It’s wild to think it’s been a year since we’ve opened SAN HO WON and the restaurant is still fully booked every night!
SAN HO WON opened last November and I’ve been 4 times now (first time was for the mock service). I’ve tried almost the entire menu and I can’t wait to go back to try the last few items. Of course I’m biased but the team has done an excellent job at elevating Korean cuisine. If you’re looking for traditional Korean food, this isn’t the right place for that. However, if you have an open mind to trying something different and exciting then I think you’d really appreciate the food.
The meal always starts with complimentary banchan which changes regularly except for the homemade tofu. I hope the homemade tofu never comes off because it’s so silky and delicious!
I’ve tried the raw beef yukhwe twice now. It’s beef tartare with thinly sliced asian pear served with an egg yolk sauce meant to be poured into the dish and mixed together. The fried seaweed crackers (bugak) are used as vessels to eat the tartare which adds a great textural component.
I’ve had the raw jackfish a few times as well and it’s pretty tasty with the fresh herbs, gochujang sauce, and trout roe. The rock seaweed is meant as a wrapper for the tartare.
Soondae, Korean blood sausage, is the star of the green onion pancake. The exterior was crispy and the pancake is extremely good with the dipping sauce.
The mountain yam pancake was also great but I prefer the soondae pancake more (previous picture). The griddled beef dumplings is a dish that I’ve gotten every visit and it’s one of my favorites. The dumplings themselves are super juicy and that crispy dumpling skirt is spot on!
So so so good!
Since SAN HO WON is located in the Mission, an area that was historically predominately a hispanic community, this fusion dish combines a traditional Korean stew with a traditional Mexican soup. I think the outcome is quite successful where the soup has notes of spicy kimchi and pieces of pork belly and all the condiments are ingredients found in pozole such as hominy, avocado, radish, onions, and cilantro.
Doenjang is a Korean soybean paste which is slightly different than Japanese miso as doenjang is not fermented with rice or other grains. While the broth was tasty, I wish there were more clams in this stew as there were only a few.
This is another item I’ve eaten every visit. The homemade rice cakes are charred and dressed in a maple-soy glaze.
Can’t go wrong with grilled corn slathered in honey butter and a dusting of chili.
You have to order the ssam (assorted lettuces) to use as wraps for the bbq items.
I’ve gotten the galbi (beef short rib) every time as I think it’s the strongest bbq item on the menu. It’s so ridiculously flavorful.
Get the galbi!
The tteokgalbi (meatballs) was only on the menu during the mock service (hasn’t been on the menu my other visits) which is a shame because it was so yummy. The jebi churi (beef neck fillet) is also good but the galbi still reigns supreme.
The bulgogi was a special one of the times we went and it had some sort of sauce with pine nuts on top. The meat was super tender too.
The pork ribs are probably some of the best I’ve had with a beautiful chunjang lacquered crust.
The ribeye was also solid but I swear nothing can beat the galbi.
This whole marinated cornish hen was stellar especially with the kohlrabi pickles. Another winning item!
I’m so sad that the army fried rice isn’t on the menu anymore because it was bomb and I prefer it over the bibimbap.
The bibimbap is good but like I mentioned previously the army fried rice is where it’s at!
This is one of my favorite dishes at SAN HO WON. Its homey and oh so comforting. It’s a rice cake stew with chicken thigh, carrots, and mustard greens. It’s honestly like a warm hug.
Soft serve flavors here are makgeolli (a Korean rice wine) and yogurt with strawberry and nurungji (scorched rice) and roasted buckwheat with honey. The texture of the soft serve is so creamy. The dotori choux is an acorn and chocolate cream puff. The dalgona cheesecake is served with honeycomb which adds that caramel flavor as well as a great crunch.
The other soft serve flavor I tried was the banana milk with Nutella.
No wonder we’re been booked for a year now…the food speaks for itself! SAN HO WON has some of the most delicious and beautifully executed food in the city right now so don’t miss out.