마루(Maru): A wood paneled floor or platform outside a traditional Korean home used for gathering and entertaining.
MARU Lounge: A social platform for people of different cultural backgrounds to gather over great food and drinks.
Featuring a fresh, comfortable décor with tempting bench seats dotted with comfy pillows and a chic black and neutral toned interior, MARU creates an atmosphere that invites guests be at home. Owner/chef Ben Park specializes in Korean cuisine with a vision: make Korean food interesting and approachable to Koreans and non-Koreans alike. With that concept in mind he creates not only traditional favorites like Spicy Rice Cake (꺽볶이), but Cream Rice Cake, a Carbonara-style dish with Alfredo sauce, bacon and vegetables. Bulgogi (불고기) is served, but so is French Fries & Bulgogi – Chef Park’s Korean twist on Carne Asada Fries. The menu, which will likely change over time as inspiration motivates, includes salads, grilled and fried options, and warm-your-heart stews. And the dishes look every bit as fabulous as they taste: if you’re into food porn, I highly recommend MARU’s menu Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/maru.sandiego/photos_stream
When asked what made MARU different, manager Kevin Park responded: “We believe Korean food is about balance and harmony. Whether it is in terms of food or community, to achieve balance and harmony you need knowledge and awareness of what is available and ability and willingness to incorporate different elements. I think what we are doing reflects that. We take something that we are very comfortable with like Soju and collaborate it with western cocktails: Soju Margarita, Soju Mojito, Blended Soju Smoothies, etc.” (They’re really yummy, by the way!)
MARU wants to be proactive in the community, not just with Koreans, but with the community as a whole. They want to be part of and support any cause that will reach out and connect people together. One step inside the door and guests feel the connection MARU hopes to create. The staff is friendly and warm.
So I asked: Why should people come to MARU?
Kevin answered: “Because we want YOU to be here. We want YOU to be part of us and what we do. Yes, we have quality Korean food made from fresh quality ingredients for connoisseur or new-comers, we make phenomenal cocktail soju, and we have awesome staff that are good-looking as well as friendly. But come to enjoy quality time with your friends and family and experience what diversity has to offer.”
I have, and I do. Remember the T.V. show “Cheers?” Where everybody knows your name. That’s MARU – but with class, and much better food!
MARU is located at 4861 Convoy Street, Suite A, San Diego, 92111
Mon – Tue: 5:30 pm – 12:00 am
Wed – Sat: 5:30 pm – 2:00 am
Sun: 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm