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Seoul Bowl brings Korean BBQ’s moment to 12th Ave

(Image: Seoul Bowl)

It is time for Korean BBQ. New Seoul Bowl is bringing that moment to 12th Ave.

“Korean K-pop has a lot of influence right now,” owner James Chang tells CHS. It’s as close to a plausible theory explaining the trend as we’ve come so we’ll take it.

In the middle of food truck-born Seoul Bowl’s soft opening of its first brick and mortar space, Chang and his wife Subin have built a growing mobile and catering business around bowls of Korean meat.

At the first Seoul Bowl shop, Chang says the concept is like a “Korean Chipotle.” You choose your protein and add whatever toppings and sauces you want.

Seoul Bowl also means one trend overtaking another. The new restaurant is opening in the former home of Aloha Bap poke across from Seattle University. The Broadway Aloha Bap, by the way, has been replaced by A & A Cafe Organic Tamaleria Cider House.

Born in Tacoma, Chang is a University of Washington grad who lived in Korea for about five years where he met Subin and “ate at a lot of places.”

After a spin through the corporate world, the couple started Seoul Bowl as a food truck business and are now ready to open their first fixed-place location.

Going brick and mortar also means Seoul Bowl can explore “Korean drinking culture,” Chang said. You’ll find soju on the menu and can have a Somaek tower of beer and the distilled Korean liquor brought to your table to enjoy with friends.

And that K-pop connection? When the hugely popular bands show up in Seattle, they know who to call. South Korean band Seventeen last month had Seoul Bowl do its catering.

Seoul Bowl is opening softly through the weekend at 722 12th Ave. You can learn more at


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2 years ago

As long as it isn’t outrageously overpriced with small portions like most other restaurants around here, I’m excited.