Brothers Restaurant, located San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood, is one of the few Korean restaurants in San Francisco that is Zagat-rated. It tied with Namu as Best Korean Restaurant in the 2010 Eat and Drink Reader's Choice Awards by 7x7 magazine.
|Check out all the banchan.|
There is a second location a block east at 4014 Geary Blvd. It opened in 1993 but operates only Friday through Sunday 5 p.m. to midnight.
Warning: Do not wear "dry clean only" clothes to this restaurant. You will walk out smelling like a barbecue grill, particularly one that uses real wood instead of briquettes. It's the first Korean restaurant I've visited in the Bay Area that has grills embedded in some tables with vent hoods above.
|First you have to grill it, then you eat it.|
The first food item brought to our table was a teapot full of hot barley tea. That scored even more points with me than the double tongs. Next, someone brought out the hot charcoal to get us instantly fired up for the main event.
The "main event" came with 10 different kinds of banchan (side dishes), including cucumber, radish and cabbage kimchi as well as spicy anchovies, spicy odeng (fish cakes). We also had two different ssam options, either romaine lettuce or kim (sheets of seasoned dried seaweed; nori in Japanese) for wrapping the grilled meat.
|Kalbi with the salty ssamjang. Great kalbi, though.|
The only item we didn't like much was the ssamjang (Korean wrapping sauce). It was heavily slanted on the doenjang (Korean miso) side rather than the gochujang (Korean pepper paste) side but it was a bit too salty so we decided to get our spicy and good salty fix by sprinkling our ssam (meat and lettuce rolls) with the spicy anchovies instead.
Prepare to pay about $30 per person, including tax and tip, for Brothers' signature barbecue dishes. But this "old school" Korean barbecue is worth it.
|Dakgui grilled to perfection.|
The restaurant also has about a dozen lunch items offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prices on that menu top out at about $15.
4128 Geary Blvd. (between Fifth and Sixth avenues)
Hours: Sunday–Friday, 11 a.m. – midnight