time, they've added in sushi at dinnertime, and still have the American and cafe options going all day long. You can go there for breakfast, lunch, dinner... and if you're feeling especially rambunctious you can stay and get drunk and do karaoke into the night. Just know that it's a norae-bang. It's quite the multi-tasking establishment.

My husband would be so mad at me for writing this but I can't resist ;) Where is the harm in saying that it is "so Korean"... when it is? Of course, just like America, Korea is a lot of things so it's hard to put anything in a box like that. I mean, you can say, Red Robin is "so American", or around here we have a local chain gaining force called Dickie Jo's... I wouldn't feel offended... but that's because I have to answer the question so much "What is America?", "What is American culture" so much... and the more I answer the question the more difficult it becomes... so if anyone out there knows what American culture is, please let me know. It will really help me in my work.

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