Korean fusion flavors at Cafe Gunul 2
Before I walked into Cafe Gunul 2, I was picturing a cute, homey cafe with pastel colors and calming classical music. Instead, I was hit by trendy decor and a black color scheme. Cafe Gunul 2 is a modern restaurant and bar that serves Western dishes with a touch of Korean flavor.
The restaurant is decorated with Disney princess paintings and bold murals that incorporate pop culture references, which are painted by the owner Mimi Y. Cafe Gunul 2 has a hip and chill atmosphere with its distinctive interior decor, dim lights and hip hop music.
The cafe offers a variety of items including unique dishes such as kimchi fries and calamari noodles as well as more common items like burritos and pizza. I ordered the “Nico’s Naughty Poutine,” the “Flamin’ Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Corn ‘n Hot Cheetos” and “Da Best Kimchi Pasta.”
“Nico’s Naughty Poutine” was piled high onto a large plate. Covered with donkatsu (breaded pork cutlet), the secret chef’s sauce and a mountain of cheese, the golden fries looked delicious. The fries were crispy and crunchy. The poutine was appetizing the first few bites, but the overpowering saltiness of the dish made it difficult to finish, leaving me unsatisfied and disappointed.
The presentation of “Da Best Kimchi Pasta” made it stand out immediately from the other dishes. It came in a bright red bowl which complements the orange-reddish pasta sauce. There is a fairly small amount of pasta but it does come with shrimp and pita bread.The bread is soft and savory and goes perfectly with the sauce. The pasta itself is pleasant but more like a cheesy, creamy alfredo than a kimchi pasta- a hint of kimchi can be tasted, but it is obvious that the kimchi is not a main ingredient and more of an added touch. While $16.99 is a bit pricey for such a small portion, it is acceptable because it is difficult to find kimchi pasta.
“The Flamin Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Corn ‘n Hot Cheetos” had a spicy,tangy flavor. It was presented in a sizzling plate and was definitely the most aesthetically pleasing dish out of all three. The bright red Cheetos and a sprinkle of cilantro stood out in an ocean of cheese. While there was plenty of cheese and Hot Cheetos, there was very little macaroni itself which made the price of $13.99 unreasonable. The spice of the Hot Cheetos complemented the macaroni and cheese, balancing out what would have been an overwhelming cheese flavor. However, the Cheetos were stale and did not give a satisfying crunch. The corn was sweet and the cheese was melted and chewy, but the macaroni was basic.The idea of the dish is creative but it can easily be replicated at home for a lot cheaper, I was disappointed by the price.
Overall, the restaurant is a great place to hangout with friends and grab a quick snack because of the chill atmosphere and one-of-a-kind art. Cafe Gunul 2 is a interesting place to try, but despite the wide variety of specialty items, is ultimately not worth the price because of the small portions and imperfect flavors.
Written by Jennifer Chang, Staff writer
Photo by Jennifer Chang