Chris Bae and his wife Mira opened their third restaurant on Lombard in Beaverton just one week ago and already the joint is jumping.  No surprise really since they are combining two popular cuisines:  BBQ and Korean food.

The most popular item on the menu is all you can eat but Chris says that he knows a lot of people are not really interested in eating large portions.  “You can pick meat dishes ala cart and get all the same sides,” he says, “and then it just becomes normal dinner portions.”  

For diners who have never had the KTown experience he suggests that they let themselves be guided by their servers who he has trained specially to help diners discover what dishes they might enjoy. “I’ve trained all my servers to help customers (understand the menu) and we brought in lead servers from the other restaurants to help.”

Many elements of a Korean BBQ feast
Many elements of a Korean BBQ feast

The Baes have been in the restaurant business for 25 years. “This is a passion for my wife, Mira,” he says, “I was in the car business but back in 2009 with the kids ready to go to college, we had to either change our lifestyle or make more income.” Mira Bae opened up what Chris calls a “hole in the wall” on Hawthorne called Rice Junkie and she ran that restaurant for about six years. Later an opportunity came up to open up a place at 82nd and Foster and Mira decided the time had come to go all out.

“We fell in love with Korean food,” he says, “and we went to LA to visit Korea Town.  That’s how we came up with the name, KTown.”  The venture was not without its challenges.  It was impossible to find a Korean chef locally Bae recalls and he says “We actually had to hire one to come from LA and that’s how we got the recipes for the sauces and things like that for our first location.”

Now it’s a family business with even daughter Kristen involved in daily operations. But the challenges have persisted.  The COVID epidemic has been particularly hard on restaurants and KTown is no exception.  Even now, the lingering effects of the disruption play havoc with his plans. “Last night,” he says, “three dishwashers just didn’t show up.  No call. Nothing. Later they told me they were sick. It’s crazy.”

The most important thing right now says Bae is training his staff to provide the service that will keep customers coming back.  “I know I can’t please everyone,” he says, “But I want to try.

Korean BBQ also offers plenty of beer
Korean BBQ also offers plenty of beer

Chris Bae is a hometown boy having graduated from Sunset High School and he says his family sets great store by being a part of the community.  As they have done at their other restaurants, he says they want to do a special meal for law enforcement or front line workers.  He recalls that in the early days of the pandemic, his Vancouver location had only been open for 100 days before they were required to shut their doors. 

“We had all this extra food that was going to go bad,” he says, “So we did a meal for Legacy hospital in Salmon Creek and they served the Clark County Sheriff’s station.”  

The restaurant at 4570 SW Lombard is open every day from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Come early for the best seating.  This place fills up fast.