Part of me wishes I hasn't read the other reviews before eating here, because that troubling "like a Korean Chipotle" description is really damn accurate.
This restaurant is a new concept to me, though I'm reminded of it every time we end up in the nearby Starbucks drive through.
(Hmm, hopefully those are the only big chain names I drop in this review.)
Suji's Korean Grill is apparently an offshoot of Suji's Korean Cuisine - a line of packaged foods selling in Costco, Whole Foods, Target & H.E.B (wherever that is).
This fast-casual restaurant with its assembly line ordering system does hark to that burrito place down the street... Maybe especially because you can also order burritos and tacos here too.
What I was especially interested to learn is that it's the first link in a proposed chain. Keep this in mind when you visit because even though they may have the polished look of a well-established chain, this place is a pilot.
I was immediately hoping to recreate one of my favorite Portland eateries' offerings, but ultimate this didn't live up to PDX standards. I know, unfair.
Still, it's a very cool concept and I think they have great potential to potentially knock it out of the park in the chain world.
Okay, so what about the food... We ordered:
|Beef Bulgogi Tacos|
|(3) Orders of Scallion Pancakes|
A sunny side up egg on the side.
|Korean chicken wings (7 PC, spicy).|
All said and done it was about $35 (what I'd call an okay deal). Next time I may have to rack up the charges with some local beer or a soju cocktail.
Now I'm not really a spicy food nut, but I do like a little heat. So that's my first feedback tip... Bring the heat. It was a little lacking overall. Point being when I asked how spicy the "spicy rice" option was, tried the sample, and then proceeded to turn it over to our toddler who eagerly enjoyed it.
Also, I love Bulgolgi. But when I gazed upon the brown vat of liquidy "savory beef" - a less threatening moniker apparently - I panicked and got chicken instead.
Next, the seating. It was great to have high-chairs... But where do I out it? With all the stools as fixed seating and half the restaurant with bar-height tables we had to resort to what I assume was the ADA section of the low table seating area.
Finally, just a little request... Kimchi Quesadilla.
Ultimately I appreciated the cleanliness of the space, the ultimate friendliness of the staff, and the unique food options and configurations. I can't wait to see if this concept catches on.