Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Jul 31, 2008 10:28 PM

Cheon Joo Young Yang Dol Sot (my new favorite Korean restaurant), Santa Clara report

I've been to many Korean restaurants & this has to be the BEST!

It's in the Lawrence Plaza shopping center in the far-right corner by a hair salon if facing Galleria Supermarket.

We were the first customers at 5:30pm Thurs night. There are some secret Korean dishes on the walls, but they have a bilingual menu: English & Korean so don't be afraid to try it.

It's a small place, but it has about 12 4-top tables & 1 2-top. They serve Aqua-Life iced-water. It's nice & clean tasting.

We got 2 dishes for our first time:

#17 Dae Ji Kal Bee Jim - $12.99 - Marinated pork spareribs w/ a side of rice and the panchans that we shared. Braised pork spareribs served very tender, these are not small spareribs but the huge long ones. Very nice & there's the clear glass noodles on the bottom. Great!

#4 Hae Mul Dol Sot Bi Bum Bap $11.99 - rice mixed in w/ seafood & vegetables in a sizzling stone pot. Hubby loved it. Maybe 3 shrimp, clams, carrots, octopus chunks & a well-done fried egg on top. He added the hot sauce on the top to it all. The waitress for some reason decided to mix all the ingredients together. I think I'd have like the rice to burn a little more to get crunchy rice.

Panchans were:
1. kimchee-good
2. liked tofu skin, but hubby thinks some Asian flower-not my fav
3. pickled cucumbers-good
4. cold tofu-good
5. fishcakes-good
6. jalapeƱo peppers & something else-I avoided the peppers, other thing liked..spicy.
7. greens - good

They take Credit Cards

One unisex bathroom in the back.


Cheon Joo Young Yang Dolsot
3519 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My favorite dishes there are the yum so tang (goat stew) and the kong gooksu (noodles in cold, fresh soy milk).

    1. No photos?

      Cheon Joo Young Yang Dolsot
      3519 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

      1 Reply
      1. Wow, hhc, thanks for the tip. With so many distractions for me at Lawrence Plaza, I'd have never tried this place had it not been for your review and Chois, across the street, is hard to pass up. Went Sunday for lunch with a friend and were very pleasantly surprised. We had just had samgyetang and dan jang jjigae, both of which were very good. I wish I had remembered humbucker's post. I would have ordered kong gooksu as well. Although the banchan offerings were few it appears they make some of their their own - very fresh. We noticed a few things on the menu that you don't find everywhere. Had takeout menus been available, I would have listed some of them here.

        3 Replies
        1. re: samse

          Glad you liked it. I think it's a great restaurant & I still need to get back there to try more stuff. Have you tried the food at the Food Court in the Lawrence Plaza?

          1. re: hhc

            No, not yet. Whenever I get down to the South Bay, I usually hit Lawrence Plaza, Green Bakery or trendy Bean for dessert after eating Chinese or Korean food - no room left.

            Yesterday afternoon I did wander around the food court and observed what people were eating and, for the most part, everything looked respectable. The food court was packed, but Milan Gelato didn't appear to be getting their share. The Chinese (Korean-style no doubt) concession appears to be pretty popular. Hey, I know it's fast food, but I just love that we have a place like this. The people watching is fun too.

            Have you tried 99 Chicken yet?

            1. re: hhc

              I noticed the food court had a place specializing in Jajjangmyun and another in Ddukbokki. Those two places were most popular when I strolled by.

          2. I tried the soondubu today and thought it was pretty good. I ordered the combination one with beef, clams, and shrimp. The other option was all seafood, with squid, clams, and shrimp. I thought I might get a beefy broth with my option but I think the broth was more of a vegetable broth or maybe a really subtle anchovy broth. I didn't specify spiciness and it came out rather tame but the flavors were balanced so I didn't mind too much. It did have a hint of smokiness, so maybe the add gochujang as well as gochucaru.

            I liked the clams the best, they were served out of the shell, very tender, and a very generous portion. Shrimp were a little overcooked, but it was partly my fault as I didn't see them hidden under everything else. Small slices of beef were ok. Tofu was nice and soft, mostly in huge chunks which I like.

            The panchan didn't impress me too much, both the napa kimchi and daikon kimchi weren't brined well, I still tasted the raw flavor of the daikon especially. I liked the pickled cucumbers the best. The soybean sprouts, jap chae, and seaweed were decent.

            All the patrons were Korean but English is spoken. Prices are fair, I'd come back and try the Yukkaejang.

            1 Reply
            1. re: DezzerSF

              Glad to hear you liked the soondubu. Since I rarely order it, I was unable to respond to your other post. Yes, it appears the banchan is spotty. I liked the greens that came with the kaktugi. I don't see that often in restaurants - it's more of a home-made item (ponytail kimchee)

              They also shelled the clams in my dan jang jjigae which, although very good, could have been thicker/richer, my personal preference, ala Chois or Oghane. To each his own I guess. The menu offers some items you don't see very often. I'm taking my 1st gen niece there her next visit up here. She misses some of these dishes.

            2. 2nd time at CJYYD, I thought it was just ok.

              We ordered:
              goat stew - too gamey for me. It had a strange smell & the veggies that came with it tasted like collard greens which aren't my favorite.

              spicy mackerel - was better tasting. Many fish bones, but they give you lots of fish w/ red not very spicy sauce. Also comes w/ a hot bowl of soup on the side.

              All the panchans came with the meal. This time got jap chae like noodles. Waitress refilled a few veggie panchans without us asking.

              Our total before tip $29.20. Credit cards taken.

              Pics attached below.