This week on Kingdom Koreatown we venture outside of El Camino Real's main Koreatown San Jose. We head to the neighborhood that is home to San Jose's biggest shopping spots: Valley Fair and Santana Row. Both sell luxury goods. The latter has Hotel Valencia, where Britney Spears and her crew once stayed.
Not too far away is the oldest Korean restaurant in San Jose. If you ever need an intermission from all that shopping, head on over to Korean Palace to refuel!
Opened in 1979, Korean Palace was almost the first Korean restaurant established in the area. There was another which opened up just two to three months before, but closed many years ago. Biwon (Secret Garden), featured on the first episode of Kingdom Koreatown, was the third in line to open, however closed its doors last month.
Do not underestimate the interior of Korean Palace. Sure, it may not be as glossy and modern as newer eateries such as Chungdam. Do you know how much each wooden chair costs? $450 USD. That's quality treatment on the rear. The owner's mother bought these chairs ten years ago. Though Italian in style, they were handmade and imported from Korea.
Let's take a second look at the interior. Does it look fancier now that you know how much expensive wood is present? If you fart, try to be gentle.
It's not just your tush that'll be getting royal treatment; your mouth is also in for a pleasant surprise. Korean Palace has some of the best side dishes I've tried in San Jose. The Korean food around here tends to range on the sweet side, as businesses cater to the American taste bud. Those who know Korean food will savor Korean Palace's authentic flavors. They are not making compromises.
My mother and I order a boldly red bowl of Maeuntang (spicy fish soup). It contains cod, tofu, jalapeño, radish, gochujang, and other delights. It is spicy, but not as fiery as the Napa Cabbage Kimchi.
If you think the Maeuntang is tasty, wait until you try the L.A. Galbi! Soft... Each bite is a soothing experience. A lullaby to the mouth. Ah, the sweet songs you sing on my tongue, you Galbi!
As my lips are coated with delicious marinade while biting around the bones of my dear L.A. Galbi, I notice a casual pot of cactus sitting on the wooden frame next to our booth.
Cactus are a succulent and the food at Korean Palace is super succulent! My mother and I agree we would happily feature it again on Kingdom Koreatown.
Where we heading to next? Korean Palace will be a hard act to follow, but that's not stopping us to explore! Tune in next Wednesday 12PM PST on my YouTube channel for more food adventures.
2297 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95128