Korean Secret Garden – Santa Clara, CA

Another dinner out w DK. We are not very creative when we dine out and rather than being a total nazi about where we dine, I let him decide. He picked Secret Garden for some Korean BBQ since he has been there and quite enjoyed it.

The restaurant looked great! It was clean and decorated like it was back in the days dining hall of restaurants. I loved it.

Menu is very extensive with dinner combinations for easy decision making.

We had:

Banchan

Pretty good variety of banchan but we barely put a dent in them. We were kinda put off by the kimchi because it was very gummy, must be the paste they make when mixing the spices for the kimchi. It was slimy and not very appealing.

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Combination Soondobu $9.95

Soft tofu, Clams, Shrimp, Pork & Beef Spicy Stew.

Soup didn’t come w an egg so I had to request for one (I just figured they forgot). It was pretty thick, lots of seafood and with good base flavour. Not their signature item but pretty comparable to all other restaurants.

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Bulgogi $15.95

Thinly sliced marinated tender beef. It was cooked so well with nice crisped edges but very tender flavourful little pieces of beef. Sweet salty and a tad peppery. Really good wrapped in lettuce or even just rice.

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Sam Gyup Sal $36

BBQ Thin Sliced Bacon with Sesame Oil

I never understood the fascination with grilled pork belly that is not marinated so I am the worst judge for this menu item. The pork was all uniformly cut into thin slices and then popped on the grill. Served with sesame oil and some soy bean paste. I really enjoyed the soy bean paste and crisps lettuce that is served with the meat.

Look at the amount of fat that drips from the grill! o_O

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Total Damage: $86 (including tax & tip)

Personal Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Good)

Definitely pricier than most of the Korean counterparts on El Camino but great quality meats and excellent service.  The old Korean ladies checked back on us multiple times throughout the meal to make sure we had everything we needed. The ban chan was disappointing but the other dishes were fine. There are too many korean restaurants that serve similar standard dishes for a tad cheaper so it is hard to justify eating here for more than the quieter, cleaner atmosphere.

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Korean Secret Garden

3430 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051

(408) 244 5020

Korean Secret Garden on Urbanspoon

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