Is It Any Good?

Standard Japanese fare in Glendale.

Buko Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Buko on Foodio54

Usually, when I’m in a restaurant, I like to go ahead and get going on the review, if I can.

Of course, that also brings with it a measure of thought and reflection. When I write these things, I’m usually writing about the journey that brought me here. “What caused me to darken this particular restaurants door” and so on…

It’s tough because, even though I’m a foodie, and even though I do the whole Food blog thing, I’m like every other Angeleno out there. I mean, I got errands to run, stuff to do. I can’t make a special trip to find that hippest, hottest place that just opened up, or make that special voyage to treat myself to that area classic that’s been here a hundred years…

Sometimes, I’m just running to Target. Sometimes, I’m just in the neighborhood.

Thus…tonight, I’m here at Buko in Glendale. Doing what…well, you’re probably doing right now (if you’re not at home reading this on your iPad). I’m out for dinner in the middle of week, just hangin’ and chillin’.

So, BukoBuko. What to say? What to say?

Well, you wouldn’t exactly expect this place where it is. It’s in the same complex that houses Eden Burger Bar. Right across the street from Skaf’s Lebanese. The complex itself looks like a Mercado (that’s Spanish for Marketplace…I hope. I took Latin and Russian in High School). Mexican tile on the roof, stucco on the walls. This isn’t a strip mall that makes you think real good Japanese food. It makes you think “Will my Dry Cleaning be ready on Wednesday or Thursday?”

But here we are. A small, comfortable little joint, and…I have to admit…fairly busy for a Sunday Night. I’d say about three quarters of the tables are filled (one or two of them are occupied by Asian-Americans, so…fingers crossed.)

Of course, this was before I got my food.

The food it was…well, okay. Nothing terrible. Nothing horrendous, but nothing spectacular either.

 

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: So about that food…

When I walked in, I knew for certain that this was a place that…basically did your basic Chicken Teriyaki and basic-level Sushi. So, of course, I wanted something different, and I found it. Pork Katsu with Curry.

The Pork Katsu Curry at Buko in Glendale.

Now, I’m a big fan of places like the Curry House chain and Hurry Curry of Tokyo. So I’d like to think I know me some Japanese Curry (like to, anyway). And what I had here was…fine. The pork was okay. The curry was good enough…

…but that feeling you chase from really great food, that spark you get when the good stuff hits your tongue. Not there. Still, Buko will do in a pinch.

I also had the Agedashi Tofu, which was…the strangest Agedashi Tofu I’ve ever had.

Buko's version of Agedashi Tofu.

There was nothing too wrong with how it tasted, it was how it was presented that was…different. For once, it was sliced thinly, not in cubes like I’ve had at…well…every other Japanese Restaurant in my life. And it was very, very lightly fried. So if you’re really, really into the taste of actual Tofu, this is your jam.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: The main thing is going to be finding the place. Buko is located inside a Retail Complex with a wonderful Hacienda feel to it: Spanish tile, stucco walls. It doesn’t read Japanese from the outside, and the Buko sign itself is more than a little hard to see from the street. If you see Eden Burger Bar or a sign for a Liquor Store, you’re there.

Also, this is one of those places that closes down between Lunch and Dinner rushes.

 

PARKING: Actually, pretty good. The Retail Complex that Buko calls home actually has a good amount of free parking. Granted, the place is usually busy, but you should be able to find a spot or two there. Failing that, you can try to park along the curve of Chevy Chase or along N. Verdugo. Again, there won’t be many spots, but there should be something.

Eden Burger Bar, which is is in the same complex has a Valet service, but I’m not sure it’s something Buko Customers can use. Just so you know.

Buko Japanese Cuisine in Glendale.

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Buko
327 N. Verdugo Rd.
Glendale, CA 91206

Phone:(818) 243-1717

Hours:
Sunday: 5:00 – 9:00 PM
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Saturday: 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM, 5:00 – 10:00 PM