CALI Kitchen, Seoul

“California Chill with California Food.” I asked John to describe this place and that’s what he came up with after a minute of deep thought. We spontaneously decided to head over to Gyeongnidan-gil Road this evening, since we moved back to Hannam-dong this past weekend! Few of our friends had mentioned this place and about how you could tell the owner was Californian and really chill. John’s also from California and he kept insisting we check this place out.. and thankfully, it was worth the trip!

We were pretty surprised to find a Tiffany Box colored room with chairs and tables all in the turquoise blue. Not sure how that’s Californian, but it made an impression. Maybe the owner thought Korean girls would be attracted to this theme? or Did they buy out a previous afternoon-tea house? The place is pretty quaint and the lady at the counter was really kind, which made all the difference. We happily made ourselves at home, and ordered the Carne Asada Fries, California Burrito, Cali Burger Double and a drink of Mango Jarritos. It’s all self-service, you order and pay at the counter, and they call your name so you can pick up the dishes as they’re ready.

So the Carne Asada Fries came out first, it was a good portion, YAY! And it was delicious. Loved the hints of lime, generous guacamole, sour cream and cheese with the fries. [John’s Review: Really reminded me of the Carne Asada fries I would always get in LA. Loved it!!!]

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Second was the California Burrito which came out with a really tasty hot-salsa? sauce. I kept drizzling that red sauce all over the Burrito and it was yummmay. The steak in it matched well with the guac, chunky fries, cheese and salsa.

Last but not least, the Cali Burger came out. The juicy meat sauce was dripping all over as I tried to take huge chunks, but the burger tasted real clean and seemed to hold well to its foundation. I had heard that people compared this to an In-N-Out Burger, or the most similar burger to it that exists in Seoul. I could see why they’d say that. [John’s Review: I thought the burger was based on In N Out but with more premium ingredients. It tastes slightly like In N Out but it is still very different. Overall I think it was pretty basic and delicious.]

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All in all, it was delicious and pretty good – despite all the hyping it up by friends haha. If you’re looking for some real authentic Mexican and Latino flavor burritos etc. I personally do not think that the dishes that we ordered could reflect that, but I agree with John that if you’re looking for Mexican food FROM California this is your best bet. Cheers!

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224-66 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (At the heart of Gyeongnidan-gil Road that connects Noksapyung to the Hyatt Hotel) Tel: 070-8836-4723
SUN – THURS DINNER ONLY 5:00PM-10:00PM
FRI-SAT 12:00PM-2:30PM, 5:00PM- 10:00PM
calikitch.com

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