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Back in March a friend raved about a new Korean place in Japantown, DaeHo that he said was Los Angeles Koreatown quality. At that time it was still under the radar. When I finally I had a chance to try it in May, the lines were crazy.
Waiting till after the lunch rush to head to J-town, I still couldn't avoid the line up at 1:15pm. By 1:45 I had a solo seat and I heard from repeat customers that two hours at dinner time is not uncommon.
My Combination sul lung tang aka Ox bone soup, $20 tasted like the real thing, coming by its milky emulsified appearance honestly by boiling marrow bones for many hours (and not cheating by adding milk). The first taste seemed like some salt had already been added or maybe that’s the minerals leached from the bones. I only added a little more sea salt and none of the black pepper nor red chile because I liked the pure richness of it as is. I did dump in most of the spring onions. The soup stock was such a masterpiece, i was enjoying its rich meatiness without all the accompaniments. The bowl was piled with meats: one short rib, two small oxtails, four thick cuts of beef tendon, three fatty slabs of gooey point cut brisket, and more strips of tender but kind of dry flat cut brisket. Certainly more meat than I could handle. The Chinese chive and carrot kimchi, marinated jalapeño and onion, or the daikon and spring onion kimchi condimented the rich beefy cuts beautifully. Even the glass noodles seemed special somehow, a bit firmer and wider.
The most popular order seemed to be the other specialty of the house, Kalbi jjim with the added cheese. They bring a torch to the table to melt the cheese.
Though I didn’t care for the ultra-garlicky and sweet cabbage kimchi, all in all, this was a terrific showing for a new restaurant. Maybe I won’t be forced to head to Oakland or Santa Clara to scratch that itch. San Francisco now has a worthwhile Korean specialist.
DaeHo Kalbijjim & Beef Soup
1620 Post Street
San Francisco, CA
A second branch opened in the South Bay in June.
217 W Calaveras Blvd
Milpitas, CA 95035
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