Tomate

If you don’t live in Korea, you might not know this…but here’s a little fact.

Italian food in Korea really sucks.

Now look, I’m sure there are plenty of people that like it (namely Korean). Why not? It’s geared to the Korean palate. But my Italian is geared to the American palate, and matching palate with reality – not easy.

There is, however, a little gem that sprang like Athena from the thoughts of the many American expats here, and its name is Tomate. (Some people say ‘Tomat.’ This is incorrect, because the Korean clearly reads ‘Tomate.’)

Tomate is one of those restaurants that you’d probably go to in your hometown. The owner, a lovely woman and amazing cook, does her own pizza, pasta and coffee. The best part is, it’s got a flash of fusion to it. Her meat + mushroom pizza uses a little sausage and a lot of shiitake mushroom. Her carbonara is a mix of yummy, with a little chicken and bits of bacon and winter mushrooms. (Need a picture? Check out the next blog, Shiiiiiitake!)

Some of the stranger (read: more authentic Italian) pastas actually have pictures on the wall, if you look around for them. Everything from┬ávongole (a pasta with clams) to a kind of kimchi┬ápasta is on the menu, but I’m so in love with carbonara, I have a hard time branching out.

If you’re just looking for a coffee date, take a step inside, since Tomate’s

The strangest part to all of this is…..I usually hate Italian food.

If you’re a foodie, m