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Biz Buzz: Amid world turmoil, the Iron Grill shows brighter side of Korea

Tax season, awards keep business news busy
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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With tensions rising between North Korea and the United States, Jong Kim doesn’t mind offering his views to regional news stations from the vantage point of a native South Korean. But beyond global commentary, Kim’s real passion is sharing the traditions and culture of his homeland with locals through the food he offers at the Iron Grill in Roseville.

Kim was a chef for more than 12 years in South Korea before immigrating to the United States in 1996. He continued honing his skills at restaurants, eventually opening The Iron Grill in the Rocky Ridge Town Center last summer. The Iron Grill — the only traditional Korean barbecue house from Rocklin to Granite Bay — has a spacious dining room line with tables fully equipped with flame grills. The regiment works like this: Customers order dishes like Bulgogi, a thinly sliced rib-eye steak, or Galbee, a bone-in short rib, and have the marinated meats brought to them raw, with a colorful assortment of lettuce and grilled vegetables. The meats and veggies are barbecued right on the table.

After the flames have done their work, customers can savor the scope of Kim’s special marinade, which blooms with spicy flourishes of soy, fruit and sesame oil. Seasoned chicken and pork are also options for table-top barbecuing.

“It’s about bringing a new experience to the customers,” said Daniel Yun, a Korean-American waiter at Iron Grill. “Korean barbecue is pretty rare in the area, but when it’s done right, it has a flavor that’s all its own.”

Traditionally, many Koreans wrap their flame-seared meats in wet sheets of fresh lettuce. Yun observed that one example of cultural exchange happening at the Iron Grill is waiters and waitresses often share this tip with patrons new to Korean cuisine.

“A lot of times a customer is going to naturally starting eating the meat and lettuce separate,” Yun said, “but we do mention that they might want to try it the way most Koreans prepare it, so they know.”

From Kim’s perspective, even though talk of war between North and South Korea keeps plenty of people interested in his own opinions, success with the Iron Grill could allow him to play a directly positive role in world matters.

“One of the reasons I opened the restaurant was so that I could have the means to help other people,” Kim told the Press Tribune. “I want to have the ability to support efforts to feed children in Third World countries. That’s what I’m interested in.”      

The martial arts instructors at Robinson’s Taekwondo are hoping locals will vent frustration about the tax season while trying their hands at self-defense. On April 13, the Taekwondo studio will host its “break a tax board and get a break from Robinson’s” promotion. Participants who are interested in becoming martial arts students for a 30-day trial period can sign up on April 13, learning how to break boards and get a monetary refund from the studio matching the price of a month’s tuition. Robinson’s representatives said visitors can keep the refund or give it to a local charity. 

Registration is required by visiting www.robinsonstkd.com and clicking on Events. Robinson Taekwondo teaches Basic Taekwondo, Cardio-Kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts Fitness or an Active 50-plus “Silver Tigers” class. Its located at 7456 Foothills Blvd. For more information, call (916) 783-3191.

Dr. Daniel McDowell, a second-generation Placer County dentist, has moved his practice from Rocklin to a new location at Roseville Square, giving him a more centralized location for patients from around the region. McDowell said it was “exciting to be a part of Roseville Square’s re-emergence as a major shopping destination.” McDowell’s father, Alan McDowell, was a Roseville dentist for more than 50 years.  The new office is at 419 Roseville Square near Trader Joe’s.  Fore more information, call (916) 784-9400.

Union Pacific Railroad, a fixture in Roseville, recently received the Green Leadership Award by Sacramento Business Journal. According to the magazine, the Green Leadership honor goes to companies like Union Pacific for “demonstrating a strong commitment to making the Sacramento region a thriving hub for clean technology.” Sacramento Business Journal praised Union Pacific for working to reduce locomotive emissions by implanting cutting-edge new technology, including spending $20 million on 25 experimental locomotives based in California.

The quarterly luncheon of the Christian Business Roundtable will host the Sacramento region’s “godfather of hot fudge sundaes and smiles” Dave Leatherby on April 19. Leatherby is the founder of Leatherby’s Family Creamery, a popular Sacramento staple for old-fashioned ice cream, diner fare and cream-rich confections As the guest speaker, Leatherby will discuss courage, court battles and business advice. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. A limited number of early bird tickets are $24 and available online at www.ChristianBusinessRoundtable.com. General tickets are $27.50 online, and will be $35 at the door the day of the event. The event will be held at Granite Bay Golf Club at 9600 Granite Bay Drive, Granite Bay. For more information, contact Aric Resnicke at (916) 342-4502.