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Best Korean Pancakes (pajeon)?

rworange Oct 19, 2009 11:22 AM

These sound good to me
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pajeon

Who makes good pajeon and ... since this is new to me ... what makes them good?

Foodiebytes lists four SF places ... Seoul Garden, Playground, Hanuri and The Spot ... Playground?
http://www.foodiebytes.com/search.html?srt=sdist&rad=30&maplat=37.7749295&maplng=-122.4194155&t=item&q=+pajeon&loc=San+Francisco%2C+CA&x=41&y=7

Search only shows two mentions - ohgane (good) and jong ga house (not so much)
http://search.chow.com/search?query=+...

  1. Robert Lauriston Oct 19, 2009 11:37 AM

    I think the best I've had were at Han Il Kun in SF. Sura's were good, too.

    A friend who lives around the corner says the seafood pancakes at Seoul Gom Tang are good. I've only had tang there.

    1. s
      soupnazi Oct 19, 2009 12:07 PM

      chois seafood pancake is very good

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      Choi's
      3530 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051

      1. a
        abstractpoet Oct 19, 2009 12:32 PM

        I think the seafood pancakes at Sura are excellent.

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        Sura
        4869 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. eatzalot Oct 19, 2009 01:28 PM

          In Berkeley some time ago, a delightful little Korean restaurant occupied a space in the small complex on Hearst above Euclid, across from north border of the UC campus -- location known for the Three Cs, Melting Pot, the original Yoshi's location, etc. They made an exquisite vegetarian version of these savory pancakes, with dipping sauces. Awoke my interest in that dish. (Sadly, that place closed years ago; I'd like to know if it moved elsewhere.)

          New York Times food section ran a feature on these pancakes (again emphasizing vegetarian version, with shredded zucchini or other squash as well as green onions) a couple of years ago, should be searchable online. I cooked that recipe, made a hearty Autumn vegetarian dinner around it

          In downtown Mountain View's restaurant row, Ginseng (one of the newer restaurants) offers a seafood version that I haven't tried yet, but plan to. (Had a splendid tabletop-grill dinner there a few months back, which came with a profusion, a plethora, of side dishes, various fresh kimchees and other things, and was a real feast, so I wouldn't be surprised if the savory pancakes are good too,)

          2 Replies
          1. re: eatzalot
            s
            slipson Oct 20, 2009 12:14 PM

            Do you have a link to that article, I might try to make them. I have had panjeon at Koryo on Telegraph (not great) and at Ohgane (very good).

            1. re: slipson
              Robert Lauriston Oct 20, 2009 12:58 PM

              http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/11/dining/111irex.html
              http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/28/dining/281mrex.html
              http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/26/din...

          2. eatzalot Oct 19, 2009 01:29 PM

            Link (didn't work earlier)

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            Ginseng BBQ & Tofu House
            475 Castro St, Mountain View, CA

            1. twocents Oct 20, 2009 12:00 PM

              I've had a good kimchi version at Casserole House on Telegraph next to Aunt Mary's Cafe, though I haven't been in some time. What I like about pajeon (I'm no authority) is the browned surfaces and crispy edges contrasted with a moist interior that verges on a gummy/chewy texture. However, this may be an abomination as far as the mainstream is concerned.

              I tend not to like the seafood versions as the squid is usually overcooked.

              1. r
                rdabke Oct 20, 2009 01:16 PM

                Great Mall's fooccourt in Milpitas has a vegeterian version of the Korean Pancake..to die for..!!

                1. SFextra_sour Oct 21, 2009 09:46 AM

                  Loved the seafood pancake last week at "Sun Tofu House" (real name/link below), Palo Alto. DH was lucky to get a piece. Fresh shrimp and tiny oysters; fab dipping sauce & condiments.
                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/31986

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                  So Gong Dong Tofu House
                  4127 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

                  1. augustiner Oct 22, 2009 04:39 AM

                    this may not be very helpful, as i don't have a specific restaurant in mind that has good pajeon. i'm also not that fussed about it, and while i prefer it rather crispy on the oustide, with lots of green onions and seafood and veggies, it's one of those dishes that i'm not picky about.

                    but...

                    the other day i went to my tofu house in SF, and we ordered the veggie version. it was...$17.13. for flour, egg, green onion, bell pepper, and onion. we ordered it knowing the price because my friend was curious, but honestly...

                    so i'm not being helpful because i'm not recommending a specific restaurant. but when you go to the other places recommended here, check the pricing. because nearly $20 is way too much for this dish. although when done well, it's one of my favorite things.

                    i think i liked the ohgane version better than jong ga house, but i'm gettting them mixed up right now.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: augustiner
                      Robert Lauriston Oct 22, 2009 10:25 AM

                      I've been seriously puzzled by that pricing. It seems way out of line given that soon dobu is $10.05, bibimbap $14.62, and the seafood and meat pancakes the same price.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        augustiner Oct 23, 2009 04:21 AM

                        i know! and it's not even a superlative rendition. maybe this is for another thread, but i'm curious about good versions of binddaettok, or the mung bean pancakes with meat, kimchi, and some veggies inside. i don't order them very often because they often come out dry and grainy.

                        1. re: augustiner
                          s
                          sfbing Oct 23, 2009 11:02 AM

                          If anyone else has any leads, I would be interested. The mung bean ones are kind of hard to find here-most restaurants offer various flavors of pajeon instead. I like the mung bean pancakes at Pyung Chang. They may be a little grainy, but I kind of like the texture.

                          1. re: augustiner
                            drewskiSF Jan 1, 2010 11:02 AM

                            I had some pretty good bin dae duk at Casserole House on Telegraph. It was a little grainy, but not dry. The owner/chef lady asked if she could put some pork in it and it turned out to be pieces of sam gyup sal.

                      2. augustiner Oct 22, 2009 05:09 AM

                        going over my old posts, it seems that i did prefer ohgane's pajeon over jong ga house. anyways beware of price and overcooked squid tentacles. but look for crispy exterior, lots of green onions.....nah..just figure out what you like and let us know.

                        but mind the price. $17+ dollars for this is bollocks unless its really, really good.

                        1. wolfe Oct 22, 2009 10:55 AM

                          Is that what the little crab pancakes that are sold at Koreana Plaza are called. About $4 for 8 a little bigger than a silver dollar. If so which dipping sauce is good for them?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wolfe
                            Robert Lauriston Oct 22, 2009 12:14 PM

                            Yeah. Half price late in the evening. Pajeon come in many sizes and are filled with just about anything on hand. Standard dipping sauce is soy seasoned to taste with vinegar, sesame oil, scallions, garlic, chiles, and a pinch of sugar.

                          2. fruti Oct 23, 2009 12:16 AM

                            I like the one with oysters/green onions at Koryo on Telegraph in Oakland. I also really adore the Kim Chee Jun at Jong Ga on Grand. I think they also have the seafood version.

                            1. DezzerSF Jan 2, 2010 12:37 AM

                              Playground's is pretty thick and doughy, not good in my book. Look for a thin pancake, with crispy, browned exterior.

                              1. a_and_w Jan 2, 2010 08:04 AM

                                If you like pajeon, be sure to try bindaetteok (pronounced bin-day-dok) which is a Korean pancake made with mung beans. It's a bit starchier than pajeon -- tastes like a Korean potato pancake.

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