Tempted by the "table of kimchee" we were drawn to Chick 'N Deli in the Sunset last Friday for lunch. The actual name of the restaurant is Shin Toe Bul Yi, which appears only in Korean on the exterior of the restaurant.
We had lunch specials of
#1 Kal Bi ($6.95), beef short ribs;
#4 Pork Bul-go-gi ($5.95), broiled thin slices of pork; and
#9 Bul-go-gi Jab-Chae Bob ($6.95), sauteed noodles, beef and vegetables.
Before we came we were given a Korean green onion pancake on the house -- nice gesture. Next we all got bowls of very mild soup with slices of tender simmered daikon.
#1 was outstanding, with a large portion of marinated beef grilled to crispy points on the outside, yet juicy inside. The meat was a great cut of excellent quality. This was by far the best of the three.
#4 came with an even more generous serving of meat, though there were no crispy grilled parts. Still, the marinade was mildly spicy and complex, and the meat was both lean and tender.
#9 I ordered because I really love those very chewy Korean noodles as much as for the fact that the name sounds really cool, like a Korean rapper from Texas. Unfortunately, it was a little lackluster, short on meat, and needing a bit more flavor.
However, flavor galore was provided by the small dishes of various kinds of kimchee and what-nots that come with the lunch sets. I can remember at least six; bean sprouts, sweet chilied takuan (pickled daikon), hot dried takuan, seaweed, Chinese cabbage kimchee, dried spiced tofu strips, and maybe one more.
If anything, the terrific tour of these mostly hot pickles is worth lunch alone, and if you get #1 you will certainly be rewarded.
I can't wait to come back here for dinner.
Shin Toe Bul Yi (Chick 'N Deli)
2001 Taraval St. (at 30th)
Mon-Sat 12 to 2:30, 5 to 10:30