First allow me to apologize for the quality of the pictures of this post, as they are not as good as should be. Unfortunately, I was in such a hurry to get out the door that I forgot my camera at home.
I know by now, you must know at least a half of dozen “best Korean restaurants in town”, but believe me they ain’t the best. Muguboka Korean barbecue in San Francisco is!
R, his Brother G and I, very hungry and craving some East Asian food, headed down to San Francisco to try Muguboka after seeing the great yelp reviews the restaurant had received. With high hopes, we wondered the streets of San Francisco to find a parking spot as our stomachs were getting hungrier and louder. Hunger was taking over, and our patience began to fade, all of the sudden, and quite miraculously, we managed to find a place to park… Hallelujah!
As soon as we entered Muguboka, we were greeted by the divine smell of great Korean food. Immediately, when you step into the restaurant, the staff salute you with warm and welcoming smiles. The restaurant is clearly a family owned business, very authentic, cozy & warm place, nothing fancy schmancy.
One of my favorite things when going to a Korean restaurant is drinking Oksusu cha. It’s a traditional tea made from boiled roasted corn kernels. It has a subtle yet flavorful taste, and is usually complimentary with your meal.
As we were nibbling and trying the different kimchee, our food started to arrive and quickly filled every inch of the table.
The seafood and green onion Korean pancakes were simply exquisite. So buttery and tasty, the six big pieces were gobbled down in no time. Hey! Don’t judge us, we were extremely hungry!
Pancakes over, we hopped over to the main dishes. Marinated barbecue pork, sautéed octopus & vegetables in spicy sauce and finally 6 pieces of delicious fried chicken.
The barbecue pork marinated in their special (tomato-ish) sauce was flawless. Each piece was bursting with flavors and juiciness. The sauce was a little tangy and complemented the meat perfectly.
The sautéed octopus & vegetables plate was extremely appetizing. The beautiful mixture of colors and flavors from the different ingredients of the platter made it enjoyable equally for the mouth and the eyes. Even though the octopus was a bit rubber-like, it didn’t fail to please our appetites.
Lastly, we shared the fried chicken with the pecan nuts.There was a hint of a certain sweetness in the dish that gave it a delightful twist. When the chicken is cooked in a way it preserves its juices and tenderness, as was the case here, it’s guaranteed to taste amazing.
Oh and on top of all that, the staff was exceptionally kind offering us a tofu soup on the house.
We pretty much cleaned up the plates on our table and finally started to feel full. Then, as we were getting our bill, we were offered complimentary Yakult, which is basically fermented milk. I know it sounds a bit repulsing, but coming from a girl that doesn’t like normal milk, Yakult was surprisingly good! In my opinion, it tasted like a bubble gum lemonade, R thinks it tasted like blueberry.
Yakult was good, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my craving for something sweet. So, we got in the car and drove to Candy Bar, a very interesting and cool desert / cocktails / board games place. The place was extremely packed, but shortly after we arrived we were seated. The venue is timidly lit, a couple of small lamps and a candle on each table were the only lighting in the room. We grabbed a board game (some random card matching game) from the shelf and started playing. I was winning the round, when we had to stop the game to make room on the table for something much more important, the cakes and tartes!
I ordered the extremely “Big Francesco’s Tiramisu”, R ordered the”Peanut Butter Jelly Time!”(Chocolate Tart / Peanut Butter Cream / Salted Candied Peanuts / Blackberries) and G the “Apple Ala Mode” (Hazelnut Crust / Cream Cheese Filling / Caramel / Gingerbread Ice Cream).
The Tiramisu and chocolate & PJ can be easily shared by two people or more each, as they were quite big, but who’s complaining? Definitely not me! We all tasted each others choices, and we all chose our selection as our personal favorites (now that’s a winning situation). The deserts were tasty and intensely sweet, which balanced all the saltiness & spiciness that was left in our mouth from dinner.
I really like the concept of the Candy bar, deserts and drinks, the perfect combo. Unfortunately, my body had no room left over to try one of their cocktails after all the food we had. But definitely, very soon, I will be back at Candy bar and with my camera in hand and I promise to try them out.
If you are in San Francisco area, I really recommend it as a place to visit with your date, before or after your dinner. Or, just grab your friends and head there for a night filled with delicious deserts, cocktails and board games. Sounds good, I know!
Do tell me if you know any hidden gems in San Francisco, just like the Candy Bar. I would love to get some suggestions. And remember to follow me by email so we can share together my journey to explore the world, inch by inch.
Have a great week end everyone!