Korean Food With a Vintage Twist

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At the second anniversary party at Mono + Mono, a Korean eatery in the East Village, owner M.J. Chung unveiled yet another old school twist to his restaurant—View-Masters.

If you are over the age of 30 you may remember the View-Master, which first hit the market in 1939, from your childhood. If not, well, it’s a handheld box that you put round, film-like disks with pictures on them inside.  For some, you hold them up to the light to see the images. Others, like the one Chung has procured, uses battery power to illuminate the seven 3D images of special dishes and drinks, like their twice-fried wings, spicy Lady’s Night cocktail, and soju flights.

For the 40-year-old Chung, who looks more like a 22-year-old, his goal is to take what is old and make it new again. He likes the nostalgia that the device brings, and he personally remembers the View-Master from his childhood in Korea. 

Today, only three companies make the film for the View-Master and it’s not cheap. Neither are the actual vintage machines, but, for Chung, it’s all about authenticity. Mono + Mono also boasts a collection of thousands of jazz records, which line the walls of Mono + Mono behind glass. Each evening, the music selected circles the main dining room overhead as guests eat.

Though using the View-Master to showcase menu items while listening to Glen Miller and downing a plate of sticky, crunchy wings walks the fine line of cheesy, the whole concept actually proved pretty neat. You can see for yourself starting December 1.