San Ho Won, San Francisco-03/12/2022

The restaurant The food


San How Won is the new Korean restaurant located in the Mission District in San Francisco.  San Ho Won is the brain child of Corey Lee, a Korean-American Chef and restaurateur.

Lee dreamed about opening a more casual restaurant after launching his three-Michelin-star Benu in 2010. Lee wanted to open a place that could reach more people, embrace conviviality, and celebrate his native culture. and eventually teamed with chef de cuisine and partner Jeong-In Hwang, who worked at Benu.   The duo conceived the restaurant as an homage to the country where they were both born and something they werenít seeing elsewhere in the Bay Area.

The concept is a casual restaurant with a focus on premium ingredients, exact cuts of meat for barbecue and taking no shortcuts in the preparation of the food.

Hwang, who will lead the kitchen day-to-day, says that the menu is rooted in tradition, but theyíre unafraid to break from it when they feel itís warranted. Sometimes thatís a tweak to technique to improve on the original, like using flatter, cast iron pans (gamasot) for bibimbap instead of a stone pot (dolsot) to create crispier rice. Or tweaking the way they cut their short rib galbi so it cooks more evenly on the grill.

The all-white building is practically unmarked.  You have to really look for a sign which is the light fixture with small lettering located on the upper corner on top of the entrance.

 The front of the restaurant has a sleek modern vibes.


This picture was taken from the exterior of the restaurant looking inside.

The restaurant used to be a former sake-bomb sushi spot and the team renovated it and turned it into a bold and modern space.


Architect Charles Hemminger (Trick Dog, Tartine, State Bird, Outerlands) oversaw a full renovation, grounding the room with generous booths, concrete floors, exposed brick, an ash wood bar, and charcoal gray paint.


This is the waiting area.  There is a large mural painting of a traditional Korean family on the far wall.


Closer view of the mural painting.


The dining room and kitchen in the back.


Open kitchen concept and a counter wrapping around the kitchen.  Guests can also watch cooks work the charcoal grill.


View of the kitchen.


The main dinning room was full so they took us to the back room.  We took the small alley leading to private room in the back.


Our table is on the left and there is another table than can hold 6 people.


On the left in the front of the menu, on the right is the Chef's menu which is what our group is having tonight.


You can also order a la carte but we decided to go with the chef's menu because it is our first time here and it is a good way to sample a lot of dishes.


The specials of the night.


Table setting.


The heart of San Ho Wonís menu is charcoal BBQ dishes, which are served with Korean condiments like ssamjang (soybean paste) and jjngajji (pickled vegetables).


Complimentary assorted  Banchan with a pot of Barley tea.




Phuc consulting with our waiter on what to order.







And Soju

To a great dinner!


NEXT... Chef's menu


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