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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jang Soo BBQ's New Owners Are Swankifying Up Korean

Posted By on Wed, Dec 14, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Barbecuing kalbi at Jang Soo. - LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata
  • Barbecuing kalbi at Jang Soo.

A couple of months ago, Jang Soo BBQ -- the subject of this week's full-length restaurant review in the paper -- closed for a short spell to change owners and make a few radical changes, which are only visible to those who pass through the front door. Now it's decorated in slate-bricked walls and sparkling chandeliers, and the tables are set with slim-stemmed wooden spoons and chopsticks in place of the standard metal silverware.

New owner Ashley Lee, of Ashley's Cafe in the Inner Richmond, has re-envisioned the Korean restaurant as a San Francisco bistro, slimming down the menu and rotating dishes on and off (and knocking the prices up 25-30 percent, to boot). Her mom's in the kitchen, making all the sauces and pickles herself and preparing some of the most traditional dishes according to Ashley's grandmother's recipes. The cooks haven't yet settled into their new space, and quality can vary widely, but between the house special kalbi, the kimchi stew, and grandmother's pork bossam, it's not hard to feast.

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