3631 Southport Drive, Sacramento, CA, 95826. (916) 368-2277
Just over a year ago, my buddy Jeff (who's my go-to-guy for Korean restaurant recs) introduced me to Sarang Bang and somehow it's become one of my favorite Korean places in town despite it's drawbacks...and the place does have some major drawbacks- it's seedy location and limited hours of operation mainly. First off, it's located off of Kiefer in a Rosemont strip mall, next to The Mushroom dive bar...not the safest part of town for a girl and her fork to be roaming about. Add to that, it's only open at night. But hey the good part is, it's open late...really late--like 2am late. In fact, Mr. S. and I have often subbed in Sarang Bang as our late night "Korean Denny's" when we've needed some midnight chow after attending a party or event.
Make it in from the creepy parking lot and you're golden. The establishment's weathered wooden booths covered in graffiti illuminated by dimly lit lanterns gives the place a cozy, comfortable feel like you've stumbled upon some odd little out-of-the-way pub. Two little old Korean ladies usually run the show...sometimes they chat with you; other times, you merely get a slight nod and a request to take your order...it's the luck of the draw. Mr. S. and I usually have a good time watching and discussing the Korean music videos or variety shows while we sip our barley tea and wait for our meals. It tends to be pretty quiet in there, but sometimes some soju-soaked revelers stumble in post-karaoke and things get a little noisy.
The restaurant's menu is pretty extensive (and includes many photos) and they serve the whole menu up to closing. On my first visit with friends, I tried the yangnyeom (spicy/sweet fried) chicken, haemul pajeon (seafood pancakes), dukbokki (stir-fried rice cakes) and all were tasty but on my return visits, Mr.S. and I have gotten into the routine of ordering the bulgogi and omurice. (Now, I know what you're thinking omurice isn't Korean...but at 12am...it's the perfect midnight snack, don't you know? And hey, it's on their menu!) Anyhow, their bulgogi I think is some of the better bulgogi I've had in Sac. Tender and not fatty or too sweet. One order of bulgogi, one order of omurice and the banchan and we're good to go. Way better than any other eatery burning the midnight oil in the River City and quite filling.
*soju, rice/plum wine, beer only
*$20 minimum purchase to use plastic
*if business is slow, sometimes they close early