Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trevi, Ilsan

There are a lot of restaurants in Western Dom, most of which I haven't been to. Why? Because my co-workers claim that most of those places are awful and that we can't eat there because we'll regret every bite. Koreans tend to be quite opinionated when it comes to food.

So out of the many pasta places around here, I only go to two. The one I go to more frequently is called Trevi.

Western Dom
Janghang-Dong IlsanDong-Gu Goyang-Si Gyeonggi-Do 867

Telephone: 031.931.5450

경기도 고양시 일산동구 장항동 867

Koreans will typically order a few dishes and share when in a restaurant where Americans would order their own entree. Eating in Korea tends to be a communal experience, with everyone's forks (spoons, chopsticks) in everyone else's dishes. I don't mind, because it means that I get to try more dishes.

This is a typical salad in Korea, even if it is in an Italian restaurant. Overdressed, in my opinion (like all the pastas and most everything else!), and lacking real cheese. I miss real cheese.
See that dish of pink and green? Koreans eat pickles with pizza, pasta, Indian food, American food- any type of food where kimchi isn't served. They claim it cuts through the greasiness of the food, which is how they're able to eat carbonara with about a liter of cream in it.

The pizza's okay at Trevi. Much better than Pizza Hut (though Pizza Hut in Korea is worlds away from American Pizza Hut-- someday, I'll have to do a study comparing American and Korean versions of the same restaurants and fast food chains), though Koreans and their habit of dipping their pizza in honey (!) baffles me.
Me and my big honking glass of wine. Again with the pointy chin, so bizarre how it pops up in photographs. The bread at Trevi is decent, though their sweetish bread is better than their focaccia, which is very un-focaccia-ish.
Ricotta pasta. I really wished that this sauce had been paired with a sturdier noodle. Penne would have been much better than spaghetti, but Koreans generally have all sauces with spaghetti noodles. Those garlic chive sprouts were really strong but good. The ricotta tasted like nothing, but then again, all cheese in Korea tastes like nothing.
Squid ink risotto. The risotto didn't taste like risotto, as it seemed like regularly cooked rice, but it may be because Koreans reserve soft rice (juk, 죽) for the sickbed. Since I'm not a fan of risotto (I like chewy things, like super al dente pasta), I quite liked the texture of this dish. The squid ink was okay, it lends a briny flavor but not much else.

All these dishes (except for maybe the salad) are quite fattening. I find that this is especially true because pasta and pizza don't have that sticking power that rice does, for some strange reason. If I have pasta and pizza for lunch, I'm hungry again in a couple hours, so I'll find something to snack on.

Moderation really must be key, because though I have pasta and/or pizza at least a couple times a month, I don't really feel guilty for it and I don't think I put on an unnecessary amount of weight because of it. I did tend to have pasta more frequently in the States, because it's easy and satisfying and a great go-to, but because it tends to be slightly more expensive to eat Italian food in Korea than eating Korean food, it's not one of my go-to's anymore.

What I really want to find in Korea is a good lasagna. It's impossible to make at home, since I don't have an oven. It might be quicker to buy an oven and get my mother to ship the ingredients (real cheese!) to me.