These days of half-cooked Rice cry out for fortifying one’s existence, and staving off, like a sturdy mujahideen, the slings and faux missiles of mass destruction. A tidy refuge, Mandoo Bar offers Seoul food, solitude, and soju (Korean vodka)—here the fortifier of choice. In ascetic but soothing grays, TV sets bookending it, the cozy, low-key bar offers an array of soju cocktails, from the palate-cleansing, cucumber-infused soju kettle ($15, good for four), to fruit-based martinis (lemon to lychee, $8), from the no-prisoners ginger kamikaze concoction ($8) to a modest slew of beers ($5 for OB, a Korean lager; $6 for Corona). A branch of Koreatown’s Mandoo Restaurant, the joint serves various tasty dumplings ($7 to $11)—tapas to complement your by now revivified warrior spirit, ready for one more foray into the frazzled remains of the day.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 13, 2004