Hank Kim, chef and owner of the recently opened Far East + Kitchen in Scotts Valley, has spent his entire career in the restaurant industry. Originally born in Seoul, he moved here in 2003 with the sole goal of putting his heart and soul into a restaurant he could call his own.
After owning a spot in Carmel, Kim decided to sell and opened Far East + Kitchen in June 2023, saying he liked the individual building, kitchen and location. He says the space’s design is simple and traditional Asian décor, punctuated with natural colors and redolent wood accents.
The menu mixes sushi and Korean cuisine.. Korean options include Bulgogi (thin-sliced marinated beef with vegetables), spicy pork marinated with Korean chili paste, and the Jajangmyeon – fresh house made noodles combined with meat, seafood, veggies and black bean paste. Another Korean favorite is the kimchi stew with pork and tofu.
Succulent sushi selections are the Crunchy Dragon Roll with almost everything except the kitchen sink – tempura shrimp, crab meat, avocado, cucumber, unagi sauce, spicy tuna and spicy mayo. They also offer traditional sashimi paired with miso soup, mixed salad and rice. For dessert there’s Marianne’s ice cream and mochi.
Hours are everyday 11:30am-2:30pm for lunch, and 4:30-9pm for dinner.
How have the first months of business been?
HANK KIM: We have been doing okay and people seem to really like our food. Business has been picking up and the locals have really been embracing our food. They really love the diverse menu selections, and tell me they have been wanting Korean food here in Scotts Valley, so they are really happy to have us.
Describe Korean cuisine and why people are gravitating toward it?
HK: Because the food is healthy and that really matters to a lot of people right now. The ingredients are really good, delicious and unique. We have a lot of housemade options which are not only very healthy, but also hard to find at other restaurants, and that are popular right now. And the food can be spicy, but it’s a really nice level of spice.
5600 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, 831-600-8746; fareastkitchen.menu11.com