Hip Korean barbecue is the newest culinary heavyweight joining Westfield Valley Fair’s restaurant plaza.
Baekjeong — the name translates to butcher — will open its first Bay Area grill at the upscale Santa Clara mall on Wednesday, nearly two years after the plans were publicly announced. Although the restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily and offer late-night hours, the debut is still expected to be so popular that this location is only the second in the chain’s 11-year history to accept reservations.
Chef Samuel Kim, the senior director of culinary operations, presides over a menu of traditional favorites of Bulgogi and Galbi, which feature prime-quality meats, as well as contemporary dishes such as Pork Belly Kimchi Stew and Roasted Bone Marrow Sujebi and seasonal banchan. Korean-inspired cocktails — the M-Cubed is a spicy mango margarita made with gochujang syrup — and bar bites like Daebak Fried Chicken Sandwich and Bulgogi Grilled Cheese also are featured.
Baekjeong has been a hit on both U.S. coasts since joining Los Angeles’ Koreatown in 2012, and then heading two years later to New York City, where it’s become a celebrity favorite. Since then, five other Southern California restaurants have opened, in Buena Park, Irvine, Rowland Heights, Temple City and Torrance.
After the SoCal launch, LA Weekly pronounced Baekjeong “the restaurant Koreatown didn’t know it needed,” praising it as “an uncompromising import that combines the impeccably sharp service and top-tier meat of more refined places” with the “rustic, atavistic pleasures” of casual KBBQ joints.
The Silicon Valley opening helps round out Valley Fair’s complement of upscale restaurants, and Baekjeong will participate this month in a sold-out Taste of Valley Fair fundraiser — with Eataly, iChina, Mastro, AnQi and King’s Fish House — for the Hunger at Home nonprofit.
Details: Open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday at 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara; www.baekjeongkbbq.com