Saja Kitchen, the new Korean bistro concept by restaurant consultant Alex Thao, is now open in the former Bolillo Tortas space, bringing the dynamic flavors of Korea to Downtown San Diego. Saja Kitchen is Thaoʼs third Asian eatery, along with Rama Thai and Lucky Liuʼs, offering diverse and traditional Asian flavors in a hip and welcoming atmosphere.
“The development of Saja came after we noticed that Downtown San Diego was lacking a good variety of dining options,” says Alex Thao. “There were so many steakhouses, Italian, seafood, pubs, Mexican, burger joints, and taverns. We sought to develop a Korean restaurant that serves authentic dishes and small plates using modern cooking techniques.”
The larger plates are anchored by an array of familiar, yet friendly Korean staples, like Soondubu (traditional soft tofu stew), Bulgogi (short ribs), and Bibimap Bowls cooked and served in hot traditional clay Korean-style pots, filled with rice, meat, veggies and an egg. Seasonal dishes will include Gimbap Rolls or Korean-style sushi and Korean ramen. Saja diners will also get to sample several Banchan. or Korean side dishes like kimchi, pickled radish and sweet omelet. Masterfully executing the bright and energetic flavors is Executive Chef Jason Velasquez, formerly of Katsuya San Diego.
Southern California-based Design Opera (TJ Oyster Bar, Pappalecco Cafe), created the warm and minimalist space including an open-exhibition kitchen with 10 chef-counter seats allowing guests to see and hear the energy. The 2,200-foot space includes a modern basket weave wall instillation in the main dining area, and a patio along 4th Avenue to allow the vigor of the restaurant to echo that of the city.
Saja Kitchen is located at 417 4th Avenue in downtown San Diego and is open for lunch Monday-Saturday from 11:30am-3pm and daily for dinner from 5-10pm. For more information, visit sajakitchen.com and check out the menu below.