Amidst the Pandemic, Masita is Earning Its Spot on the Collegetown Scene

When Jin Kim and Jeesoo Lee opened Masita this past winter, they (like the rest of us) had no way of knowing what was right around the corner. The coronavirus hit restaurant owners incredibly hard, and many Ithaca businesses were forced to close their doors and regroup. Kim and Lee, having only been open for a month, were at a major disadvantage, as they lacked the dedicated fanbase of other established restaurants. Fortunately, Masita was not their first rodeo. Back in South Korea, the two women were longtime business partners and owned multiple successful restaurants together.

New to Ithaca: Kimchi Leaves You Craving Authentic

Having opened this past July on the West side of Ithaca Commons, Kimchi is a fairly new and cozy Korean restaurant that has a vast menu from noodles to Korean barbecue — the essentials of Korean cuisine. As a Korean student who was desperately craving home-cooked Korean food, I was more than excited to discover Kimchi on my daily Yelp search. When I first looked at the menu, I was overwhelmed by the amount of options they offered. I was already picking and choosing which Korean dishes to eat, something I hadn’t done in over a month. Ultimately, I ended up ordering tteokbokki, or spicy Korean rice cakes, the spicy Korean fried chicken and budae jjigae, a sausage stew that comes with a variety of toppings such as ramen, rice cakes and kimchi.

Koko vs Four Seasons: A Hearty Visit to Traditional Korean Cuisine

As the two most prominent Korean restaurants holding their ground in Collegetown, Koko and Four Seasons are definitely worthy of a comparison. The Sun has compared the two restaurants before, but this time, I wanted to try out a couple different dishes and revisit the topic.

A “So Poong” to SoPoong

I truly hope the place is here to stay; more Korean options means a more satisfied Ruth. Overall, I do recommend trying SoPoong out — go on a so poong to SoPoong — but maybe take the food outside instead!

Right Now, Wrong Then: Korean Mumblecore and Déjà Vu

An established preoccupation among film directors is how the re-staging of a scene from different perspectives alters the tone, message and experience of an otherwise unchanged plot. Whether it’s the strictly formal experimentation of The Five Obstructions or the philosophical interrogation of subjectivity in Rashomon, even the most strikingly distinct auteurs are curious to witness how changes, whether they be subtly atmospheric or obviously performative, redefine the entire message of a scene, an act, or an entire film. Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s Right Now, Wrong Then follows the flirtatious courtship of a middle-aged arthouse director and a younger painter over the course of a day, before restaging the exact same events with differences both slight and noticeable. Having bagged the top prize at Locarno last year, Sang-soo’s latest film is not only an intriguing vehicle of cinematic experimentation, but an eloquent statement on the importance of selflessness in developing meaningful human connection. The first half observes Ham Chun-su, a well-respected Korean filmmaker, visit the city of Suwon, where one of his films is being screened.