Nov 30

Gen Korean BBQ House – Milpitas, CA

500 Barber Ln

Milpitas, CA 95035

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Gen finally opens a second location in Milpitas after a very successful opening in San Jose. Long wait times and horrible parking plagued the San Jose location, so this location will hopefully alleviate the pressure for Gen visitors. Unfortunately, the parking situation in the Milpitas parking lot is just as bad since there are so many restaurants and shops sharing the same lot. After finally finding a parking space, the wait continues as we put my name down on the 1.75 to 2.25 hour wait list. And so we waited, and waited, watching group after group get seated. We were finally seated after 2.25 hours at the bar since that was available first. A server soon came by to take our drink order and bring over the salad. The server seemed a bit frazzled, running back and forth taking care of the bar customers.

Like the San Jose location, Gen has two different service options depending on the day of the week and time of day. There are 37 different items to choose from during dinner and weekends at $24.99 per person. The side dishes were pretty underwhelming and the salad was quite bitter. Today, we decided to order the premium brisket, premium steak, beef bulgogi, pork belly, Hawaiian steak, miso pork belly, Cajun shrimp, and japchae. After getting all settled in, the server did do a good job in checking in and taking our refill orders. The brisket tasted fresh and delicious, going well with the provided dipping sauces. The brisket tasted so good that we ordered it three more times during the meal with each time tasting just as delicious and tender. The premium steak was quite sizable and took a bit longer to cook. After cooking both sides for a few minutes, I used the scissors to slice it into strips. The steak was a bit fatty on one side, but it was tender and juicy. The beef bulgogi was seasoned well with bulgogi sauce, but the meat was hard to separate on the grill. The pork belly was thin enough to cook through on both sides in a reasonable amount of time. I also sliced the pork belly with the scissors to make each piece bite-sized. The meat was juicy and tasted even better when dipped into the sauces. The Hawaiian steak had some pineapple flavors, but tasted more like bulgogi again. The miso pork belly was the most disappointing because it was very thick, so it was hard to cook though. The seasoning was also extremely salty to the point of being inedible. The Cajun shrimp was tasty, but peeling the shells was quite time-consuming. The japchae tasted mostly like soy sauce and did not have any flavor nor enough sesame oil.

Overall, Gen Korean BBQ House does serve up a wide array of dishes at a very reasonable price. The parking situation and long wait times are extremely discouraging, just like at the San Jose location. The restaurant’s blaring music and club-like lightning may deter some as it is hard to have a conversation with how loud the restaurant was while cooking. Service started out slow but got drastically better as the meal went by. By the end of the meal, we ordered meat four times, with a maximum of four items per order. If you want excellent Korean BBQ in the San Jose area, I would definitely recommend Gen. If you want to avoid some of the wait time, just go as early as possible. Since there are two locations now, you may also want to call both locations to see what their wait times are and go to the one with the shorter time. If you want to eat during dinner on a weekend or holiday, prepare to suffer.

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