Tofu House, (650)424-8805
4127 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA
Decent low-key Korean fare, and the only one in/near Palo Alto that I'm aware of. The interior is cozy and feels family-run. Decor is no-frills, typical of many inexpensive Asian places. On our lunch visit, we were seated promptly and cheerfully by the hostess, and given a short menu of lunch and dinner items.
Although their specialty seems to be tofu hot pot, it was a pleasant day - too warm for hot soup, so I ordered the spicy pork BBQ while Khanh ordered the kimchee pork hot pot soup. We were given only a couple of appetizer plates - a bit disappointing given that one of the joys of eating Korean food is the myriad of tasty little dishes that keep one's chopsticks busy while waiting for the main dish to arrive.
The appetizers were: kimchee (good, but not great), bean sprouts (not very interesting), potatoes (good), strands of what I think were soaked bean sprouts (boring), and rice with a few beans and peas (tasty). The miso-like soup had a strong smoky flavor to it - I'm not sure if this is a Korean thing or what, as I don't recall having miso-style soup at any other Korean place I've been, but I can't say as I was very thrilled by it.
My BBQ pork was well-cooked and tasted good, but had quite a lot of fat. Its spiciness was moderate but noticeable. The onions and mushrooms accompanying it on the sizzling platter both sopped up the flavor nicely. The bite I had of Khanh's kimchee hot pot was tasty - I'd probably get that when/if I return.
The bill was just under $20 for the two of us, before tip. Although I've been to many better Korean restaurants, given that they're pretty close to my company's Menlo Park offices, and are the only Korean I know of in the immediate area, I'll probably wind up coming back at some point.
Does anyone know of any other decent Korean places in Palo Alto/Menlo Park?