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Maejoo is one of only a few Korean restaurants in San Leandro, located in the Pelton Center. Owner and chef Soojin Kim is a former caterer and culinary school graduate who focuses on bringing contemporary, nutrition-conscious Korean cuisine to the local community. At Maejoo, you won’t find offerings like black goat stew, blood sausage, or braised pig feet. The menu is simple and accessible even for first-timers to Korean cuisine. The Korean fried chicken wings, available with sweet spicy chili sauce or sweet soy glaze, stood up to their competition. The hot stone bibimbap, available in meat or vegetarian varieties, is another standout dish. Kim ups the portions of meat and vegetables and serves less rice to make the bowl healthier — and more flavorful. The tofu soup is equally satisfying. There was an impressive depth of flavor to the soup, made using a base of soybeans that Kim ferments herself.

— Katherine Hamilton

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Price: $$$

Payment Type: Cash, All Major Credit Cards

Hours: Tues.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

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