No more hunting down the food truck and waiting in line for KoJa at Off the Grid, the Asian fusion outlet has opened opened up two new brick-and-mortar shops in the last few months—in SF on Clement Street and on East Brokow Rd. in San Jose—giving their signature dishes a permanent home. The KoJa food truck came on the scene four years ago and last year they opened their first storefront in Berkeley. And there are plans for Emeryville and San Mateo locations for full Bay Area domination. The name KoJa blends the two countries Korea and Japan and the food is a delicious family-friendly reinvention of both cuisines.
On Clement Street, choose between the indoor/outdoor patio area with its large TV screens and overhead heaters or the spacious interior with more intimate seating. Similar to the food truck experience, you order at the counter and get a call out via a buzzer system when your food is ready. The food comes in the same cardboard trays as it would if you were al fresco which keeps dinner super casual. You can pick out forks or chopsticks and take your seat cafeteria-style. The decor is urban, modern, and comfortable with chalkboard art and menus on the wall. See if you can spot the silver and red Japanese superhero, Ultraman, battling Godzilla on the menu board.
KoJa Kitchen has come up with their own version of a burger, using a sticky rice deep-fried garlic patty instead of a traditional wheat bun. This intriguing combo has a crispy texture and holds up well with the sauce and garnish plus the short rib, chicken or beef KoJa. While there isn’t a kids menu, the tacos and KoJa patties aren’t huge. Add some Kamikaze fries (crinkle cut potatoes with Korean BBQ beef, kimchi, green onions and tiger stripes of mayo) and you have the perfect feast for little ones. For adults there’s a secret menu offering alternative rice bowls and KoJas. Whatever you order, don’t miss out on the refreshing strawberry lemonade with hints of mint and mango.
Photo credit: Jing D via Yelp
If you’re looking for a veggie option, the Teriyaki Zen Bowl is the way to go. The portobello mushroom patty is perfectly seasoned and mixed with chunks of pineapple making it a rice/salad bowl all in one. Add an egg to any of the bowls for an extra protein boost. Sapporo beer is served in funky mason jars with handles and there are other beers on tap for those wanting draught. KoJa is in good company on Clement with Burma Superstar and Giorgios among their neighbors. What’s missing is dessert. The food truck menu has an Oreo-topped Tiramisu but no sign of that yet in the Inner Richmond. Luckily the trusty Toy Boat Dessert Café serves a huge selection of ice cream less than a block away.
343 Clement Street
San Francisco, Ca
1085 East Brokaw Road #10
San Jose, Ca
2395 Telegraph Ave.
Have you checked out Koja Kitchen with the kids? What was their favorite dish? Let us know in the comments below.