By Dorothy Puch Lillig
If there is one thing the owners of BORI in Houston are good at, besides serving up delicious elevated Korean barbecue, it’s building anticipation.
It was a year ago on Dec. 14, 2018, when it was made “Facebook official” that BORI was “coming soon,” posted along with #thebestkoreanbbq.
Spring Branch District residents and visitors would have to wait another seven months before the soft opening on July 22. And BORI finally opened seven days a week for regular dinner service just last month, on Nov. 4.
Reviewers say the Spring Branch District’s newest Korean barbecue restaurant was worth the wait.
“This has got to be the best non-all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ in Houston,” said one reviewer on Yelp. “We came here during soft opening and it was a bit fancier and pricier than we would like, but I think the quality of the meats and experience lived up to the price.”
BORI President Kevin Koo acknowledges the BORI experience is not a cheap night out.
“My restaurant is on the higher end as for pricing but we provide better quality beef and pork that goes along with updated and modern interior unlike other Korean restaurants in Houston,” he said.
There are many beloved Korean barbecue restaurants in Spring Branch but BORI gives the Spring Branch staple a new twist.
“The food consists of both traditional and modern takes of Korean cuisine,” Koo said. And you know how you leave a Korean barbecue restaurant and the smell of your dinner sometimes follows you home? Koo has taken care of that.
“The ventilation system leaves you still smelling fresh after your meal,” he said.
At BORI, pronounced [BÔR-ē], like at other Korean barbecue restaurants, diners order a selection of meats grilled directly at the table, accompanied by side dishes like Korean corn cheese, steamed rice, kimchi stew and spicy Naengmyun, a noodle soup. Scallop Jook, a creamy Korean porridge with house basil pesto, is a great way to start the meal.
The restaurant recently added a happy hour menu, featuring Soju, Korean wine and cocktails.
And Koo is also building anticipation once again with the near completion of construction on the other half of the building that houses the restaurant at 1453 Witte Road.
Koo says that half of the building will house three different areas of entertainment, including a gallery of Korean art and artifacts, a lounge and bar area where people can gather while they wait for their table or hang out after a meal and five private dining rooms.
A grand opening is planned for the near future, Koo said.
In the meantime, if you want to give someone the gift of a unique Korean barbecue experience in Spring Branch this holiday season, gift cards are available at the restaurant.