.Boulder Creek Korean Food

The tip from a colleague had me hopeful at first whiff: There’s a liquor store in Boulder Creek, he messaged, and it’s quietly doing loudly good Korean food.

A visit told me that we have a funky foodie revelation on our hands and our plates.

Actually, make that two visits.

My first foray came on a Sunday, and the deli in the back converts into a Korean fever dream Fridays and Saturdays only, 11am-8pm.

Seven days a week, Redwood Keg proves to be the kind of old-school liquor store that any self-respecting mountain hamlet deserves.

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Note the deep roster of reasonably priced spirits, local wines, craft beer and household basics, and the approachable vibe of owners Eunhee Lee and Doug Woolard, who bought the place in spring 2022.

Plus the daily deli action looks legit on its own. The “famous” Belly Buster tri-tip sandwich leads a lineup of build-your-own options centered around things like brisket, pastrami, tuna salad, five breads and eight cheeses. The “Tri Tippen” jar next to the happy face bell, next to the selection of full-sized packaged dill pickles, are nice touches.

While Woolard tends the smoker and Santa Maria grill, Lee whips up the South Asian action, with all the Korean pickles, marinades and fermentations done by hand. Those find expression via dishes like the kimchi, four different bibimbap bowls, chicken teriyaki rice dishes and Korean beef potstickers. (Everything falls between $5 and $13.50.)

She reports the classic beef bulgogi is the most popular, but she prefers the pork bulgogi. So the latter was an easy call, plus a big steamed bun and bibimbap bowl.

Both bowls impressed, the pork for its lean heat and tasty teriyaki tone, the bibimbap bowl for the abundance of vegetables and accompanying sauce. They both come on a big foundation of rice, but it’s a good value, sturdy enough for more than a meal.

It all awaits at 12980 Highway 9, right as you enter downtown B Creek from the south. Mas-issge deuseyo.

TASTE SENSATION

Bad idea alert: PepsiCo is teaming with Empirical to release a Doritos-flavored spirit for $65 a bottle. Good idea counterpoint, on time for gift-giving season: Scotts Valley’s UBlendIt has a bunch of breakthrough celebrity spirits coming that attach themselves to smarter (and less cheesy) flavors than nacho chips. UBlendIt’s Judge’s Water—from Cheech and Chong—just started shipping this week. Behind that come yet-to-publish deals with (watching out for what I’m allowed to disclose): 1) a name-check MMA fighter; 2) an international family of good-looking and well-kept reality stars; and 3) one of the more famous actors of the last 50 years (and his now reality-famous fam too). ublendit.com/

SPEED HARVEST

Commercial crab season was delayed (again) late last month, but it will be reconsidered Dec. 21…Birthday girls and boys get free dessert at Persephone Restaurant in Aptos…A senior discount drops prices 10% at Seascape Foods and Aptos Foods on Mondays…Thursday nights at The Grove translate to popups like Dec. 21’s collaboration with Emily Beggs of Kin & Kitchen winter- and mountain-appropriate forage-style stuff like chanterelle ravioli and mugwort soup….

Burger Week cometh Feb 21! Please send any ideas around your faves to @MontereyMCA on Instagram…Over and out.


1 COMMENT

  1. Redwood Keg tip: call first to see if they actually have tri-tip or anything else. The food is great, if they actually have it. It can be a bit spotty.

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