As Bay Area gourmands, your family has eaten it all—the Mission Burrito, Chinatown Dim Sum, and North Beach Pizza. Try something new this weekend and head to Hanuri in the Inner Richmond for some traditional Korean BBQ. Eating at a Hanuri is true “eatertainment,” a feast for all the senses. Feel the heat of the grill, taste the spice of kimchee, and ogle the array of colorful and exotic dishes that make Korean food a hit with kids.
The menu here is extensive, so we’ll point you to a few classic dishes that are definitely worth trying. Start with pajeon, a large savory Korean pancakes typically filled with scallions or seafood. Like a pizza, pajeon can be eaten with the fingers in case the kids are having trouble with chopsticks. For the main course move onto kalbi, short ribs marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil and garlic and cooked on a small grill right on the table, either by you or your trusty server who knows just when the meat is perfectly cooked. A flavorful complement to the barbequed meat is dwengjang chigae, a hot stew made from fermented soybean paste, tofu and vegetables that is made in almost every Korean home.
The best part of eating at a Hanuri is the complimentary panchan, a variety of small dishes consisting of different types of vegetables, seafood and kimchee—the spicy fermented cabbage that is present at every Korean meal. Most Koreans judge a restaurant by the quality and quantity of panchan offered at a meal, and Hanuri does not disappoint with ten to twelve tasty dishes on offer.
The restaurant’s interior design matches the casual yet sophisticated dining experience. Hanuri mixes bamboo, stone, wood, and steel to create a zen-modern space that is relaxing and more spacious than your average Korean restaurant. Feel free to bring the whole brood here—Korean culture is rooted in the family unit, so most Korean restaurants are used to hosting everyone from infant to great-grandmother, and the friendly owners of Hanuri are on board with this idea.
Hanuri, 4217 Geary Blvd., S.F. (415) 221-5227.
–Sarah K. Choi