Finding one of those ‘Stand-out’ restaurants in Garosu Gil must be a challenge to pretty much everyone even if you come across the street often. Sometimes having too many choices could be more bothersome than not having any!
Well, if you are lost as to where to go or what to eat in Garosu-gil, you might want to try the European restaurant, ‘the pretty house’, Casa Bonita, located right across Tom N Toms Coffee in the middle of the main Garosu street.
As the name tells us, this restaurant generally covers ‘European food’ — implying the menu selection offered is more than just typical pizzas, pastas or snails! The menu selection goes beyond those and more. And relax, the menu is written in English and Korean so that you know what you are ordering!
Casa Bonita happened to be celebrating seafood season when I visited. The junior manager said that they keep rotating between different food themes and artwork so that customers can try different types of European cuisines every few months.
Since I am not too keen on seafood, we ordered paprika salmon salad with brandy sauce (KRW 14,000) and Osso Bocco – I believe it should be ‘Osso buco’, not ‘Ossco Bocco’. It’s an Italian veal shank dish – with asserted vegetable red wine sauce (KRW 30,000).
Before the main food arrived, we were presented with warmed bread with balsamic vinegar. Well, we asked for bread refill more than two times so you can imagine how good they were.
The salad was very fresh, and the chunks of salmon found themselves in harmony with the brandy sauce. Since Osso Buco requires braising, it did take quite a long time to get to the table; however, the softness and tenderness of the meat was definitely worth waiting! We were not too hungry at the time so two of us only ordered one salad and one entrée, but the dishes were so tasty that we had to regret not ordering more.
Casa Bonita describes itself as a restaurant as well as a gallery — they surely showcased several pieces of art all over the restaurant, and this is what made it unique and fun. The venue not only provides opportunities to enjoy food, but also their unique styling of the interior and interesting artwork.
What I liked about the interior is that there is plenty of space between tables. This immediately gives you some sense of peace & quiet. This is a great way to go as you wouldn’t imagine a gallery-esque restaurant to be crowded with tables and patrons.
Casa Bonita can be the perfect place if you are feel bored by just ordinary Italian or French, and looking for something different. While the interior will entertain your eyes and the food stimulates your taste and olfactory senses, artwork showcase will massage your other senses.
Some of the downsides of this restaurant is even though it exhibits several pieces of art by real artists, and the restaurant calls itself a “gallery”, the atmosphere doesn’t quite allow you to freely go around and enjoy the art… especially while others are putting their food into their mouths! It’s more appropriate to appreciate the work near your table. Also, I felt that the waiting staff could be a little more friendly and kind to make this place the perfect place to dine, if you are looking for something new in Garosu-gil, Sinsa.
Casa Bonita is a restaurant and a small gallery in one that offers something new to satisfy all of your senses. If you are out to explore a new type of venue in Garosu-gil, Sinsa, Casa Bonita is definitely a venue worth your visit.
- Ever-changing menu/themes (e.g. Danish Month/Seafood Season/Swiss Month etc) & art work updated
- Possible to actually purchase some of the art in the restaurant
- Special seats for couples who’d like more privacy
- Lunch menu available
- Valet available
- Since the restaurant is very crowded during busy hours, the food doesn’t come to your table too quickly
- Quite pricey considering the small portions
- You have to make reservations for decent seats
- The waiters and waitresses are not the kindest ones
- In the middle of the Garosu-gil (get out at Sinsa Station exit #8), just opposite to Tom and Toms
- Break time: 15:30 – 17:30
View Casa Bonita in a larger map