Foodie Alert! 🚨
Craving Korean food?
There is a new Korean Pop Up in SLO you need to keep your eyes on!
Make sure you follow Bap Jo in SLO! Their pop up events caught our eye with their delicious menu and generous portion sizes. Some of the highlights included the Bulgogi Burrito, Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich, Ginger Beer, and Mango Nectar Black Tea Boba. (FULL MENU HERE – Vegetarian Options Available!)
Now let’s talk to Matt Yoon and learn more about Bap Jo!
What does Bap Jo mean?:
“Bap Jo (pronounced pahp-joh) is an informal, almost impatient, way in Korean to say, “Give me rice/food.” We thought it was a catchy phrase to also describe our business. Give me food! Since Korean is an honorific language, you would only say it to people younger than you. Pahp-joo-say-yo, is what you would say to someone older.”
Tell us a little more about the food!:
“The food served at our pop-up is my Americanized interpretation of Korean food influenced by what I grew up eating in Southern California. My dad is a third-generation Korean American, and my mom is from South Korea. So, while we ate my mom’s traditional Korean food with techniques she learned from her mom, my dad introduced us to a lot of great American food – burritos, pizza, and burgers. We make our kimchi with traditional techniques and ingredients, but we pair it in our kimchi fried rice with familiar American ingredients like bacon, scrambled eggs, and mozzarella cheese.”
What inspired the pop-up?:
“Since SLO doesn’t have a lot of options for Asian food, and even less for Korean food, I jumped on any chance to go to LA to get Korean food. In the last three years, I started doing a lot of research on making Korean food. I used to have cravings for my mom’s kimchi and pork stew, but SLO doesn’t have a Korean grocery store with the ingredients to make it. Thus, I started making my own kimchi in 2017, which led to making all kinds of homemade Korean dishes. When I met Hope, the first thing I made her was bibimbap, and I brought it to her while she was on her shift at Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe. She was blown away! She grew up in a small town near Fresno, where they have zero Korean restaurants, so it was a whole new experience for her. She was the biggest advocate of us starting to sell our food here in SLO.
When we were dating/engaged, Hope was the head chef/kitchen manager at Sally Loo’s. She worked there for 4 years and is really good friends with the owner, Jenny Fullarton. We had this idea to sell kimchi fried rice out of their coffee window to raise money for the wedding. It didn’t end up happening, and we got married in December 2019. In March 2020, we approached Jenny with the idea of starting the pop-up in the summer, and she was receptive to the idea. With the shelter-in-place in full effect and the cafe running at a lower capacity, we asked if we could just start the pop-up at that time, since doing takeout food was obviously a good idea. I wanted to make note that without my wife’s chef/kitchen manager experience and connections to Sally Loo’s, this would not have happened, so she is an integral part of this whole thing. She helps me edit my recipes, comes up with the logistics for service, and is really skilled at using the flat-top grill to sling the best burritos!”
How can people order your food?:
“For the month of June, Sally Loo’s is selling a kimchi fried rice bowl with avocado and a fried egg, made with my kimchi and our signature sauce!
People can follow us on facebook.com/bapjoslo and @bapjokorean on Instagram. They can also email us at email@example.com to be added to our mailing list. We post our Facebook event and include our Google Form for pre-ordering. People can also walk-up to the window or call-in, during the event.”
How often do you do your pop ups? Any future plans?
“Right now, we’re only doing pop-ups every three weeks – and have kept it pretty small. We haven’t done any marketing, besides sharing with friends and family on Facebook. I’ve partnered with my good friend, Meshack Burton, (who you’ve been connecting with on our Instagram account), to expand our operations. We’re hoping to do the pop-up once a week and make it more accessible to the public in the coming months.”
We hope you will give Bap Jo a try in the future! You won’t regret it! We will also be sharing their pop up events on our Instagram and to all our email subscribers in the future 💌 Subscribe today to have our recommendations in your inbox! We send only one email a week, no spam, or fluff!
“Geonbae” (건배) – “Cheers”
Now get out there and Enjoy SLO County!
Let us know how you like Bap Jo by commenting below!