Currently open in San Jose’s Westfield Valley Fair shopping center is Baekjeong, a splashy new Korean barbecue restaurant that has quickly become one of the Bay Area’s most sought-after dining experiences.
This is the first Bay Area outpost of the concept, which was born in South Korea before opening up American offshoots in Southern California, New York, and the Pacific Northwest over the last decade. Already, it’s become a sensation in the Bay Area, with reservations going quickly.
Want to see what the buzz is about? Here’s the big thing to know: Reservations go live 60 days in advance, with each new day going live at midnight. Open for lunch and dinner daily, walk-ins are also available, but expect to wait if you go that route.
Let’s take a look around, shall we?
Baekjeong has a well-earned reputation as one of Los Angeles’ top Korean barbecue destinations.
The dining experience is centered around the grill, though servers, not diners, cook the meat. It’s an expansive menu, which includes seasonal banchan, all kinds of house-marinated meats (galbi, bulgogi), Baekjeong signatures (cast-iron fried rice, japchae, seafood pancakes), and dishes unique to the San Jose location. You can order à la carte or as set group meals.
A full liquor license allows for an ambitious bar program with a focus on Korean producers including Dokkaebier, Chamisul, and Jinro. You’ll find Korean-inspired cocktails such as a Dongchimi Martini, Dwaenjang Old Fashioned, and M-Cubed (a spicy mango margarita made with gochujang syrup) in addition to wine, mocktails, and classic cocktails.
It’s a sprawling, design-forward space, consisting of 9,000 square feet, with a look inspired by traditional Korean architecture and the night markets of Seoul, plus a clear modern bent that’s trying to push forward a reinterpretation of the Korean American barbecue experience.