- brad kaplan
anyone been to juban in burlingame, sf, or menlo park? i'm a fan of korean bbq, and am wondering what differences there might be at a japanese bbq. any comments appreciated.
Yes, I've been to Juban in Burlingame many times. I really love the place. It's hard to pinpoint the exact difference between Korean Korean BBQ and Japanese Korean BBQ (yakinku). For me, the Japanese stuff has more subtle flavor, whereas the Korean Korean is much more in your face. I love both for what they are.
I went to the Japantown location in SF when it first opened, and had the bbq's. You can get more flavorful Korean bbq, for less, at other places such Brothers on Geary, Korea House on Post, and in the San Jose area.
I've been to the Juban on Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park several times, and like it very much. It's not inexpensive, and it has a nice atmosphere and most importantly, some very good food. There is a memorable tomato salad, which has a mound of very finely minced onions and delicious dressing (probably nothing too much more complicated than sesame oil and rice vinegar and a few seasonings). The bbq options are mildly different from those in the Korean places I have eaten -- they seemed perhaps slightly more `refined' (which is not meant to be at all pejorative of the Korean style in the least!). Overall, a nice place which I would recommend (and your post reminds me I should go back there sometime soon!). I presume the other locations are fairly similar, but especially with the San Francisco one, there may be a number of similar but more interesting places nearby.
re: Rafe Mazzeo
I've been to the Santa Cruz Ave location as well. I have one recommendation. If the steep price (something like $35 for a full serving if I remember correctly) isn't a deterrent, you MUST try the Wagyu beef. It is extremely well marbled, sliced super thin, literally melt in your mouth delight. Alas, this item isn't available regularly even though it is printed on the menu. Check for availability beforehand.
Burke and I went to Juban on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park here on the Peninsula, for my birthday.
Gosh, that Wagyu beef! It's all Nancy said it was--melt in your mouth, tasty, beautifully done.
But the rest of the meal we can't truly endorse. Portions are microscopic. We had the tongue, the liver, the fillet mignon, shrimp, rice bowls and even an appetiser of pickled vegetables, and we left feeling hungry. HUNGRY. We're big eaters, but for $50 a person, that shouldn't be. We actually drove to another restaurant for dinner!
So Juban falls too far short of the price/satisfaction point to make us happy. This isn't a full Burke & Wells review (it was just a birthday visit, we hadn't planned on being all that critical), but we probably won't return.
Korean BBQ is wonderful, though! Anyone know a great place in the South Bay or Peninsula?