A Trip to the Secret Garden

I have several friends in the bay area, so it was great to catch up with them. I passed by this place in mountain view and had to include it. I like the name. It would be even better if it was Pho King instead of Pho Queen. But they’re funny either way.

We went to Korean Secret Garden restaurant for dinner. It was somewhat later, and we got a table all the way in the back. The service was horrible. Just horrible. But really, korean restaurants aren’t exactly known for their service, so it didn’t really bother me. J ordered some soju. It’s like the official liquor of korea. Made of rice and sweet potato and some other stuff. Like sake is to Japan. Like cachaca is to Brazil. It’s just what we drink.
We ordered a pajon (big pancake with stuff mixed in). It was too thick! Usually, they make it thinner and it’s big and round, so it’s slightly crispy. This one was thick and all folded over. And way too many scallions. I’ve had much better pajon in my life. What a damn shame.
J ordered the soondubu. That’s a pretty famous soft tofu hotpot dish. He got one with out spice so that his kid could possibly eat it. Frankly, it looked a little bland to me. What’s soondubu if it’s not firey red and spiced to the gills?

D ordered a dolsot bibimbap with seafood. It comes in this sizzling hot stone bowl, so everything is kinda crackling when they bring it to you. I also think she didn’t put any of the spicy kochujang in it becauase their other kid might have wanted to eat. What’s with babies and not being able to eat spicy food?

L ordered a special combo dinner. Poor L, they completely forgot about his order. We were all well into eating ours when we reminded the server (see, I told you that the service sucked) that he still needed his food. Oops. But once he got it, things were much better. Those shrimps are flippin huge.J went with the traditional bibimbap. Always a good solid choice. While he was mixing his up, he found a piece of orange in it. I’ve never seen that before in any bibimbap I’ve ever had. Intentional, or not? You make the call.

As for me, I went with my staple, ojingaboekum. Or stir fried squid. And what can I say…. but I’ve certainly had better. Yeah, it was alright, nothing too special. I’ve definitely had much more fabulous versions of this dish. On the other hand, their selection of banchan (the little side dishes) was good. And their kimchis, especially the cucumber one and the radish one, were excellent. As for the rest of the food and certain the service, that needs a bit of work!Korean Secret Garden
3430 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA
408-244-5020

Korean Secret Garden on Urbanspoon

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