Smoky Korean barbecue, luscious soft tofu stews and enormous seafood pancakes are among the standards at this Santa Clara classic and Koreatown jewel. Its strip-mall façade may not seem enticing, but the interior is classier than expected, thanks to granite tables equipped with grill tops and ventilation hoods, and a glass-enclosed exhibition kitchen located in the back.
This is fiery-flavored cuisine for gourmands who can stand the heat. A heavy-handed dose of kimchi flavors soft beef and pork dumplings, while the fierce red chili paste that slicks garlicky slices of marinated pork may actually cook the meat in daeji bulgogi. Cool down with mul naengmyun, a cold beef broth with tender, nutty buckwheat noodles and a pot of boricha.- MICHELIN guide inspectors