Wednesday, October 5

Korean food with the roomies

When we have roommate dinners, it involves those of us who receive mail at the apartment and use the washer/dryer (Gabe, Blaine, Courtney, me); and it also includes those “roommates” who are welcome to full access of the place and use the washer/dryer (Rebecca, Jodi, Lee). Yup, we’re one, big happy family. With one, singular bathroom. Anyway, because some of said family had never experienced a true Korean meal before, we decided to go with the food of my peeps. Represent!

While Brother’s isn't usually my first choice when I get the craving, it's probably the most famous spot for Korean in San Francisco, so it seemed like a must do for this occasion. L.A. and New York Koreans will scoff at the K-food in the bay area. I’ll admit that it’s not the best it can be, but it’s improved a ton in recent years. It's pretty good now. Of course, I’ll still take my halmunee’s (grandma's) cooking over any restaurant.

[I also finally got to play around with my new camera, a b-day present from my brother. Doesn't the food shot look almost professional? C'mon, humor me. Thanks, Jimmy! I love it!]

Gabe's eyeing the meat. Court wants none of it. Why do Lee and Rebecca have those looks on their faces...?...Because Gabe's doing this!Jodi and Blaine look like they're posing for a Hite beer ad. I think they liked it. The glasses are empty. The dishes are also empty. Blaine's a big boy. We were in charge of ordering and educating.Action shot! OK, it's posed. Whatever. Yay for the yums up!I promised the roomies a K-food reference guide:
Galbi - bbq short ribs
Bulgogi - bbq thinly sliced beef
Jjigeh - general word for the stew, a few of the several kinds: soon dubu (soft tofu), kimchee, dwenjang (soy bean paste)
Japchae - thin noodles
(Dol Sot) BiBim Bap - bibim bap means "mixed rice," which has veggies and beef. If you want it in the hot stone pot, be sure to include the "dol sot" part, or you'll just get it in a regular bowl. Mix in the spicy sauce to taste, and if you do get the dol sot, you can press down the mixture against the pot and leave it there for a few minutes to create some crispiness.
(Court, they should understand "no meat" just fine, but if you want to learn anyway: "gogi" is meat. "gogi upshee" means "without meat.")

There's a ton of other stuff you'd probably like, so just ask. You can always get free refills on the banchan (little, side dishes). Use anything you want to create your lettuce wraps - by the way, they don't always give the lettuce. The banchan can differ depending on the day and depending where you go. If you order enough, they should give you free dish(es), referred to as "service."

Here are other spots for Korean in and around San Francisco:
My Tofu House is where I end up most. They specialize in soon dubu jjigae and have different kinds.
Koryo (Oakland) was our place of choice when we were at Cal. K-food tends to be better both in the east bay and south bay.
Seoul Gom Tang (Oakland) has great ox tail soup, which is great for hangovers.
Won Mi is good for super late-night dining.
Korea House is also decent. has more listings, along with recipes.

Finally, especially for Blaine:
Hello is "ahn nyung ha seh yo"
Thank you is "gahm sa ham nee da"

To sound more legit, put the emphasis on the first syllable. Rather than just saying it, kind of sing it, in monotone. This doesn't work for everything, but it's true of these two words. Let me hear it, Blaine!


lee said...

but pleeeease don't walk up to random asian chicks and use your new korean vocab! (see entry below)

Gabe said...

whatever I have in my mouth is unrecognizable