July 19, 2016

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.

Restaurant Interior

Ordering Line

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
Chicken Burrito w. spicy rice, beans, kimchi, cabbage and cucumbers. Sorry, burrito pictures just never really are very interesting.

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.

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