HOM, pronounced like home, the new fast casual Korean eatery on Santa Clara Street, occupies a cozy shotgun-style space squeezed between Dive Bar and Muchos Taqueria. Like other fast casual spots, the restaurant takes clear inspiration from Chipotle, from its fixed-up fresh food down to the clean lines and blonde wood interior.

Every dish starts out with a bed of white rice, mixed grain ($0.75 extra), toasted rice ($1.25 extra) or salad ($1.25 extra). Then the protein: tofu, barbecue chicken, firecracker pork, braised short ribs, Korean steak or just the three veggie side dishes that all orders come with.

The side dishes, or banchan, are where Hom really shines. Between three of us, we ordered the Korean steak with mushrooms, kimchi and broccoli ($9.25); the firecracker pork with spinach, kimchi and carrots ($7.50); and the barbecue chicken with zucchini, bean sprouts and spinach ($7.25).

The veggies are served cooked, but cold, over the hot rice and meat, all packaged food-truck-style in one to-go container. Mixing in well with the rice, the salty carrots and garlicky spinach paired nicely with the kimchi, which was flavorful without being overpowering. I definitely snuck back across the table for more of my friend’s deliciously nutty bean sprouts. Everything in the box benefitted from a generous helping of the homemade spicy chili sauce which, like the other spicy items on the menu, is very mild.

We sat at the large communal table dominating the center of the restaurant, centerpieced with some hip terrariums; bar seating runs along the white-tiled walls and into two window corners in the front of the shop. From any vantage, it’s easy to see the meat fired up fresh right behind the counter. The two guys working frantically threw together boxes for the dinner rush, but the vibe in the restaurant remained relaxed, with chilled-out electronica playing from portable speakers above the soda machine. Hom makes its own ginger ale ($2.95) as well—definitely worth a try if your only experience is Canada Dry. Theirs is mellow and herbal.

Hom’s hours—open til 2:30am Fridays and Saturdays—will make it a welcome addition to downtown’s late-night offerings. Is it the Chipotle of Korean food? Maybe. As for how authentic Hom is, I’ll leave that to more qualified critics. But for less than $30, three people walked out satisfied, with a little left over.

HOM Korean Kitchen

76 E Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95113