If it doesn’t exist on Google maps…. is it still real? I think of this as I sit in an adorable little Korean Bistro that I have overlooked as I have driven by after work for over a year. In the mood for a restaurant one evening we decided to look it up and couldn’t find it on Google maps. “Well, its not there anymore,” says he,
“Well, yes it is because I drive by it every day”.
“Well no, it’s not”—. and on and on it went. Eventually we chose Earl’s but we missed out on a nice cozy local restaurant. The whole area on 52nd ave. is an awful looking strip mall, colourless and dull looking from the outside. But in each of the little shops there are true exotic cultural gems that I insist anyone who lives in the NW should investigate if they haven’t already done so.
For a good long while Friday nights were Pho nights for me and my youngest at Essence of Saigon Garden. I had to look up the name because we just found it by a sense of hungriness and never even looked up at the sign to see what it was called. After we were Pho’d out we then moved two doors to the left for Indian food at Saffron. This is a delightful locally run restaurant with traditional food made by a mom with love. When we tire of Indian food I can now venture into this little Korean spot right a hop skip and a jump from the big high school. The man outside who is Korean says his favourite dish is the seafood soup. I sat inside waiting for my take out order and noticed a whole other culture inside. How lucky to have all these little gems of restaurants all within the same vicinity I thought as I waited for my dinner. I glanced across the dull parking lot and noticed an African specialty food store and many other places that make me think of a Geode, dull on the outside but once you open it up it is sparkly and shiny and gives you a little thrill, just as you are about to peer inside.
And of course I must relate this to a great little book I read recently called My Korean Deli. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/books/review/book-review-my-korean-deli-by-ben-ryder-howe.html