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Jul 20, 2009 06:45 PM

Modesto Korean Kitchen

Driving around Modesto, I noticed a flyer posted on a random telephone pole advertising Korean food. I was looking for a new place to try for lunch, so Korean sounded good, and I thought I would give the place a shot. The restaurant is called 'Korean Kitchen' located on the corner of Coffee Road at Floyd, it is a somewhat don-descript place located in a strip mall.
On the inside, the place is somewhat plain but clean.
When I arrived, I was somewhat surprised because the owner does not appear Korean, later he told me his wife and co-owner is Korean, and she does the cooking.

The menu was pretty standard, I decided on the grilled marinated chicken breast lunch special for $7. The food came out promptly and everything looked tasty.
The grilled chicken was plump, juicy, and delicious, it was nicely carmelized and tasted of the korean marinade and spices.
The lunch came with some yummy side dishes including 3 types of kimchi, marinated sprouts/broccoli, anchovies, rice, and salad. The cabbage Kimchi was awesome, it tasted super fresh, and had the perfect balance of cold, crunchy, bitter and spicy/sweet, and the marinated broccoli was also very good. The owner mentioned the kimchi was homemade.
Kudos to his wife.
Based off of my lunch, I give the place a 4/5.
I returned a different day, but this time for dinner, and I ordered the beef shortribs.
The short ribs had potential, but were poorly cooked because they were somewhat burnt,and tasted slightly bitter and uneven; but the meal was saved by the awesome sides dishes that I previously mentioned.
The place seemed pretty dead both times, which is unfortunate because the food is pretty good, and I definitely will go back.
As far as I know, it is the only Korean restaurant between Modesto and Merced.

Overall I give the place 3.5/5, it would have been 4, if it werent for the burnt short ribs.
If you go, I recommend experimenting with the menu, since every item may not be a winner, but I think the side dishes are worth the visit alone.

MV Agrippa

Korean Kitchen
2400 Coffee Rd
Modesto, CA 95355

(209) 521-7798

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  1. Sorry to report that the Korean Kitchen (AKA Korean BBQ) on Coffee Road has gone out of business due to a lack of customers to support it. The closest Korean Restaurants are now located in Stockton, Pleasanton, Santa Clara, and San Jose. There used to be a small Korean Restaurant in Atwater years ago that had very good food. Guess there are not that many people in and around Modesto that have a taste for Korean food...too bad, it's great. The local North China Restaurant on Standiford used to offer a great bowl of Korean Black Bean Noodles, but the new owners no longer offer it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ronbo36

      Thanks for the update.
      That is too bad they did not survive.
      Their location seemed tough, tucked away in the corner of a strip mall in a somewhat rough area.

      Also, the Korean population in the central valley seems low, therefore local people may not understand the cuisine.

      1. re: Ronbo36

        hubby says that at least as of two months ago or so when he was working at Castle (in Atwater) that the Korean restaurant, Kim's, is still there, and decent for home-style lunches. He's been bugging me to go with him sometime to get a second opinion, but he now works downtown Merced instead of Atwater so the incentive isn't there.

        A search on other sites confirms that it is still there, as of August:

        Kim's Restaurant
        161 Atwater Boulevard

        I am sorry I somehow missed or had forgotten the original post on Korean Kitchen; I definitely miss the cuisine since moving to the area. Perhaps this will be push I need to try Kim's for myself...(I will admit to being skeptical about a Korean place in Atwater; it did seem unlikely).

        1. re: susancinsf

          You are correct, after my last post I did some more searching and found several posts on places like YELP that advised that Kim's in Atwater was still open.

          The reviews all seemed to be very positive in that the place was still kind of a small hole in the wall restaurant located in a small strip mall, but the food tended to be great! I will take the time make a trip to Atwater, maybe with some friends, to give Kim's a try again.

          There are several Japanese restaurants around Modesto that seem to be doing well, but guess Korean food has just not caught on that much yet. The bad reviews posted on the Korean Kitchen sure did not help the cause. The location was another negative factor.