Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sura: 18 Ban Chans

Saturday Date Night: September 12, 2010 @  6PM

Enrique and I spent the whole Saturday watching "silly movie" marathon on DVD.  Among the movies we saw was a Korean dark comedy called "A Quiet Family."  It was corny and silly yet  funny and entertaining. It was a total laid-back movie. Of course, it got us hungry for Korean food after watching the family dip their chopsticks in ban chans (small dishes) during the movie.

Living not far from the new "Gourmet Ghetto" on Temescal, which is the proud home of Bakesale Betty's, Pizzaiolo and Burma Superstar, we have a choice of probably over a dozen Korean restaurants within the 3 mile radius.

Enrique suggested that we should try a new Korean restaurant eventhough we have our "tried and true" favorites (Casserole House and Sahn Maru).  Sura is spartan but adorned with few Korean artwork. The dining room was spacious but they separated the room and packed all the diners in one cramped smaller section of the restaurant.  

  We got our ban chans 20 minutes after we sat down.  The started us off with a complimentary Gaeran Jim (steamed egg) in a hot clay pot which  was soft and fluffy. Maybe it was an acquired taste since I found it bland and "fishy."

Steamed Egg Casserole
 18 ban chans were placed in front of us. What a feast! We got the usual assortments of seaweed, kimchi, sweet potatoes and tofu small dishes. Among our ban chans was about two bites of Jap Chae (Korean glass noodles) which was a nice touch. We even got a weird plate of mashed sweet potato with slices of apple. This threw me off. Quantity does not equal quality. Throughout the whole dinner the pattern of not enough flavor was consistent. 

18 Ban Chans
 Enrique ordered  Kalbi Pancake as an appetizer which were little pan-fried battered beef.  Since I am a seafood-tarian I did not taste it. He devoured and finished the whole thing so it must be good. The appetizer was served at the same time with our ban chans and main dishes which defeated the whole idea behind "appetizer."

Kalbi Pancakes
 And Enrique ordered a Bul Go Gi: marinated pieces of boneless beef  which according to him was well-seasoned and tender. He preferred this Bul Go Gi over our favorite place, Casserole House  and almost as good as our other's, Sahn Maru (all three restaurants are almost right next to each other.) However, we did not get the traditional hot sauce and lettuce that you eat your meat with. 

Bul Go Gi
 I had the Seafood Tofu Stew.  Somehow, there was "something" that was missing in the flavors that I cannot put my finger on.  It had more tofu than seafood. I got few unpeeled/uncleaned prawns and a couple of mussels.  I had to ask for hot sauce to make my dish "livelier."

Seafood Tofu Stew
 We are not experts on Korean food but Sura did not do the magic for us. I am still wondering if we did not get the "whole shabang," i.e., spicy Korean food and the accompaniments, because we are not Koreans. The fact that we were not asked how we want our food (mild, medium or spicy) was a total turn-off.  We still know the basics of eating a proper Korean meal.

Sura is lacking in the cozy and warm "mom and pop"  department  that we are used to at our favorite Korean restaurants in Temescal. The service was cold and absent all throughout dinner. We received our complimentary Green Tea Ice Cream after we paid the bill and when we were about to leave. Dinner was already concluded and we just left without eating the ice cream.

Green Tea Ice Cream
 We were glad that we tried Sura. Our dinner was not bad  but we will be returning to our favorite Casserole House and Sahn Maru where we know we will be welcomed with open arms.

Tab: $73 after tax and tip.

FOODIE GIRL'S RATINGS:  3   "Just Okay" Korean food.
Service:                                  3         Cold and absent


0 Star: Never again!!! These people should not be in business.
1 Star: Chalk it to bad experience. Live and learn.
2 Stars: Very disappointing but there it has some good things to offer.
3 Stars: It is okay but do not expect much. I will still return.
4 Stars: I like it! I will be singing your praises!
5 Stars: I will be dreaming of you at night!
6 Stars: Perfection (or close to!)

Sura on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. What a great blog! I love exploring new restaurants and food times in SF - your articles have really brought to life food I've heard of, but haven't tried. Thank you



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...