Korean

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For this stretch of Williamsburg, diversity remains, and next to a row of bars, representing the diversity of this area, is a newly added quaint venue that simply adds to this diversity,  a Korean restaurant and eatery.

I was walking down Broadway in Williamsburg the other day, and past by one of the few new fixtures that dot in a rather scattered fashion, this mostly Hasidic, Dominican, and Puerto Rico area.

For one that relishes ethnic manifestations in the commercial sectors, there is much to be appreciated, in areas such as lower Williamsburg, near Broadway.

Small businesses have opened, popping up in this ethnic neighborhood, as the area offers creative individuals or niche retailers, inexpensive property to rent, to work from, and usually offer something different.

Well, this day as I walked towards the Marcy Avenue Train Station on Broadway,  was particularly special, for there was a Korean venue that had been cozied into one a small narrow section of one of the many old, and in some sections of these blocks, vacant looking storefronts.

The lantern's reflection in the window reveals it's decorative paper.

The lantern’s reflection in the window reveals it’s decorative paper.

I entered to extract a menu, and was met with a polite gentleman who introduced the venue, and stated that the owner / chef is from Korea.

I noticed the Korean imported Beer Hite in a cooler, and mentioned that this was my most favored beer when I lived in Korea, yet difficult to come by, in the US. I left with the full intent to return during evening time, to engage with a Hite Beer, something that I had not done in long.

A stark contrast was presented to me when I did return, for that Hite. The ambiance of early opening hours, and cafe and lunch time mood was gone.

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The evening time at Dorory, saw tables, in the front and in the space in the back, filled with people enjoying themselves, eating creative variations of traditional dishes such as Bibimbop. Of course this is not the Korean barbecue, in Jackson Heights or 33rd Street. The rice mix used in the Bibimbop itself is a mix of ‘sushi, black jasmine rice, quinoa and millet. Some items of the menu are at the bottom of the page.

Dining with a friend at Kickshaw, in Astoria, I was unable to touch the bibimbop, that was collected with the shared items we had ordered, from a kitchen with a Korean chef. Kickshaw uses white rice. 0115102205-000115102203-00

The atmosphere I had entered simply beckoned for a few enjoyable cans of Hite, as most guests were groups of people, leaving the nice stolls at nice open window that peers out to Broadway, empty.

0115102225-00 The Hite was certainly enjoyable, and word had reached the kitchen my simply taking beer, so complimentary snacks were brought out for me. These consisted of some seaweed snack, cashews with a dusting of red pepper, and the favored dry peas, with serious wasabi coating. 0115102239-00

 

Korean traditional song, Pansori, that as I had learned as I was residing in Korea, tells stories, was something that came to mind as I sat listening to Korean hiphop lightly distributed to the quaint atmosphere.

Pansori is a tradition that is ages old, and takes much care and training of the voice for the Pansori Singer. The voice acting as an instrument, as well as the vehicle by which stories are related, is accompanied by a drum. These vocals sometimes are extended, in a single breath, like European Opera, or traditional songs of Arabic speaking regions. As the singer extends the voice, the throat and measured use of the mouth are used to alter the sound, creating a part of the overall brilliance of the musical piece.

On the other hand, the Korean Hiphop, that I could hear comfortable in volume, while enjoying the ambiance and the Hite Beer, is an import to Korea, of course. Thus said, one can certainly discern a unique quality, that is Korean in flavor, so to speak, to Korean Hip Hop.

I learned that the used coffee cans of Dominican, Cuban, Puerto Rican coffee were not just a nice decorative touch, the owner actually appreciates such brands. I for one, when residing in the North East of the United States, tend at times, towards buying and brewing differing brands of these, shall we say, Latin American coffees, such as Carib, and Goya, or Bustelo.

LANGUAGE NOTE

The Korean Hangul (韓國 Korea) writing system, was one of the first initiatives, by the leader of the Chosan Empire, in the 1400s, that began to unite the peoples, tribes and nations of the Korean  Peninsula.

It is a phonetic alphabet, and quite simple, to understand.

김치: is Kimchi, with two characterizations, so to speak. The first uses 3 sound indicators for sounds of the romanized ‘k’ ; ‘i’ and ‘m’. The second uses 2 sound indicators for ‘ch’ and ‘i’ (or the ee sound).

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A NOTE ON COMMUNITY AND URBAN LIFE

I value neighborhoods built on the demographics that have ebbed and flowed with the currents of history, rather than neighborhoods that are constructs of real estate development.

Often, areas that begin as inexpensive rental property for small niche businesses, creative cafes and galleries, fall victim, to rezoning, and they are lost along with the ethnic communities. Eventually the offerings for someone like myself, are variations on a theme. These themes are represented in venues and cafes, bars and restaurants, found in areas from the once deeply Italian Carrol Garden to Park Slope, sections of Manhattan, and Fort Green.

There does exist  a nice niche in this area of Williamsburg for young  and small sized oriented, budgeted entrepreneurs, chefs, and and retailers,who have become an interesting minority that of course stands out from the Latin American, Hasidic and Mexican shops.

This is the case, for the time being, as real estate has not increased due to rezoning because of the appearance of a set of residential high rises.

Menu Dotory Williamsburg: http://dotorybk.com/menu.pdf

noodles japche 8 dollars: stir fried sweet potato noodle, veggies, and tofu

Bibim bop

A nice introduction for this terminology appears poetically on the menu.

Namul 11 dollars: “Assorted deliciously marinated vegetables

Black Sesame Tofu 11:50 (I might add that this is roasted sesame paste, korean style, though I could be wrong…sounds good just the same)

and there are other noodle dishes, and bibimbop.

Dotory 353 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY

btw: Rodney and Keap streets

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