Baekjeong Korean Barbecue, Michael Chon’s hit Korean barbecue concept that has spread throughout Southern California with its evocation of the iconic Korean Night Market, plans to open a branch in Seattle (Lynwood) this summer. and another in San Jose, California this fall. The name Baekjeong, which has the playful tagline “We Meat Again,” is derived from the Korean word for “butcher,” and the menu lists a wide range of USDA Prime beef cuts, from everyday (breast) to obscure (abomasum ). And never fear, there’s a bespoke circular grill at each table to cook them. Jonathan Gold fell in love with the place in 2015, and its popularity has been exploding ever since. There are currently six operating locations in Southern California.
Chon, CEO of Kijung Hospitality Group (which opened the first location in Los Angeles’ Koreatown in January 2012), was born in East Los Angeles to first-generation Korean American parents who came to the United States to offer educational and economic opportunities for their children. . Born with an entrepreneurial drive, Chon first built several successful businesses from the ground up in finance and technology. But he says what gets him out of bed in the morning is his passion for fusing great food and service which is Baekjeong’s mission: “When great food is married to great service with a unique dining experience and vibrant, then the meal touches the hearts of our customers and delivers on my promise of “customer happiness”. I love focusing on all the little details that need to come together: expanding menus, delivering authentic flavor profiles, training staff and refresh the dining environment.”
Chon credits his mother with being his most important mentor, saying, “She instilled my values in me and taught by example that success is only achieved through hard work and attention to people. details.”
And now, for the first time in company history, the kitchen is headed by a Korean-American chef. Senior Director of Culinary Operations, Chef Samuel Kim, spent time in Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred Pe Se, Gabriel Kreuther’s The Modern and other high-end restaurants over the course of two decades before finally arriving at a place where he can cook his heritage food, which he says is very satisfying. He credits Kreuther for teaching him French technique and the high serve style he brings to Baekjeong.
Beyond the main cuts of meat, additional menu items include stone bibimbap, kimchi stew, cold noodles with spicy batter, cheesy mountain tripe fried rice, seafood ramen and Korean pancakes and dumplings. The most popular drinks offered to accompany food are beer and soju. Almost everything is designed for sharing, of course, but some places offer quick lunches for one.
The two new locations in Seattle (Lynwood) and San Jose, which come at the right time as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, will further the cause of Korean BBQ on the West Coast and seem destined for success.
Visit Baekjeong’s website for more information.