I'm really missing LA-style Korean food right now and I know SF is nowhere near on par with LA, or even Oakland or the South Bay when it comes to Korean food. Most of the restaurants in the city do seem pretty dated.
But, I am wondering if people have any recommendations on specific dishes at specific restaurants in the city. Certainly there's got to be certain dishes at certain restaurants that are worth checking out. (Or if there is a dish that's so good in Oakland or Santa Clara, please reommend it too. I do try to get out there once in awhile.)
And please don't even think about recommending Brothers. I've had worse but it's overpriced and underpar, and for some reason people in SF think it's the end-all when it comes to Korean food. Every single time I complain about how the Korean dining scene here is not that great, the first thing out of most people's mouths is "ooh, have you been to Brothers?" Plus I'm not into BBQ that much anyway as I am soups, stews, and specialty dishes.
I am particularly interested in al tang/al chigae, hae jang guk, goat jungol, or a bossam-type dish made with a different ingredient than pork. And brown/wild rice...and good panchan. :)
To Hyang on Geary: the duk mandu guk is nice and comforting. They use homemade anchovy broth. They also have a pretty good goat stew that's loaded with sesame leaves. And their panchan is king...it's homemade and they usually have some unusual ones like bellflower root and japanese plum.
Pine on Noriega: This place is hit or miss, but the first time I went I had some seriously good altang. It had quite a bit of fish roe and it seemed to be flavored with salted shrimp paste. They also had a small bean side dish that I really liked but I didn't get it next time. (The next time we had sundofu and bibimbap, both of which left something to be desired.) From what I have heard though this place is trending downwards.