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Restaurants

Oddseoul

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on January 9, 2013 / review policy

oddseoulOddseoul, a new late-night eatery is now open on Ossington. Brothers and co-owners Leeto and Leemo Han are already known for their four-year old Korean restaurant, Swish by Han, but this new snackbar aims to share another facet of Han brother's heritage, this time paying tribute their American upbringing in Philadelphia.

oddseoulInside, the dimly lit bar are relics of the 90's meld with Korean influences, boomboxes adorn the walls alongside Korean versions of Rambo and Terminator movie posters.

oddseoulOn the menu, whimsical combinations showcase the best of East meets West. Prime examples include sharing plates like the Tempura Chicken with Devilled Eggs ($14) and greasy-spoon inspired small plates like the Bulgogi Cheesesteak ($5).

oddseoulAfter an informal poll, I opt for the house favourite, The Loosey ($4), a juicy, griddle smashed breakfast slider made of short rib and ground brisket cooked atop a pile of onions and then topped with Kimichi hollandaise and served on toasted challah. It is easily my favourite of the night too.

oddseoulThe backlit menu board boasts deconstructed Ssam Platters ($25) offering a spread of meats, condiments and wraps (lettuce, taco or rice paper depending on your choice of filling). For instance, the Beef Short Rib platter is served with lettuce wraps, housemade pickles, kimchi and bean curd chili sauce, as well as a generous side of egg-topped fried rice.

oddseoulFor a hearty, seasonal option, the Lamb and Potato Stew ($10), comes loaded with chunks of tender meat and packs impressive heat courtesy of the housemade chili paste and loads of cilantro and green onion kimchi.

oddseoulCurrently, Oddseoul is only open from 6pm 'til 2am, but the kitchen is open just as late as the bar and plans are already underway to expand into lunch and breakfast hours with promises of introducing Torontonians to yet another Philly staple; Scrapple, a.k.a the poor-man's terrine.

oddseoulThough only a week old, the Hans have already hinted at additional concepts to be launched at the same address. Already in the works are an event space on the second floor and a couple of private room karaoke bars on the third. Come summer a patio out back will add even more to its draw.

Photos by Morris Lum

Discussion

46 Comments

jayrock / January 9, 2013 at 10:34 am
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The writer should of taken pics during the evening/night when it shows a different side of this place. We went in and no one greeted us....mind you there were only a few people sitting in the actually stools by the bar area. The bartender was busy so we just went to the back and sat...Im not joking when I say this, but 10 minutes passed and NO ONE came by....Just some girl walking by us talking on her phone. I finally go up to the bartender and state we have been waiting and he quickly says he will get the server...Guess who it was? Our phone girl walking by us 5-7 times... Sorry.. We got up to leave and she said sorry come again.. LOL.. I dont mind the lack of waiting because this place looks nice, but damn... So much for customer service..at least the basicis.. Sorry if my writing sucks..
ozrez / January 9, 2013 at 10:45 am
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It wasn't Watusi before - that was Rock Lobster. This was an old workshop or something. Does anyone edit this blog?

That said. Oddseoul is great. The bulgogi cheesesteak is addictive.
Not Daniel / January 9, 2013 at 11:01 am
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If you have been to a little under-the-radar hole-in-the-wall in Parkdale called (i think) Grand Electric, you will have seen Scrapple on their menu. My brother tried it. He said it was good. He's a dick, but he knows good food.
Tizzi / January 9, 2013 at 11:09 am
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Highly doubt your mean Grand Electirc, it is located on Queen just west of ossington, serving mostly mexican style cuisine. Scrapple can be great, if done well. Heck anything can be great if done well. If this place is half as good as Swish by Han it will be received very well in this community.
jayrockisapussy replying to a comment from jayrock / January 9, 2013 at 11:28 am
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don't be a pxssy - it's a bar
sid / January 9, 2013 at 11:37 am
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Grand Electric? a hole in the wall? hahaha wake up dude, where have you been
CC / January 9, 2013 at 11:49 am
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Is there a phone number to contact them at?
Kg replying to a comment from Tizzi / January 9, 2013 at 11:55 am
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Actually Grand Electric is located in Parkdale. West of Dufferin= Parkdale. And they did have a scrapple taco for a while.
Driving Miss Daisy / January 9, 2013 at 11:59 am
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This place will be very successful--NOT!

Silly ppl. Didn't you know that Ozland hipsters prefer their own kind?

The 90s replying to a comment from Driving Miss Daisy / January 9, 2013 at 12:16 pm
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Look! A NOT joke! They haven't been seen in their natural habitat since Wayne's World
Tizzi replying to a comment from Kg / January 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm
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I suppose so, however I doubt Grand Electric would be considered a "hole in the wall". A couple of months ago Grand Electric was considered to be the number one trending restaurant in Toronto. Now its a hole in the wall? And like I said, "Scrapple can be great, if done well. Heck anything can be great if done well." Not sure why you think "OZLAND" is only frequented by people who live in "OZLAND". The places on Ossington do well because the idea of being in Ossignton is trendy. Hence why Lesliville is gaining popularity, the idea of lesliville is trendy. In addition to good food, interesting looking places and close proximity to the beaches ofcourse.
Bettywhoant replying to a comment from jayrockisapussy / January 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm
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In other words, a culturally dysfunctional dive that looks like a 90s dump. OK, just make sure they don't spill the drinks on you.
Natalie / January 9, 2013 at 12:59 pm
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This wasn't Watusi, it was a boarded up space that looked like a workshop - at least for the 3 years I've lived down the street. The old sign said "Macdonald".
rtslight / January 9, 2013 at 01:38 pm
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The place is awesome. Killer vibe and the food is crazy good.
bung bimbipap / January 9, 2013 at 02:04 pm
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This place is very good! I go here every night after drinking. Place is so cool and warm hearted.

Delicious and oh so good. Go there and experience the great service! Make reservation and just come by.

Food just like my mama-san used to make in Korea. Oh, so good!
Jimmy / January 9, 2013 at 04:39 pm
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Settle down.

I like it here, it's solid. Good drink prices, decent food (though obviously overpriced, compared to the same thing at dirt cheap Korean spots). You pay for the atmosphere more than anything, I suppose.
joemama / January 9, 2013 at 09:22 pm
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Other than Bulgogi, and Kimchi, I didn't hear anything "Korean" on that menu...And I should know, I'm a real live Korean person. Also, there's a lot of whiney bitches on this blog.
Paul replying to a comment from Jimmy / January 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm
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Jimmy,
The prices are definitely NOT overpriced compared to dirt cheap Korean spots. I frequent dirt cheap korean spots all the time. The dont' serve the same type of food at all...not even CLOSE.

Paul replying to a comment from Jimmy / January 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm
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BTW I find the prices pretty decent....don't know how anyone call call this expensive.
shanny replying to a comment from Not Daniel / January 10, 2013 at 12:13 am
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It's true. Not Daniel's brother is a dick, but has a great palate
f replying to a comment from jayrock / January 10, 2013 at 07:09 am
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lol you seated yourself in the back when the bar was busy and it took you ten minutes to realize that no one noticed that you came in...
if the server did see you, she probably thought that you were serving yourself from the bar since you sat yourself...
but, i doubt that she even saw you from the beginning and was probably busy.

but grow a pair, it's a bar.. if no one saw you come in, speak up and let someone know.
Igor Kenk / January 10, 2013 at 09:22 am
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@Bungo: Make reservations? They don't take them!
Jimmy replying to a comment from Paul / January 10, 2013 at 11:19 am
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A baller...must be nice in this economy.
jayrock replying to a comment from f / January 10, 2013 at 02:12 pm
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There were two customers sitting in the bar and the bartender was making a drink. He saw us come in and waved and we sat at the tables. If you have even been there, you would know what its not a big place so the back doesnt mean we are hidden. And what server thinks we are 'serving' ourselves from the bar by sitting at the table? In Total there were 4 customers. Two at the bar and us. Please dont state that it was busy. I love Swish, hence the reason I tried this place out. I can probably name 3-4 better bars with a "korean like" menue, but its probably not hip enough for you F.

ALSO- PLEASE READ THE REVIEW ON NOW NEWSPAPER of this place.

I will be at Ronnies or Cold Tea... At least they say hi! loll
James / January 11, 2013 at 10:07 am
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is there anything like this for Vancouver !?!?! Bars and Resto
Ashamed / January 11, 2013 at 04:52 pm
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The majority of the comments made on this blog are so embarrassing for Toronto. All I can picture are visitors to the city looking for some interesting places to check out reading the comments and wondering why Torontonians are so lame.

Grow up.
Jani replying to a comment from Ashamed / January 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm
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Don't picture and think about visitors and what they think. Think for yourself!!! Do you own thing...YOu should be ashamed of yourself!!~!!
Old Guy / March 1, 2013 at 02:48 pm
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I don't know a whole lot more about this place but I feel like I just dropped into some post-modernist soap opera.
Heather / March 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm
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Had a really good first experience- food was great and had friendly and knowledgeable server.
Went back two weeks later with some friends. Waited for a table and while we were told we were going to be seated at a specific table we were seated somewhere else.
Food was tasty as the first time. However our waitress kept on bringing us plates and drinks for the people sitting at the table with us.
I ordered a cocktail and began to drink what I thought I ordered but what was really for another party. The waitress later brought me what I actually did order and left the original drink with me. I drank both drinks.
When the bill came our party questioned the charge for both drinks. The owner came over and said that as the drink was drunk it had been added to the bill, which was a little grey in the fairness area but it was his dismissive attitude that left us wondering how much our business was appreciated.
Alex / March 27, 2013 at 01:15 pm
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PEOPLE!!! If you write a review about an OPEN LATE place, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, mention business hours somewhere in the article. DAAAAAAH!
Alex replying to a comment from Alex / March 27, 2013 at 01:16 pm
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Never mind-) Found it-) Usually hours are not there-)
Euyo / March 27, 2013 at 08:39 pm
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Despite all bad comments, if you dare, try this over-priced, phony Korean place. BUT be prepared to be treated as a kid by an obstinate manager who normally works on the waiting list. She'd better find the different job if she can't handle her own stress.

And, OS chicken? 3 wings for $7 just with Gochujang, the Korean spicy source? OS. Original Source? you gotta be kidding me. Don't be fooled by the presentation of their food.

I'm done with this place after 2 visits.
Well, now I can understand why they'd put 'ODD' for their name.
Wil / April 1, 2013 at 11:47 am
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One of craziest service experiences ever

I am a very long time veteran of the restaurant industry and for that reason I do not like to complain about an experience in a restaurant. This is not so much a complaint but a WTF?

So.... I go to Odd Seoul the other night with two friends, all service industry, no romantic connections just three dudes out for a bite. The decor is great our server is sweet and keen, food is pretty good (some very interesting) but.....

The number of items on the menu the size of the items and the fact that we are three men leads us to order the entire menu. Our server (to this point as stated earlier, great) advises us that this is a lot of food and has only seen people order the whole menu once before. We reply that we want to try everything so no matter, bring it on.

The food begins to arrive and we are happy with the quality of all of it and it's not too much for the three of us to tackle.

Then the wheels fall off.

Some of the items are single pieces, like the steamed pork bun. Others like a small sandwich on french stick are cut in two. We have been supplied only with a small bowl and plastic spoon. We call our server over to ask if we might get a knife as there are three of us sharing and she tells us they have no knives.?! We ask her then if she might take a few of the items to the back and just cut them into three. She responds by telling us that the chef suggests ordering three of things if you are three people. We remind her of the volume of food we have ordered and very politely indicate that tripling our order would be way too much food. At this point she merely smiles and walks away.

So we snack on some of the items that are split-able and summon another server over and ask if we might borrow a kitchen knife for one minute. She tells us the exact same thing and suggests that we take bites out of the items and pass them around.

Are you kidding me? Chew a third off a dish then pass it to my platonic male friend to do the same. We had ordered hundred of dollars worth of food and drink at that point, not that it should matter.

So I guess asking the other server for help in our plight was too much for our server because she became scarce, drinks stopped flowing and in the end she dropped the bill on our table with here back turned to us. There had been no incident, so i don't know if she was embarrassed by the situation, but it definitely made things more awkward for everyone.

In classic server style we tipped her between 20% and 25% and left without comment. We went up the street for a nightcap and mused over the ridiculousness of the incident. The appropriate response, I suppose, would have been to send all the items back unless the restaurant relented but I went out for dinner not a boxing match.

I had hoped to contact the restaurant directly with my story because I don't believe in public posting and would like to go back under different circumstances but alas posting an amusing story is as close as I will ever come to Odd Seoul again.

So if you do go, bear in mind that although the menu appears to encourage sharing, unless you are dining with someone with whom you regularly exchange bodily fluids, order separately.


Liam / April 9, 2013 at 03:57 pm
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This place is shit and the owner is a dick. He slammed the door in my friend's face for asking to come in out of the pouring rain five minutes before they opened then opened the doors late just to be a prick.

The service was garbage as many others have stated and when my friend asked if she could have a new drink because her's smelled like fish, the owner grabbed it from her, sniffed it, loudly said, "No one else smells anything." after the whole table had confirmed the fish smell, then asked if he should throw it out. No offer of a replacement, no apology, just a dick head with surprisingly original bar. Reclaimed wood and 90s hip-hop? Oh my God, no one's done that before!
Eric / April 12, 2013 at 03:46 am
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Great food, below average customer service. Note, these guys out up a tipping guide on the bill for 15% and up. Sorry but bad service means you are lucky to even get 10%.
Bill Dhing replying to a comment from goose / May 17, 2013 at 03:02 pm
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That's right, goose! Only people who crave eccentric and rude service and be told howto eat their food need to go there. Those that like to hear shouting about the size of the tip will be overjoyed when the spittle hits their faces.
m.r. / May 21, 2013 at 06:22 pm
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Great service!
spazzzout / May 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm
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The service here was just as shitty as everyone above has said... and our server was nearly non-existent and after a number of dishes, we ordered more food... that never ended up coming. Just like every other "trendy" west-end experience where the servers treat you like you're lucky to have gotten a table... (i.e., grand electric). YET, despite that, i am heading back tonight to give it another try as a friend's birthday choice. Let's see if they can keep the trend going...
J Grant / May 30, 2013 at 04:10 pm
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Food may turn your tummy:
I feel obliged to write this because not only has my friend also had a similar experience at Odd Seoul but they provide no phone number for you to reach them at (feeling like they may not care....).
I was there this week and had their Squash Poutine. While I was eating it I enjoyed it, a few minutes after my stomach was turning slightly and my mouth felt weird (MSG?) An hour later I was at home vomiting. Next day I'm paying regular bathroom visits and my stomach and intestines feel awful.
I never get sick like this off food. That being said I doubt what I was served could be called food. Really it was my own fault, should have known better than to eat at a place like this but it was busy so I had faith.
Word to the wise: at Odd Seoul have a drink, Don't EAT.
Sarah Xi / July 30, 2013 at 12:55 pm
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awful service. mediocre food. good vibes (meaning the clientele). have eaten here twice, the second time in hopes that i was not mistaken about the service. we got kicked out after over-staying our 'welcome', ie. over a two hour seating limit, which we knew nothing about. i have no problem with time limits in busy bars, but you should tell your customers that before they sit down (or have a sign if your servers don't know how to speak), and NOT when they have just ordered another round of drinks, and say 'oops, but please chug and leave or vacate your seats to the bar for the invisible people waiting in line' and when we don't leave, the waitress suddenly disappears and the teeth-gnashing bartender comes by and says, 'move your asses to the bar or get out'. and well, yes, as this behaviour is effective in getting under our collective skins, we leave a generous 5% tip... which finally gets our waitress's attention but only to go crying to her butch mama who gnashes her teeth at us, and calls us names while we skip out of this shit hole.
Lionel / February 7, 2014 at 11:22 am
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Went here with my wife and sister, first time for all of us.
Greeting was good, food was great.
After we paid our bill of $120 and were just finishing up our wine (2 glasses after the bottle). The waiter says to us "I don't mean to be rude, but we have people waiting in line and if you're done paying your bill can you leave" WTF!!!
Are you serious?
Whoever that was, you should know, that you have done your restaurant a great disservice by putting a timer on your customers. People go to restaurants to relax and not feel pressured or rushed. More importantly, you don't ever ask a customer to leave because they have just paid their bill and finished their last sip. Have some class!
My darling wife told him he was being rude and stood up for us and he backed off.
If for a second a customer thinks that they'll have to leave right after they are done eating, they will not enter that restaurant. I know I won't.
Sleazeson / April 4, 2014 at 01:38 pm
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Came in for drinks last night with a group of friends. As some of us weren't eating, we decided to order drinks from the bar to keep the tab simple. Horrible service from the bar staff. Clearing glasses while patrons are thirsty and waiting was not appreciated. Staff was amongst the coldest I've experienced in my time drinking in the city. Tried some of my friends food, and while it was tasty, I won't be back to spend money on shit service.
tammy / August 21, 2014 at 11:37 pm
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Bad food. Small portions. High prices. Bad too-cool-for-school service.
I am so tired of going to places that don't care that I'm there.
lala / August 22, 2014 at 02:53 am
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So I went here with my some friends, service was O K.Our server seemed annoyed with us because I think she thought we were talking too loud but this was only because of the volume of the music. She was kinda rude and not too engaging which was weird because it was a slow night. The food was fine, but honestly the service is so strangest. The restaurant got quiet but the music didn't so we all got up and started dancing. Then they really wanted us to leave...it felt like we were the only ones having a good time...so ODD this seoul....
James Li / August 22, 2014 at 06:56 pm
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I once wrote a very honest blog post about them and they forced me to take it down and got angry at me for not trying ALL of their menu. I reviewed 6 items and they said I was being lame for thinking 6 item can represent the whole restaurant. We were also rushed out because of the que, the waitress was MIA half the time and the food was just bunch of mayonnaise and ketchup with premade asian sauch (like oyster sauce, gochujang).

I made an effort to portray their restaurant in a positive light and still they showed no appreciation.

Honestly, I wish they close.

Such horrible people :(

Leanne / September 11, 2014 at 11:07 pm
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Tried this restaurant out on a Saturday night. I was with 3 other friends and wanted to grab a bite between bars. It was about midnight when we got there. We had to share a long table with other customers because all the tables were occupied. Sharing was fine with us. We were hungry and the vibe and clientele are laid back. This was my first time there, but my friend who brought us there is a regular. I went in with an open mind and high expectations after being told how great the food was. We were not disappointed. We ordered about 6-7 different appetizers to share. The wings were the best we've ever had and HUGE! I don't know where they are getting their chickens from! Unfortunately I can't remember the names of everything we ordered because I was a little tipsy, but all I can say is WOW! I don't care about how "Korean" the food is. It is fusion, so you have to go in with an open mind. The taste and quality of the food is off the charts good. We found the service wasn't fast or too slow considering how busy it was. It's the kind of place you go to chill and enjoy some bevies, apps and time with friends. It's not fast food. Enjoy!

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