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Restaurants & Bars 8

Korean Chowdown Report: Dong Baek in San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Dec 21, 200905:07 PM

Today five chowhounds gathered at Dong Baek in the Tenderloin to follow up on David Wishart’s news that new management is now at the helm.

The menu’s enormous with 120 selections. A separate menu offers 40 dishes at lunch time prices ($6.95 to $11.95), plus there are fixed-price multi-course dinner sets priced from $55 to $120 for parties of three to 8-9 people. Two ladies took care of our table and were quite friendly and solicitous. The new team has been here for three months and used to operate Two Sisters (5th and Clement). At Dong Baek they are offering a much wider-ranging menu, as well as the Korean-Chinese specialties and housemade (machined) noodles they were known for at Two Sisters.

First out was complimentary iceberg lettuce salad with homemade Russian dressing. Then 11 more types of panchan, divided into two plates each, served to each end of the table. We’d had a conversation about the timing of panchan noting that some restaurants serve them with the first ordered dish and not much ahead of that. Here the banchan came out just moments before our rice cakes dish. We were also comped an order of the boiled dumplings served with a sesame-scented dipping sauce.

As described on the (take-out) menu, we ordered:

#4 Oyster Jun (10 pieces), $10.95 – Pieces of oyster, egg battered and pan-fried

#31 Spicy Rice Cake, $8.95 – Stir fried rice cakes and vegetables with hot pepper paste sauce

#45 Heuk Yum So Jeon Gol casserole, small $18.95 – Spicy stew made with black goat meat and vegetables

#60 Al Tang, $11.95 – Fish eggs and vegetables in hot and spicy soup

#108 Gan Ja-Jang, $8.95 – Diced pork and mixed vegetables in black bean sauce over homemade noodles

I’ll ask the others at lunch to fill in the details by describing their favorites and overall impressions of Dong Baek. I’ll have some photos to share later.

Our total tab with tax and tip came to $75 or $15 per person.

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Dong Baek Restaurant
631 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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