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Song Pa Korean Cuisine closes in Mountain View

Uploaded: Nov 30, 2017
Downtown Mountain View Korean restaurant Song Pa has closed.

The owners, a family that previously owned a Pleasanton restaurant of the same name, could not be reached for comment.

An online Coldwell Banker real estate listing for the 841 Villa St. property shows it was sold on Oct. 31 after several price reductions over the last six months.

Song Pa opened last February, replacing longtime Korean eatery Totoro. The small restaurant served traditional Korean food like bibimbap, japchae and other fare.

Song Pa's stone bowl bibimbop with kimchi, beef, onions, egg and a spicy sauce. Photo by Michelle Le.

Reminisce with this 2016 review: Korean classics
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Posted by Emily B., a resident of Jackson Park,
on Dec 7, 2017 at 10:22 am

It looks like the business sold after numerous price reductions, not the property...

Posted by No surprise, a resident of Midtown,
on Dec 7, 2017 at 3:50 pm

I work near downtown Mountain View and I went to Song Pa once for lunch with a few colleagues.

Our dishes arrived almost an hour after ordering. During that time, we were starving. They refused to serve us banchan while we waited, probably because it would cost too much to replenish the dishes. We asked, and they simply said that the dishes would be coming. The banchan arrived WITH our food.

We had to ask for water refills over and over again.

Food was mediocre.

Considering the competition in the area, I'm surprised they lasted that long with such poor/tacky service.

Posted by Yes surprise, a resident of another community,
on Dec 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm

Wow, the surprise here was the comment just above (from "No surprise") and its broad judgments of Song Pa from admittedly one single lunch experience, sounding nothing like typical of our experiences there, or even any I heard about. In six or so lunches and one dinner after Song Pa took over the space from the old Totoro, I never saw delays in serving -- let alone, lack of generosity with banchan side dishes (without which it wouldn't be much of a Korean restaurant), if anything the opposite. Also, if something like banchan ever had been held back we'd have asked about it and learned why, not just saved up a resentment to later speculate gratuitously on a public forum ("probably because it would cost too much to replenish the dishes") -- Song Pa was always generous in replenishing banchan in my experiences, so that theory's DOA. We'd tried a few of the Korean specialties that Totoro had been known for, and found that Song Pa made different and even better renditions of some of them -- if there was ever a complaint, it was only impatience for Song Pa having a smaller menu than Totoro, and the hope that it would expand some day.

When I see a report on a restaurant, very different in conclusions from what I've experienced at the same place several times, different also from what most other people I know have reported, it argues that either the visit or the writer's perception was unusual somehow. "No surprise" mentions a long wait for food, and doesn't specify the time of day for that one lunch; in peak demand times (like 12:30 weekdays), downtown Mountain View employees plus others from nearby towns descend on Castro Street restaurants, so if you choose to be part of that rush you've also chosen what goes with it. And some harsh comments about restaurants that people post online have enlightening back stories if you happen to learn them (like the commenter or the table behaved rudely or arrogantly, then complained online about the consequences) -- I'm not suggesting that those situations relate to the comment above, but you never know what eye-of-the-beholder factors intrude when you don't know the beholder (those factors never get mentioned, and often, not even perceived by the writer). Reading comments to Elena's blog posts shows many self-selected strongly-opinionated restaurant judgments that aren't representative or useful for readers (not to mention the little gang that prefers to write about restaurants it's never tried), but at least this website isn't formulated specifically to profit from such mis/disinformation (unlike Yelp).

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