When the baby of the family grows up, he remains the baby to everyone else in the family but baby steps aren’t in Byong Joo Yu’s plans anymore. From humble beginnings to grand aspirations, one expansive rise to success followed by a painful fall and even greater rises, this Korean fireball doesn’t give up and doesn’t let anyone tell him what can’t be done. Driven doesn’t come close to describing the mastermind of Rancho Cordova’s Koreana Plaza (KP International Market) which is home to an international market, food court, private Karaoke facility and soon to open Korean table top BBQ restaurant called The Red Alcove.
While The Red Alcove borders the food court and has an open front, it should not be confused as part of the food court. The interior is upscale, sleek and attractive with an earthy Asian color scheme including burgundies rather than the perhaps anticipated bright red. With a modern, clean look balanced with warm hues from soft lighting and even warmer personalities of those found in the staff, the first impression is welcoming followed by excitement as you are seated in front of a table top grill that patrons will be able to use themselves to turn the ultra fresh foods into grilled-by-their-own-hands delights. The choices may include several cuts of beef, pork and marinated pork, chicken, seafood including shrimp, octopus and squid, mushrooms and other garden sources like green and red bell peppers.
Each grill table can accommodate up to six people and patrons currently must include at least two people although BJ (Byong Joo Yu) is contemplating adding a smaller tabletop grill so parties of one can also enjoy the fiery fun. According to BJ, most of us have enjoyed playing with fire a bit in our youth and the grill-it-yourself style restaurant gives people an opportunity to delight in that open flame experience while simultaneously enjoying the grown up comforts, cocktails with friends, nibbling on tasty side dishes while working the grill and sharing a meal. It’s all about fun, good flavor and flame.
While BJ is still working like a whirlwind on the final touches and even final decisions, The Red Alcove is anticipated to officially open to the public in early November 2015. In the aim of catering to a diverse ethnic group like that found in and around Rancho Cordova, he is still considering which final items to offer in proteins and vegetables. BJ says, “everyone has beef and we want to offer something different.” However, beef is popular and pork belly less in demand in some cultures while top of the list for others, as is squid and octopus. The menu, when it is finalized, will likely include a variety of options starting around $25-28 per person. Some feedback to date has included a request for eggplant and other veggies but more often those seeking to grill are still hungry for meat.The strongest plus of The Red Alcove is the freshness of the proteins offered for grilling. They are, by far, fresher than anything you can typically pick up at your local grocery store.
Cocktails on the menu will feature a good deal of Soju based yummy mixed drinks. Meals include side dishes and condiments such Gyeranjjim (Korean steamed egg custard dish), steamed rice, broccoli, kimchi, marinated condiments, soup, salad and other items to make for a complete Korean grilled meal. The Red Alcove will be an ideal place for an interactive evening with family and friends. And, for those who love to sing or watch others jump in with a valiant effort, the Karaoke club is just a few doors down in Koreana Plaza where “Gangnam style Karaoke” is offered in various sizes of private rooms with more sleek decor, lighting and the latest Karaoke equipment and sound.
The Red Alcove is located at 10971 Olson Drive Rancho Cordova, CA inside Koreana Plaza which has been growing since Byong Ju Yu first purchased the dying shopping center which was once home to an Albertson’s grocery store. The international marketplace now draws thousands daily and word is that BJ has even more in store for the plaza and the Rancho Cordova community who can now enjoy their favorite flavors from around the world merely by walking from one aisle to the next or stepping into the international food court. If you have yet to visit Koreana Plaza, soon will be a must whether its to shop, sing, purchase beauty products, enjoy casual dining, or get your grill on at the new Red Alcove restaurant.