The Past Memories is one of the Korean bars that I actually like the food at. I have been to too many Korean bars where the food (and often drinks) sucked! Since I am always getting home late, there aren’t many options (bars being one of the few options) available for grubs. So this is one of the places where I might end up coming to...I usually get the strawberry makgeoli when I am here.
But I am usually coming here to eat than drink. It’s usually after work…and we all know how hungry I can be after work. Sometimes I don’t even want to drink anything. But C already ended up ordering my usual, so what the heck. Fine….I’ll just sip a little…might as well since I am already at a bar anyways.
I haven’t tried everything here, but these are what I have tried so far:
The (regular) ddukbokki (spicy rice cake) here is surprisingly yum! And it doesn't hurt that I am usually very hungry when I come here. Maybe that's why it tastes extra yum.
I didn’t like the seafood ddukbokki much though. It seemed like the proportion of seafood to dduk (rice cake) is off, with there being more seafood than dduk. I felt like it should be called seafood bokki than a ddukbokki. The fishiness from the seafood kind of overwhelmed the dish too.
I don't really like the bossam (boiled pork wraps) here that much. I've had better. It's alright, but I don't think I'd order it again. And I usually love bossam.
I love spicy soupy dishes with my drinks! I like them for hangovers too. I like the budaejjigae (Army based soup) here. I once came here when I was just dying of starvation. And it totally hit the spot.
The banchans are actually not bad either. I just hate it when I go somewhere and get served yucky tasteless banchan. Thank goodness the banchans don’t take a long time to come out. It certainly helps to munch on them as I wait for the food to come out.
I had about a cup or two of makgeoli. And I didn’t want to drink anymore. C insisted that I finish it, or at least drink a little more. And it’s a shame to waste alcohol, right?
I drank some more…but couldn’t finish. C doesn’t really drink fruity drinks. He sticks to his soju and beer. I had to finish it by myself, but I just couldn’t. C was already kind of tipsy at this point. As he was reaching for the makgeoli pitcher, it somehow slipped and dropped. The makgeoli spilled all over the table and his seat. Poor C. it was kind of embarrassing. But being a bar and all, I guess the staff understands. They were quick to bring towels and clean up the mess. Our poor makgeoli was gone.We were getting ready to leave anyways. When C was getting the bill and received his change, he tried to hand them a $20 (for the trouble), which isn’t much at some places…but this was a low key, very casual setting Asian bar. I can’t remember what the total was, but it’s usually around $50-$60ish when we have come here…so yeah $20 would have been definitely over-tipping.
The lady in front was saying “no no” and trying to give the $20 back, insisting that it was too much. C placed it back on the counter saying it was okay, and we walked out. About ten seconds later, a young man (one of the other waiters) ran out after us saying that he was told to give the $20 back because it was “too much”. He and C went on insisting that the other take it back. In the end, the waiter just ended up obliging and was extremely grateful. Seeing a $20 on such a teeny tab is probably not something that is seen often, so it probably caught them off guard too. I guess it made their night.This encounter kind of took me back to a different scenario of being chased out because of tipping related matters (but for the totally opposite reason). I will never forget my experience of being chased out at King Dragon, a Chinese Korean restaurant that I have been going to for decades. After like 30+ years in business, they have been replaced by a Mexican restaurant (which I tried recently after hearing so many wonderful things about it…but the food there is not good at all).
About ten years ago or so, I did not have change on me when I was dining at King Dragon, so I had to get change when paying at the counter. After getting some change, I left a tip with the owner at the counter, whom my family, friends, and I have known for many years.The waiter was new at the time, I guess. He didn’t know me. It was my first time seeing him, but definitely not the last. As I was leaving, he chased me out and said, “I noticed you didn’t leave a tip,” he said something about being the first table and how a tip should be left…yada yada. I was like WTF (silently in my head…I refrained from saying it out loud)? I kindly told him that I did leave a tip. I also wanted to tell him that a tip is not mandatory and that it’s ludicrous to be chasing customers out of the restaurant to demand a tip. Before I even got to say anything, the owner came out and seemed kind of embarrassed. She told him that a tip was, indeed, included. The waiter then apologized and was MODED. It was the first time ever seeing anyone demanding a tip, so it was definitely a WTF moment.
This waiter actually ended up working a very long time at King Dragon after that, so I saw him regularly. We saw him for many more years after that, so I am glad I didn’t pull a Miss Kim and throw a tantrum at him during our first encounter.I actually saw him working at another Chinese Korean restaurant a couple of years ago. I guess that was around the time King Dragon was starting to really slow down in business. And he probably needed another job to make ends meet. When a friend and I saw him at King Garden (a few miles down from King Dragon), we were like, “hey you are from King Dragon!” Yep, small world! I will never forget that man that chased me out to demand a tip.
There was another time when I was demanded a tip….but at that time, I actually did not tip because I was super pissed off. It wasn’t at a food establishment, but at a hair salon. I started going to MyStylist because of their promo that was going on, $30 for cut and color. That really sounded like a great deal. The first time I saw no difference in my hair color, I just let it by and assumed the color didn’t really change because of various plausible hair scenarios and basically my hair not being prone to certain color changes or whatever.But the second or third time I saw no difference in my hair color (I tried giving them another chance and take advantage of the promo at the same time), I have had it. I told the lady that my hair color looked exactly the same. I went through the time consuming process and waiting around just to be pissed off about my hair. She tried giving me some BS excuse saying how it’s not showing well at the moment because it’s not that bright inside the salon, but when I go out in the sunlight the next day, the color change will show. I was getting even more pissed off at this woman’s moronic logic. I’ve been coloring my hair all my life (well, since I was a teenager) to know that color changes are visible right away.
In situations like this, it’s only a waste of my time and energy to be arguing about what happened. And it’s not like anything could have been done anyways. It’s not like I can ask them to dye my hair again (and do it right)….my hair would’ve probably burned and fell out to dye it again so soon. I was just like…eff it, let me just pay for the incompetent service and get the eff outta there.Then this woman had the nerve to tell me that I didn’t include a tip. I bluntly told her that I am not paying a tip. Tips are earned, not mandatory. I didn’t even want to pay for the service because I was so pissed off. She was lucky I was even paying at all. How dare she expect and DEMAND a tip from a pissed off customer for a job screwed up? She didn't really speak English. I am guessing she hasn't been in this country (USA) very long and probably thinks that tips are mandatory just because people usually leave them. I honestly can't even remember if I just refused to tip at all or left them a penny for the tip, or what the eff I ended up doing.
Mystylist is known for making girls cry after getting their hair did. And promo or not, that was the last time I ever went there. I’ll stick to my regular place, even if I have to pay a little bit more. At least I know that I will always leave satisfied.