>> Friday, March 11, 2011
I love Korean food; it’s one of my more favored cuisines I am exploring at the moment. The flavors and spices really stand out and pack punch. Come to think of it, I have yet to experience any subtleness when it comes to Korean cooking. The meat marinades in particular have always been very distinct. With each place I visit I’ve come to learn more and more about how to separate the good from the bad. Or in this case, telling the difference between the overpriced from the great deals.
From the outside Jang Soo looks like a super Asian type of place. There’s an overhang of a fake tiled roof, the lettering for the sign is in large red characters, and there are blown up pictures of their food in the window. However, the cleanliness of this place really shines when compared to others. The built in stoves at most tables were gleaming upon entry. With the tiled walls and floor the place begins to resemble a restroom or hospital of some sort.
The gang and I went with one of the BBQ meat sets since we wanted to use the tableside grill. One order of Daeji Bul Go Gi (spicy pork) and one order of Bul Go Gi (marinated beef). Each portion of meat costs about $20-$25. The fixed meal comes with rice, soup, pan fried potato cakes, and the usual banchan (side dishes/condiments). To top it off we got two large bottles of Hite as well.
The portions for the meat seemed very stingy to me. It’s no secret that Korean food is usually expensive when at a restaurant, especially in the city. But I felt like I could find better deals elsewhere. The Daeji Bul Go Gi was on the sweet side though rather tasty for the most part. It balanced out with the beer rather nicely. The Bul Go Gi was rather forgettable and didn’t really carry too much flavor. It didn’t help that the edge pieces I ate came out dry.
As for all the freebies that came in the banchan, they were just alright. The potato cakes came with a pretty good dipping sauce and were crisp for the most part. The complementary soup felt watered down and didn’t carry much depth. The soup was more broth than from what I am used to seeing at other places. I didn’t appreciate the fact that they charged us extra ($5) for another small dish of kimchi.
Overall I was still pretty darn hungry and a little disappointed when we left the place. The highlights are it was close by and cleaner than most places. I’d consider going for lunch one day to see if it’s any better. Bottom line is there are other places in the city worth trying before this place.
(between 27th Ave & 28th Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94121
Neighborhood: Outer Richmond