Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chon Ju Jip

4373 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(858) 268-0835

Chon Ju Jip has been on my list of places I wanted to try ever since I read that their bibimbap was on the Union Tribune's list of 50 Things to Eat Before you Die- San Diego.

On my previous attempt to try it, they were closed.  Then last week, I had planned to revisit Do Re Mi, after receiving some great food and fabulous service on our last visit. However, when we got there, we were told that the restaurant was closed for the night due to a large party reservation.  Already in the mood for Korean food, I decided to give Chon Ju Jip a try.

The place was completely full when we got there, but after only a few minutes, the owners were able to put some tables together to fit my group.

It was a bit difficult to communicate with the staff. Only one woman spoke English fluently. With the other people, there was a lot of pointing and gesturing.  The menu was also hard to understand, as not everything was translated.  They do have pictures of some of their food items on the wall though and so we relied partly on the menu and partly on the pictures in making our selection.

We were all served large, cold glasses of the barley tea.

We were given eight different panchan dishes.  I thought some of them were quite unique.

The lower left one is like a dried squid, slightly spicy.  It's something I haven't tried at the other Korean restaurants we've been to.  The squid, the beans, and the potato salad were amongst the favorites of the night.  They did refill our dishes after we asked.

So since I hadn't been planning on going to Chon Ju Jip, I wasn't really in the mood for bibimbap. (I also hadn't done my research beforehand, so I was at a loss of what was supposed to be good here.)  Luckily, Baby Bro's girlfriend ordered it, so I got a taste and some pictures.

The first thing that is different about Chon Ju Jip's bibimbap is that it is served on a stone plate rather than a stone bowl.  They also use a lot of uncooked lettuce.  I wasn't very impressed with the bibimbap.  It definitely would not be on my list of 50 things to try before leaving San Diego.

Boyfriend and my cousin both ordered the beef with rice.

Again with the raw lettuce!  The beef bulgogi tasted fine, but there wasn't enough of it.  Boyfriend and my cousin polished off their food quite quickly.

The smaller portion sizes tended to be a trend that night.  Usually with all the panchan dishes, I have difficulty finishing my entree.  However everyone finished their food that night with no problem, except for Baby Bro.

I ordered the soy bean tofu stew.

I caught the image while it was still boiling, though it doesn't look so great in stillness.  The soup was really salty and didn't have enough soy bean flavor.  There also wasn't much in it, other than a couple pieces of tofu, some vegetables and a crab claw.

Another person in my group ordered the a rice noodle dish.

There seemed to be a mix of chewy rice cakes and ramen noodles.  It was also quite spicy. I'm not sure how the taste was.

Baby Bro ordered the full order of beef bulgogi.  He was the only one that had leftovers.  He seemed to enjoy it, but then it's pretty hard to ruin beef bulgogi in my opinion.

Little Bro and Little Sis ordered the tofu stew.  It came out quite red and spicy, though they weren't asked how spicy they wanted it.

The service was pretty friendly, but I left pretty disappointed.  I thought the portions were a bit too small and the food quality was just average.

 

6 Responses to “Chon Ju Jip”

  1. 1

    Kirk — January 20, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Hey Kirbie – The Dolsot Bi Bim Bap was on woh’s list of 50 things to eat in San Diego? First off, it’s served on a metal plate, so the crust that a stone bowl would provide never occurs. They use really low grade beef for the bulgogi…. I think the best items at Chon Ju Jip are the Tofu Jigae and the Gul Bossam. You should check out the Bulgogi at Hal Mu Ni, it might be a bit on the sweet side, but it is better prepared.

  2. 2

    Kirbie — January 20, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    Oops- I forgot to say the list is from the Union Tribune.
    Thanks for the tips. If I do go back, I’ll try the Gul Bossom. And I need to check out Hal Mu Ni.

  3. 3

    Kirk — January 20, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Thanks Kirbie, I just looked at the list, and it seems kinda like something a person who just discovered Asian food beyond PF Chang’s would write. They even made a big “splash” about “discovering” Tita’s! Which has been around at least since I moved to San Diego ten years ago. I guess I’m having a hard time taking these folks seriously.

  4. 4

    Kirbie — January 21, 2010 @ 10:14 am

    I wasn’t very impressed with the list, but I was surprised and curious to see Chon Ju Jip on the list, so I wanted to try the bibimbap out.

  5. 5

    diligent diletante — January 21, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

    i still stand by the convoy tofu house as my fave local tofu stew aka soon du bu. It doesnt get as much press as the Tofu House next to yogurt world, but the broth has more depth and ban chan is wayyyy better.

  6. 6

    Kirbie — January 22, 2010 @ 10:04 am

    I agree that Convoy Tofu House has better panchan than Tofu House next to Yogurtworld. Though I think Chon Ju Jip and Do Re Mi has even more panchan offerings, which is nice.

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