During the winter we used to go with our friends to this restaurant on the weekends. It’s a cute little place with real wooden floors, beautiful tables and nice dinning nooks, sitting on the hillside close to the university. It was a great place to go because compared to some of the other restaurants closer to where we all live, it isn’t as crowded, plus the woman who runs it has taken a liking to us. She is always happy to see us, welcoming us inside with her wonderful smile.
Our habit was to arrive in the early evening and stay for several hours as we munched on some of our favorite Korean foods, bossam and pajeon, all the while drinking dongdongju. Bossam is usually a heaping pile of warm kimchi (it sounds weird, but I totally prefer kimchi warm), tofu and meat slices. The kimchi is wrapped around the tofu or meat, or put in top and then quickly stuffed in your mouth so as not to lose the kimchi. Pajeon, which many Korean’s call ‘Korean pizza’ is really more like a giant savory pancake, typically loaded with seafood and green onions. Dipped in this amazing sauce, it is one of the most fantastic things ever. And then there is dongdongju, a sort of alcohol made from rice and served in a clay pot. This slightly sweet, cool wonder, drunk from individual bowls, led to many a fun-filled night over the long, cold months.
With the arrival of spring, we stopped going to the restaurant, the allure of outdoor seating at closer restaurants and a slight falling out between friends pushing the memories of winter from our minds. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that the nights of dongdongju surfaced in my mind. As we began to repair our friendship, it seemed that our bossam restaurant on the hill would be the perfect place for one more night out.
And it was. It was the perfect night and we could forget that there ever was a falling out.