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Sep 1, 2007 05:08 PM

Is it really that hopeless? - Korean in the Mission District

Hello all,

Recently moved to 21st and Valencia and have spent the better part of an afternoon looking over the Chow boards for Korean places w/in walking distance. The only one that came up was Young's BBQ on 17th, but no one really reviewed it, it was just mentioned as slightly scary. Do I really have to go to Oakland or up towards the 'loin for good Korean? Help!


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  1. I once got some sort of spicy noodle soup at Young's, and it tasted of powdered garlic and other off flavors. Never again. I can't think of anyplace else that even claims to serve Korean food in the Mission. My usual places in SF (I also live in the Mission) are Shin Toe Bul Yi at 30th Ave & Taraval in the Sunset and, less often, Dong Baek in the Tenderloin.

    Shin Toe Bul Yi
    2001 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

    Dong Baek Restaurant
    631 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

    7 Replies
    1. re: david kaplan

      Seems like Young's is it in the Mission. I wonder if they still serve the Korean burger with housemade kimchee on it.

      Speaking of fusion, of sorts, are there any updates on Zazang the local Korean Noodle House chain where you can get soju with your kimchee pizza?

      Actually, do they serve pizza? The menupages menu lists it. However, no one ever mentions it and the Zazang site doesn't list it.

      Previous Zazang reports:

      Young's B.B.Q.
      3412 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Zazang Korean Noodle
      2340 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94115

      1. re: rworange

        The branch of Za Zang in Santa Clara took over a pizza place, so it continued to make pies. I don't recall SF's Zazang offering pizza, but it has been years since i was there.

        1. re: Melanie Wong


          Zazang Restaurant
          3006 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

          Zazang Restaurant
          20010 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino, CA 95014

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            You might want to add a link for the Fremont branch while you're at it. My browser or firewall or whatever won't let me Link to a Place.

            Zazang Restaurant
            39033 State St., Fremont, CA 94538
            (510) 795-8298

            1. re: Gary Soup

              It might be since that branch is long gone, replaced by Kiwajip.

              39033 State St, Fremont, CA 94538

          2. re: rworange

            Menupages must have gotten hold of Zazang's Cupertino Menu. IIRC, the SF Zazang's entire menu is this one:


          3. Or LA.

            Let's face it, there just aren't that many Koreans in San Francisco. We have a hint of a Koreatown on the fringes of Japantown, have you looked around there? I don't know if this place is still around, but it might interest you if it is:


            7 Replies
            1. re: Gary Soup

              I would be happily surprised, nay shocked, to find good Korean food in the Mission. We have the odd good Thai and Vietnamese place but for the most part you'll need to cross Market to find reliably great Asian food.

              1. re: bernalgirl

                I think you're being generous. Finding Korean (or decent Thai or Chinese) in the Mission/Noe/Bernal/Castro is nearly impossible.

                Most Korean in the city is on Geary in the Richmond. Like David, I tend to go to Shin Toe Bul Yi.

                Whatever you do, avoid Hahn's Hibachi on Castro.

                1. re: Windy

                  Just the Castro location, or all of them?

                  I remember this negative report on the Palo Alto Hahn's.

                  Hahn's On Polk
                  1710 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                  San Rafael Hahn's
                  816 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901

                  Hahn's Hibachi
                  535 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Hahn's Hibachi
                  1305 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                  Hahn's Hibachi Restaurant
                  63 Jack London Sq, Oakland, CA 94601

                  Hahn's Hibachi
                  460 Ramona St, Palo Alto, CA 94301

                  Hahn's Hibachi Restaurant
                  361 W Portal Ave, San Francisco, CA 94127

                  1. re: rworange

                    No idea beyond the one in Noe Valley. Based on past experience, I'm not that interested in finding out.

                    1. re: Windy

                      They're all pretty much the same as far as I can tell. It's not *bad* but it won't fulfill any craving for Korean food, it's mostly slightly improved fast food -- on the order of one of the noodle chain places like Zao Noodle Bar.

                  2. re: Windy

                    No Way! I love Jasmine Tea House for Chinese (try the meatless General Chou chicken) and Pad Thai (for Thai, obviously). Even better, they are essentially right next to each other on Mission, between 29th and Fair St.

                    1. re: dbarkman

                      I think Jasmine Tea House is good for some things and that Pad Thai is very, very poor, just blah and bad and poorly executed.

              2. Your best bet might be the 20 minute BART ride to Downtown Oakland. There you will find many good Korean places within walking distance.

                8 Replies
                1. re: grishnackh

                  Really north of Downtown, along Telegraph Ave in the 20's. The 19th Street BART Station is closest.

                  1. re: grishnackh

                    Many good Korean restaurants within a three-block radius of the MacArthur BART station.

                    3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

                    Seoul Gom Tang
                    3801 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      And Sahn Maru at 43rd and Telegraph.

                      Sahn Maru Korean BBQ
                      4315 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        Ohgane's more than three blocks, it's a bit more than half a mile from BART.

                        Korean Kitchen's in the same block with Sahn Maru.

                      2. re: grishnackh

                        Well, it's not the Mission, but wouldn't it be easier to go to the SF Korean restaurants.

                        Previous Hanuri reports (open till midnight):

                        Previous Jang Soo BBQ reports;

                        Previous Mango Medley reports:

                        Previous Muguboka reports

                        Previous My Tofu House reports:

                        Previous Namu reports:

                        Previous Rohan reports:

                        Previous Seoul Garden report:

                        Mango Medley
                        3911 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                        Rohan Lounge
                        3809 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        Won Mi Korean Restaurant
                        1545 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        4217 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        Jang Soo BBQ
                        6314 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121

                        New Korea House
                        1620 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        Sun's Cafe
                        652 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                        Korea House
                        1640 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        Korean Village Restaurant
                        4609 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        Muguboka Restaurant
                        401 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        My Tofu House
                        4627 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        Pine Restaurant
                        1330 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                        Seoul Garden
                        1635 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                        845 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                        Korean Restaurant Sorabol
                        3251 20th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132

                        Wing Lee BBQ Restaurant
                        501 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                        1. re: rworange

                          Worth noting that Namu and Rohan are doing contemporary takes on Korean.

                          Has Wing Lee BBQ changed from being a Chinese deli?

                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            Nope, I forgot to take it off before my editing time ran out. Also Sun's Cafe seems to have recently closed ... or is remodelling ... which is usually a euphamism for closed.

                          2. re: rworange

                            Why is Mango Medley listed in there? It's a Hong Kong style cafe. The only Korean item on the menu is the chive pancakes.

                        2. Welcome to the neighborhood. I have the same issue. If you are driving, you might try getting supplies at Kukje Super Market in Daly City -- they also have a little stand inside that serves Soon Tofu, Yuke Jang etc. If you shoot down 280, it takes about the same amount of time as getting to Shin Toe Bul Yi.

                          Kuk Jea Market
                          2350 Junipero Serra Blvd, Daly City, CA

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wanderlust21

                            I used to occasionally get food at Kukje, but it's slid irreparably the last few times. The dining area is filthy, service is poor, and the assortment of panchan very disappointing considering the huge offerings they sell.