Chon Ju Jip
4373 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
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.