Korea Garden (Milpitas, CA)

9:00:00 AM

Tik Tok, On the Clock. But the party don’t stop no…

… may we at least get the ban chan started?

Korea Garden is one of those restaurants that I always passed by but never tried. I use to work for The Face Shop that was located inside this plaza mall and despite coming to work every day over the course of months, I never stopped to try Korea Garden.

Until now! My friend and I pulled up to Korea Garden at about 7 PM on a Friday night. The restaurant was about ¾ full and we had to wait a few minutes while they cleared a table for us. I could already tell that they were overwhelmed by the few servers bustling about, but I was in good spirits and I wasn’t incredibly hungry.

We placed our order. I got the Bibimbap and my friend ordered the seafood tofu stew.

That’s when the waiting began.

10 minutes rolled by.

15 minutes.

20 minutes.

Their kitchen was overwhelmed. A table not too far away from us were waiting for their food prior to our arrival. And they received it 20 minutes into our service. So goodness knows how long they must’ve waited.

25 minutes.
30 minutes.

By this time, it must have been almost 7:45 PM at this point and they haven’t even served the banchan yet. I thought at the very least, they should have given us that so that we had something to nibble on while we waited.

I don’t know if their tactic is to starve us so that the food tasted better on arrival, but my good spirits was dwindling considerably by that point and my friend, who was hungry entering the restaurant was peeved.

Amy used Intense Staring.

35 minutes. The ban chans finally arrived.


Bring on the ban chan! There were plenty of low points with dinner that night, but the variety of banchans they give you is definitely not one of them. There were 9 dishes and I would say that’s more than what you get on average.

(Zig Zag L to R: Steamed broccoli, pickled cucumber, marinated tofu, seaweed, simmered potatoes, beansprouts, kimchi, fishcakes and finely shredded marinated daikon)
Always a big fan of the potatoes! First browned and then simmered in a sweet soy sauce
A staple in most ban chan found in the Bay Area, but still good. 
5 minutes later. The food arrives as well!

Stone Pot Bibimbap. All your veggies and then beef in the middle, topped with a fried egg.
I would have much preferred if the ban chans came first if they knew that the main entree would take such a long time to arrive. It wasn’t as though we were going to eat the ban chan, get fed up with the wait and leave-- but maybe it had happened before.

Either way, I was starving by this point and my stone bibimbap was incredibly hot, so I couldn’t eat quickly without risking burning my mouth.

The service is sub-par and the wait time is atrocious even after factoring in the semi-full restaurant, but the food was good. Not great, but good. Overall, I don’t see myself coming back to Korea Garden for dinner if I have to wait so long for food. I rather drive a little further and eat at either Tofu House or Jang Su Jang and receive better service even if I have to wait.

Even after asking for the check, we opt-ed to pay up front at the counter because the servers took too long to come around and we couldn’t flag one down.

How long are you willing to wait for food? What bothers you more? Bad service or long wait times? My dad hates waiting in line at a restaurant. We literally left Tofu House after waiting for a certain time because he got fed up.

Korea Garden
1535 Landess Ave
Milpitas, CA 95035

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