Namu Gaji: A User’s Guide
New Korean American Cuisine | Farm to Table | Korean Soju | Wood-Laced Interior
Brunch: okonomiyaki, a crispy savory pancake with kimchi and cabbage bonito
Dinner: mia ayam, handmade noodles with chicken, broth, and sweet soy
To share: dumplings with shiitake mushroom, dashi, butter, and nori
Unpasteurized Asahi, a Japanese lager
Chum churum, a light, easy-drinking sweet-potato soju from Korea
Dewazakura “tobiroku,” a crisp and dry sparkling sake
The Ingredients: The three brothers behind Namu Gaji source most of their Chinese herbs and produce from their own East Bay Namu farm, as well as local artisan producers such as La Tercera and Heirloom Organics.
Where to Sit: Pull up a stool at the long, solid-wood-slab community table, or grab a seat at the window-facing bar.
While You’re Waiting
Marvel at the winding sculpture over the community table, a fitting centerpiece considering that namu gaji is Korean for "wooden branch."
Peek in on Chef Dennis Lee tweaking the daily changing menu in the open kitchen.
Take-out is only available during lunch.
For dietary restrictions beyond vegetarianism and gluten-aversions, call 24 hours in advance so the kitchen can accommodate you.
Leave extra time for parking if you’re coming for dinner, or use one of the valet services along Valencia Street.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Check out the paintings and sculptures at Creativity Explored (3245 16th Street), a gallery dedicated to working with artists with developmental disabilities.
After: Keep the evening going with drinks at The 500 Club (500 Guerrero Street), an eclectic neighborhood dive that keeps the locals coming back with bacon bloodys, a popular jukebox, and karaoke.
Cocobang: A User’s Guide
Korean BBQ and Soups | Soju Cocktails | Late-Night Hours | Popular Fire Chicken
Appetizer: dried cuttlefish with peanuts
Soup: spicy tofu
Entree: fire spicy chicken, served on a sizzling plate alongside rice cake
The Layout: a narrow, cozy room where a projection screen plays Korean films overhead.
Behind the Bar: imported draft beers, wine, and cocktails made with soju—a Korean vodka distilled from rice—and fresh ingredients, such as strawberry, lemon, peach, yogurt, mango, and apple.
When to Go: whenever a late-night craving for fried chicken or a hot pot hits; the restaurant stays open until 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and until 2 a.m. every other night of the week.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Stock up on dinner conversation material by studying the work of iconic photographers at San Francisco Art Exchange (458 Geary St).
After: Grab a nightcap, or a propeller beanie, at Topsy’s Fun House (260 Kearny Street), a circus-themed cocktail bar known for its creative libations.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: the crispy garlic chicken at Aria Korean American Snack Bar (932 Larkin Street).
Urban Picnic: A User’s Guide
Healthy Vietnamese Food | Casual Cuisine
| Fresh-Pressed Juices | Produce Delivered Daily | Eco-Friendly Practices
Salad: kale and quinoa salad with blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, almonds, and nori
Soup: cage-free chicken pho with organic lemongrass broth
Side: spicy tofu
Drink: beet this—fresh-pressed juice made with beets, apples, lime, and mint
About The Ingredients: Chefs have produce delivered fresh each day, and they make dressings and sauces from scratch with absolutely zero trans fat. In most cases, they keep the veggies and fruit raw and unprocessed.
How They Respect the Earth: By using entirely compostable and recyclable packaging.
Inside Tip: Head to the 18th Street location on Sundays, when the Kearny Street restaurant is closed.
Press: Pop Sugar adapted the recipe for the restaurant’s kale and quinoa salad.
Pho: Vietnamese soup consisting of broth and rice noodles, often topped with meat or another protein and served with garnishes such as basil, sprouts, lime, and jalapeños.
Season your day with some Korean-style spice — go to Stone Korean Kitchen for dinner and save the leftovers for next day's lunch.
Vegans will appreciate the animal-free fare at Stone Korean Kitchen.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at this restaurant with its kid-friendly fare.
Your large group can all sit together at Stone Korean Kitchen.
Open air seating is ready for diners at Stone Korean Kitchen when the weather is warm.
Bring your furry friend to the restaurant — Stone Korean Kitchen allows dogs to dine, too.
Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Stone Korean Kitchen is all about comfort.
Catering from Stone Korean Kitchen will take your party to the next level.
Sometimes you need food fast, and this restaurant totally gets it, offering both takeout and delivery.
Parallel-parking experts can find room on the street, though patrons also have access to the restaurant's adjoining lot.
Travel by bike to Stone Korean Kitchen and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Stone Korean Kitchen s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Major credit cards are accepted, so you can save yourself a trip to the ATM.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all on Stone Korean Kitchen's menu — you can stop by whenever the moment's right for you.
For delicious food with a Korean flare, head on over to Stone Korean Kitchen and browse the creative menu.
Um Ma Son Korean Restaurant: A User’s Guide
Authentic Korean | Family Owned | Bibimbap | Late-Night Spot
Hae mul pa jun: Korean-style seafood pancake with green onion
Dol sot bi bim bap: beef, vegetables, and a fried egg over rice in a sizzling stone pot
When to Go: Um Ma Son is open for dinner, supper, and fourth meal seven nights a week (5:30 p.m–midnight).
Inside tip: The restaurant doesn’t serve hard liquor, but it does offer a small selection of beer, including Korean imports like OB.
Banchan: small side dishes served with Korean cuisine, traditionally composed of a variety of kimchi, marinated vegetables, and meat dishes.
Japchae: Korean sweet-potato glass noodles stir-fried in sesame oil with vegetables and flavored with soy sauce and sugar. The dish is served hot or cold, sometimes with beef.
Four Things to Know About Han Il Kwon Korean Restaurant
Korean food has been on an upward swing for a few years, and so has Han Il Kwon.
A neighborhood favorite, the restaurant serves plenty of traditional Korean barbecue, rice bowls, and noodle dishes. Read on to learn what else makes it a standout.
An entree is almost never just an entree here. Sure, you may have ordered the bibimbap or the short ribs, but don’t be surprised when the waiter shows up with 11 plates. Many main dishes here come with a variety of banchan, small sides and mix-ins that range from kimchi to pickled veggies and mung-bean pancakes.
Modesty schmodesty. If you don’t speak Korean, you may not have known that Han Il Kwon loosely translates to “No. 1 Korean Restaurant.”
It’s a place to take out-of-towners. Or, more accurately, out-of-towners seek it out. It’s not uncommon to see packed tour buses parked in front during lunch a few times a week. Just call ahead if you happen to be short on time.
Some of the magic happens outside the kitchen. Some of the fun finds here are the hot pots, in which you choose your ingredients and cook them in boiling broth at your own table. There’s also a selection of meats that you can barbecue on an inset tabletop grill.