Friday, February 10, 2012

Wing of Fish (지느러미), Ilsan

Wing of Fish
Second Floor
Janghang-Dong Ilsan-Dong-Gu Goyang-Si Gyeonggi-Do 864-12

Telephone: 031.905.9098

경기도 고양시 일산동구 장항동 864-12층

My new favorite bar in Korea is a Korean-style Indian-style place (does that make sense? It's Indian-style by way of Korea) that serves a rather eclectic menu and carries pretty much every single type of Absolut vodka that's ever been made.

There's incense burning, though its fragrance isn't as cloying and annoying as it can be at other places, and the lighting is dim, lending the large space a sense of coziness. The tables are rough hewn wood, set low to the ground, and there are big pillows all over the place, most shot through with gold thread.

I really like the ambience in the bar, but I really REALLY appreciate that this bar has actual, real margarita glasses.
The first time I've seen margarita glasses in Korea! They serve weird variations on margaritas that I've never seen in LA (grapefruit is on the left, mango on the right), but they had a reassuringly watered-down strawberry margarita that gives me pangs of homesickness.

The bar snacks are appropriately weird, as well- some sort of candied peanuts come in a small glass bowl (pictured between the margarita glasses above) with tortilla chips (did you know that Koreans refer to tortilla chips as "nachos"? Yup, it's weird) and strips of seaweed (김). Strange combination.
Even stranger is that every time we've gone to this bar (four times so far, I think) they always give us a plate of cheesecake with fruit as service ("service" is Konglish for "free stuff"). I don't know if it's because we tend to drink a lot, or if it's standard, but it's a nice touch. I would never have thought to combine cheesecake with margaritas or mojitos (that's a mojito special on the left up there), but it's not bad.

Koreans don't ever seem to drink without eating, hence the very evolved anju (안주, drinking food) culture. I've gotten used to eating while drinking, which I never really did in LA, but it's always jarring to me when the served food doesn't seem really instinctively well-paied with the type of alcohol that is being ingested.
We tried the red sangria (in Korean, it's pronounced "shan-gria"), but it wasn't very good. I did appreciate the fruit inside the sangria, but the drink itself was weak and just so-so. It didn't inspire me to try the white sangria, so that goes as yet untasted.

There's a company dinner tonight for production management, and there are a couple people in that group that I really do not want to spend my after-hours time with. I find that the longer I remain at this company, the more I realize that there are some cultural differences and barriers that I neither want to deal with nor even acknowledge.

I'm going to try to keep my negative opinions to myself tonight, though there will be copious amounts of booze involved. Hopefully, there won't be any drama- I've had enough drama for a good year, I think! Also, I hope we go bowling after dinner. I miss bowling!