Pittsburgh Restaurant Reviews

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

I’ll always have my perennial favorite Korean  food spots here in Pittsburgh, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like trying out new ones when the opportunity arises.   Such was the case with Soju, a brand new eatery located in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. And if you’re wondering about the name, soju is Korea’s national spirit, a clear, colorless distilled beverage.

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

According to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article I read (which is how I first learned of Soju), it took six years for the restaurateur to open it.     The bulk of that time was spent rehabbing the building.  It was formerly a bar with apartments above it, but from the outside it’s extremely nondescript;  it looks like a an old-time storefront. The inside is decidedly modern and refreshing.

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

It’s a rather small venue and they don’t take reservations. As is my MO when reservations are not accepted, I just get there relatively early and never have to wait. Unlike a lot of small, ethnic eateries, Soju does have a liquor license and had some tasty sounding cocktails to choose from. I opted for the Soju cocktail which consisted of soju, watermelon (always a personal favorite of mine), lime, mint, and soda. It was so tasty and so refreshing. D opted for one of the draft beer selections. And yes, post meal we did shots of soju (goes down surprisingly easy, but then catches up with you).

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

We opted for two appetizers,  since they both sounded good and I didn’t want to have to choose. D  always had interest in the Nori French Fries ($5) which consisted of fresh-cut fries served with seaweed seasoning and ketchup. These were good and were a huge portion, but they were still just fries (which is the main reason I wanted a more authentic appetizer).

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

My selection was the Mandu ($6), which are Korean-style dumplings and something  I adore. These were sautéed and came with your choice of  kimchee (vegetarian option) or pork.   We went with the latter.

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

For my entree I ordered the Bulgogi ($18) which is essentially grilled Korean style BBQ beef tenderloin and came with rice and bantan (the latter refers to Korean side dishes). It wasn’t spicy at all (Korean food can be prepared with a lot of spice to it) but that suited me just fine.

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

D selected a platter option which  enabled him to try the bulgogi, kalbi (Korean style BBQ short ribs), and the dwaejibulgogi (Korean BBQ pork tenderloin). His meal also came with rice and bantan.

Soju Pittsburgh Restaurant Review

I absolutely adored our meal here and definitely look forward to returning again in the future. Service, food, and drinks were all great,  everything you want in a memorable dining  out.

Soju

4923 Penn Avenue

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah Shumate
    June 28, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Korean food is something I have almost no experience with. Despite living in Asia twice, I actually don’t think I’ve ever had it! Those dumplings do look delicious, though, as does the rest of your meal. I’m looking forward to discovering new places to eat in our neighborhood – hopefully there will be somewhere we can try Korean. Or at least America’s version of Korean food. 🙂

    • Reply
      Julie
      July 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Well, even though I grew up in Philadelphia which was home to a large Korean population, I never had it until I was an adult 🙂 It definitely has become a favorite of mine, I have no doubt that you’ll find some good Korean restaurants in Nashville (I think that’s where you’ve returned to??). Being an expat in Asia, I think you’ll like it!

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