Friday, October 13, 2006

back to business

It's been a challenge to find good Korean food in the South Bay. I've been to several Korean restaurants in the area, and for the most part, I haven't had the desire to go back to any of them. When I first moved here, I met this Korean guy who has lived here his entire life. So I presented him with this burning question: where are all the good Korean restaurants? His response: Si Jol Gip.

Sol Gol Jip translates to 'country house'. It's a little hole in the wall in Santa Clara with zero atmosphere and a big flat screen tv. However, it is bustling with a healthy size Korean clientele. If you can't read Korean, then you'll have to locate it based on the street number.

On this particular night, it was Mr. Cupcake, Soo, Chrisi, and myself. We went with our normal protocol and ordered family style. Unfortunately, that protocol also means ordering too much food.

Our server presented us with four rice pods. I've never seen these before, and they looked a bit intimidating with their slimy exterior appearance. Soo assured us that they were fine.

I bit into one and it was filled with a semi-sweet sesame paste. The outside felt a bit stale and was very chewy. Had the rice coating been on the softer side, I could have eaten 10 of these.

We had our normal spread of side dishes. Though, I'm missing the picture of the coleslaw side.

Soo ordered the Kim chee stew with pork and tofu. The kim chee stew is just that: a stew that tastes like kim chee. It contained big chunks of pork with the skin on. It was spicy and rich in flavor. Soo was particular fond of it.

The beef short ribs was one of the top dishes of the night. The beef was on the sweet side which is what I like. The only thing I didn't like about it was that some pieces were a bit too fatty and not as tender as I was hoping for. I was the only with this problem though, so my guess is I picked the few loser pieces. Overall, it was quite good and something I'd consider ordering again.

Ever since we went to Brother's Restaurant in the city, Soo has been dreaming about the deep fried fish. She ordered it here hoping for the same result. The fish was pan fried, and I can't remember what kind of fish it other than it was white. The skin wasn't super crispy like it was at Brother's. I'd rate this fish as just okay. Soo just wants someone to throw a whole fish into a deep fryer for her. Maybe next time Soo.

The pork bul go gi is a staple whenever we go out for Korean food. Si Jol Gip doesn't have the built in grills in the table, so they cook the meat for you. It was about what I expected. It was fairly spicy and the meat had a faint sweetness to it. Though, the flavor was lacking in depth.

Chrisi has been dying for a seafood pancake. The last time we ordered one was at Brother's in the city and it was a disaster. However, this version was quite good. The pancake was light crispy on the outside and was stuffed with green onion and various chunks of seafood. The only downside was that the inside was soggy. However, I'd say it's still definitely worth ordering.

Our total bill including tax and tip was $75.60. This was very reasonable for the amount of food that we ordered and couldn't finish. Typical. While the food didn't blow me away, it was still good and I'd go back. In fact, Mr. Cupcake and I went back three days later with Angie, Scott and her grandparents. Mr. Cupcake ordered the pork bul go gi which was much better this time around. I ordered the tofu soup which wasn't spicy as I was hoping for. The flavor was watered down and definitely not the best version I've had. It was okay though because I helped Mr. Cupcake plow through his pork.

Now that we've visited a number of Korean restaurants in the area, Soo and I have decided to try our hand at actually making Korean food. I'll do a report if it ever comes to pass.

1 comment:

natureculturetechnics said...

hey, this is angie... i finally signed up for a blogger account. anyway, i was really disappointed in this place actually. the panchan was just ok, and kalbitang broth was way too salty and not actually made with boiled ribs so the soup tasted like instant ramen broth. lovely.