Kogiri Thai Fusion Korean BBQ, a new restaurant coming to Arcata mid-year

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The restaurant space that once held Golden Harvest Cafe in Arcata will soon become the Kogiri Thai Fusion Korean BBQ.

“At its heart, it is a Korean barbecue, it is a Thai fusion Korean barbecue,” said Alexander Yang, the owner. “The reason why it’s Thai fusion is because I’m not Korean. I’m actually Hmong and there’s a lot of Hmong folks that do live in Thailand–the reason why we’re doing Korean barbecue is because I’ve worked with a lot of Korean folks in my culinary career.”

The Kogiri Thai Fusion Korean BBQ hopes to open its doors mid-year for folks to experience the table-top grilling at your seat while sipping on some soju bombs and setting the vibes with K-pop tunes. 

Yang has been cooking since he was 18. He attended the Institute of Technology and Culinary Arts in Fresno and gained cooking experience at various Korean restaurants. He also helped launch Lilly’s Thai Kitchen in Willow Creek. All of those experiences combined inspired him to open this restaurant with his style and flavor. 

“An example of the menu for two is that you get your house salad and then your pa jun, which is a scallion pancake and then you get jab chae, which is a glass noodle stir fry and so you get that and you also get the bonchon and bonchon is basically small little bite-sized appetizers,”  Yang said.

And that’s just the start. Because Korean barbecue involves cooking at your seat, your party then would choose your choice of meat to cook either yourself or have a server assist the process. Yang emphasized that this dining experience is culturally known to be eaten with a group of family, friends or co-workers.

“You’re going to go there you’re going to have fun,” Yang said. “You’re cooking food with your friends or your friends cooking food for you, you know, you’re eating and having a good time. Definitely, soju bombs are going to be a big thing here, too. So I think it’s going to be a great place.”

The vision for the restaurant is good vibes and high energy. Yang said there will be TVs throughout the entire restaurant playing K-pop and Thai-pop music videos to set the tone.

For those already curious about the food and energy, Yang will be hosting a pop-up event at the Alchemy Distillery Tasting Room on Jan. 20 and 21 from 4-9 p.m. To stay up to date with events or the restaurant follow them on Instagram @kogiribbq.

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