I am getting lazy. As I have said before, my goal in 2007 was to publish all my remaining San Francisco posts.
As you've probably noticed, it is now 2008.
Therefore, in an effort to push out some of those San Francisco posts, here is a "picture" post dedicated to all to Korean restaurants I've loved before, in San Francisco.
For those of you (and I am talking to my current friends in the South) who may be unacquainted with Korean food, I will provide a brief description along with the pictures.
Every good Korean restaurant will serve you small dishes (free) of banchan soon after you are seated. Banchan are free palate-stimulating appetizers which include pickled daikon, tofu, bean sprouts, and kimchi, which is napa cabbage preserved and fermented in brine and red pepper powder.
In addition to panchan, you may want to order pajeon before you begin your meal. Pajeon is a savory pancake which is oftentimes made with scallions and seafood. The pancakes are thin and crisp at the edges, and taste more like crepes than pancakes.
Bulgogi is a no-fail item to order in any Korean restaurant. Bulgogi is grilled and marinated beef, which is sliced very thinly.
If you are feeling relatively adventurous (again I am talking to my New Orleans friends, not San Francisco friends), you may want to try bibimbap, which is a white rice dish topped with pickled vegetables and often a fried egg. The rice is generally served in a hot stone bowl so that the rice becomes crisp and brown at the edges.
Also, if you are interested in trying Korean food, you may want to check out the various Korean hot pot locations too. I think that Korean hot pot is virtually identical to Chinese hot pot, but I have only had the buffet kind of Korean hot pot, so I am not sure. . . Hot pot is basically where you are given a pot of hot broth and you add raw meat, fish meatballs, tofu, and vegetables to make your own soup. At Korean hot pot locations, there will also be a grilling area directly under the "hot pot" where you can grill and barbecue your own marinated meats.
I hope that some way, somehow, the pictures here might have intrigued you, especially if you have never tried Korean food. If you live in the South like me, there won't be any Korean restaurants near you, so I encourage you to take the initiative and check out recipes online and to get acquainted with Korean cuisine. You'll be rewarded, I promise.