Wandering around the Hongdae area with an empty belly will always get you in a bit of trouble. There are so many places you can eat, the variety is pretty impressive. One Saturday night while wandering down one of the countless small alleyways we came across a brightly lit building that housed North Shore, a Hawaiian style restaurant. This particular restaurant reminded Josh and I of one of our favorite California restaurant chains, Islands. Islands is a Hawaiian inspired restaurant that sells burgers, tacos, soups and salads. Its pretty much a burger restaurant inspired by the beach.
The decor of the restaurant is really cute, bright colors and flowers are everywhere, making you feel like you aren’t in Korea but taking a food break somewhere more tropical. The first level of the restaurant holds a small dining area and the kitchen. The second floor is the main dining area and there is even a nice patio where you can enjoy your meal in the warmer months.
North Shore seemed to be a little bit more authentic as it served some Hawaiian dished like loco moco alongside seafood, burgers and pasta. The menu was pretty diverse and eventually our group of three settled on the chili burger, cheeseburger and meatball pasta.
The burgers were ok, they looked pretty impressive on the large plate with the decorative leaf and flower (both real) but the taste of both was about average. The meatball spaghetti was pretty mediocre and the meatballs were quite dry. I guess it is Josh and my fault for wanting a delicious Islands burger and expecting to find one half way across the world in a different restaurant in Seoul.
Pricing for this restaurant was pretty high, each entree runs about ₩15,000-20,000 ($15-20) which is pretty high by Korea standards. To put it in perspective we regularly order a chicken plate from Outdark that comes with chicken, wedge fries, french fries and fried dukk (rice cake) that feeds 3 people with leftovers and it costs less than ₩20,000 ($20). For the price I don’t think I will be going back to North Shore, but I did enjoy a decent burger at a unique restaurant so it wasn’t a total loss.
I would say that a visit to this restaurant would be fun for a date, it is a little out of the ordinary for restaurants you find in Korea and would make for a fun environment to get to know someone better.