I hope everyone’s safe right now. I figured it might be time to stop ordering from Panda Express and get out of my hole and maybe eat real food… but in any case, time to give San Ho Won a quick try! This is a new and upcoming Korean restaurant by Corey Lee of Benu, Monsieur Benjamin, and In Situ fame.
I’m not certain where their eventual location will be operating, but currently the kitchen is at Benu SF where they’re doing in-person pick up through Tock.
In any case, pick up was rather orderly and pretty simple via Tock (Note, a 20% gratuity is automatically added). From what I can tell, they currently have a one week menu and will change thereafter for the in-person pick up experience. There’s an allotted time and a maximum limit per order and if anyone else want to attest of their experience at Benu, I think they do a fantastic job at execution.
In any case our meal came in a nice big paper bag with the restaurant’s logo. The interesting part of the meal is that there is a little bit of the eater to prepare and heat the meal.
We have a lot of assorted little dishes! The top left is the albacore and stonecrop namul Salad with the dressing. To the right of that is the Korean-style rolled omelette with rock seaweed sauce, and going clockwise, we have the soy sauce-sesame leaf condiment and radish kimchi. The soy sauce seasame leaf condiment was very fragrant (I think they’re related to the Shisho leaves). The radish kimchi had a nice bite, but not overwhelmingly spicy.
The dressing was quite refreshing and I never encountered these stonecrop plants (honestly I thought it was a succulent at first well… … it might be one actually). The stone crops had a great crunch and the radishes helped enhance that. The albacore is located at the bottom and I’m not sure you can see it, but albacore was raw and in little bite size pieces. Goes quite well with the crisp and crunch on top!
These omelettes were quite delightful. I believe there are little diced carrots and scallions within the soft but slightly chewy omelette. The rock seaweed sauce (which is uh… not photographed…) was delicious, not quite sure how that was pulled off, but had a great umami taste with a bit of acid.
The main course of the meal is a traditional beef short rib soup:
This is the major prep part of the meal where we bring the short rib soup up to a boil and add rice cakes and dumplings to the boiling soup.
Here are the dumplings and rice cakes with some chili threads and seaweed prior to placing in the boiling soup.
A hot mustard sauce was provided as an optional dip for the dumplings or short ribs. Very pungent but tasty.
Overall, the meat just slid off the bones and the broth was light but delicious at the same time. The rice cake had great chew and the mandu was quite good (from what I can guess, pork, some dark looking vegetables, and a little bit of vermicelli).
To finish off the meal, there was omija and Asian pear hwachae with a panna cotta at the bottom.
Some things might have been uh… disturbed from driving so pay no attention to the random flowers near the top of the cup…
In any case, this dessert was simply refreshing. Watermelon, stawberries and asian pears mixed together to form a punch. Slightly sweet with a nice tang and the asian pear panna cotta was real smooth.
Overall a very good meal. I also purchased their cabbage kimchi and didn’t take a picture (meh, here’s their instagram page with picture: https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DPEA9ByYz/ ). The 32 oz bottle had a good layer of nappa cabbage. Each cabbage I suggest be cut with scissors as its a little mini stalk. A good savory flavor but not really spicy nor that acidic. I thought it was excellent but I’m not a kimchi connoisseur so… don’t pelt me with stones. Per the ingredients: cabbage, salt, radish, alliums, shrimp, anchovy, chili. I suspect the shrimp and anchovies give it an additional umami kick.
Overall, an excellent to go meal. I can’t say I have too many of these dishes though so a bit harder to compare, but I was quite satisfied especially in this heat. Not too heavy, not too light, but just right. I’m excited to see what comes next!