Miss Korea is the place I've been waiting for. It's a new place and it caught my eye as I walked past it towards Panorama Lounge for a 100th day dinner. Even from the top floor of the Manulife center I couldn't stop thinking I had to try Miss Korea. With a nice fresh and clean logo design you can't miss it. Points for a nice logo.
From the outside it's easy to see that there's something different about this place. The tall windows give a clear picture of the decor and lighting which take you to a different place.
Let's start with the tables, yes again with the tables, if you've seen my other posts I'm really particular about tables. This case is truly special. The tables look like the ones you'd find at a 포장마차 or outdoor bar/restaurant in Korea. They usually aren't this well put together, as they often have dents and are made from industrial drums. These ones however look quite clean. A solid black base contrasts the silver top keeping the focus on the food. Sitting at these tables really took me back and reminded me of some good times in Korea.
The chairs are an unorthodox pairing for these tables but they work quite well. You would usually find plastic lawn chairs that make it easy to move and stack, but we're not outside and the decor demands a more sophisticated seat. Instead a smaller black drum and cushioned seat make up your chair. It's a smaller space so it's also functional. Taking off the lid allows for jackets and bags to sit comfortably underneath while you dine/get smashed.
A further look at this place shows a large chalkboard on the right with drawings of your favorite drinks. On the left is a solid brick wall until you reach the end of the bar where fiberboard and metal sheets meet to create a working area. Simple lights keep the place dim and allow for groups to focus on their table's conversation.
There's a lot on the menu but luckily it's provided in both English and Korean. Served on a clipboard the section you're looking for is in the back. The combo section is named rightfully as rankings in the Miss Korea pageant. "Mee" is the lowest with basic food options at $23.95, "Sun" with some better choices, and "Jin" for the expensive stuff at $27.95. Unlike other places their combo offers 1 makgeolli bottle or two miss bomb cocktails in addition to the regular choices of 1 bottle of soju or 4 bottles of beer.
With a name like Miss Korea, we had to see what the Miss Bomb was all about. It's not everyday you see this as part of a combo. We tried to ask the waitress what was in it but she said it was a secret mix. We ordered and the drinks came to our table in an unnatural blue. We only know it had tonic water, and it tasted kind of light but nothing like blueberries. We downed those pretty easily not knowing what effect it would have in the next few minutes, but were quick to order some beer.
With combos I usually get 닭똥집. Which could be translated by some as chicken sh*t house(asshole), but it's actually chicken gizzard. Miss Korea "Mee" has this as one of their options but I was surprised when it got to our table. I didn't read the whole thing as I was so excited to see 닭똥집 I didn't see it was fried. It's a totally different taste, and a little bit of a different take on this dish. I always get teased because I have this blog, but I actually like all the food. How can I be critical? Well I found one. I wasn't too fond of this fried gizzard. I like it soft with all it's vegetable friends around it. This fried gizzard tasted like any other fried chicken. If I wanted fried chicken I would have ordered that, and now I can't taste any sh*t houses. It wasn't bad but it got cold quicky. Cold is no good for this dish since it becomes hard to chew. The spicy sauce on the side helped a bit. I would stick with fish cake soup on this one.
All in all, Miss Korea gave me the feel of some middle class bars in Korea. Not so sophisticated, artistic, or overpriced but still a unique design to change your bar scene. Knowing I can get my drink on for a few bucks in a place that doesn't bore my eyes is just awesomeness. A bar in Gyeongju called Barcode had this same atmosphere and it's nice to see it here across the Pacific.