Fox Stew

Korean Hole-in-the-Wall

Country: Korea

Restaurant: Toyose

The Stew: Seafood Stew

Other Food Ordered: Lychee Soju Cocktail, Corn Cheese, Kimchi Pancake, Kimchi Fried Rice, Spicy Fried Chicken, Japchae

From Japan, we departed to Korea… meaning we went into the Outer Sunset neighborhood of SF and tried some food at a Korean bar. A converted garage turned restaurant/bar, Toyose provided a glimpse into Korea’s late night pub food options.

The Toyose mascot and Dan

The Toyose mascot and Dan

This dinner was particularly good because it felt like a family reunion. In addition to the four Foxes, we were joined by our good friend Addison, his friend Sarah, and my cousin Andrea. The extra company turned a simple meal into a feast.

We started off with a lychee soju cocktail. It was recommended to us by the waitress as a house special and it didn’t disappoint! With shot glasses we began the meal with a cheers and sipped on the fresh, spiked lychee juice.

Lychee cocktail cheers!

Lychee cocktail cheers!

Other recommendations the waitress made were the spicy fried chicken, the seafood pancake, and the kimchi fried rice. Since we were looking for more vegetarian options, we opted for the kimchi pancake instead of seafood. It was a feast favorite! In Addison’s words, it had the best accessibility for shoveling more food into ones mouth at once. While savory pancakes aren’t common in American cuisine, it had a familiar pub-ness to it: greasy (but not too greasy) with a savory grit that is especially addictive when paired with the right alcohol.

Spicy fried chicken

Spicy fried chicken

The other recommendations were also tasty. The spicy fried chicken wasn’t actually spicy, but it was gone in a heartbeat. And the kimchi fried rice was my favorite dish of the night. Spicy rice mixed with the flavors of fermented vegetables and topped with a perfectly sunny side up egg; it didn’t get better than that for me!

Slurping on some chap chae (with a side of corn cheese in the background!)

Slurping on some japchae (with a side of corn cheese in the background!)

We also ordered corn cheese (which as is as quaint as it sounds: simply corn topped with cheese) and japchae, or glass noodles mixed with stir fried veggies. The corn cheese had a similar pub quality as the kimchi pancake. Being from Colombia, Andrea is a huge fan of corn and loved this dish especially. I can’t say no to anything with cheese, so I was eating as much of it as she was. The japchae was also popular amongst the table. The noodles were a bit too greasy for my taste, but they complimented really well with the vegetables paired with them.

Stews, wings, pancakes, noodles.. yum!

Andrea, Iraina, and Dan accompanied by some stew, wings, and kimchi fried rice.. yum!

Finally, the stew. Toyose is famous for their stews and hot pots. Ned and I actually visited Toyose once before and tasted an amazing spam stew with the most delicious spicy broth and a mix of spicy meats marinating inside the family style bowl. This time we ordered a seafood stew. The broth was similarly spicy and delicious, but anyone eating this dish should brace themselves for a whole lot of fishy! There was octopus, eel, calamari, and many more unidentifiable pieces of seafood. Some of the fish was a bit tough to bite into, but overall the stew was a beautiful cornucopia of veggies, tentacles, tofu, noodles, and spices. Everything I imagine a traditional Korean stew to taste like!

Seafood Stew

Seafood stew with the kimchi pancake and spicy fried chicken in the background

Guest Favorites: Andrea and Sarah enjoyed the Seafood Stew and Addison’s favorite was the Kimchi Pancake

Dan’s Favorite: Kimchi Pancake

Iraina’s Favorite: Japchae

Ned’s Favorite: Kimchi Pancake

Gabi’s Favorite: Kimchi Fried Rice

Toyose 3814 Noriega St. San Francisco, CA 94122

10 thoughts on “Korean Hole-in-the-Wall

  1. Todd_Lappin says:

    Toyose is fantastic. Because it’s in a garage, the ceilings are rather low, and because the ceilings are low it makes the place feel much like actually being in Asia. Bonus fun for that.

    The Must Try: The Army Stew. That’s a jigae soup with hot dogs and a block of instant ramen on top. I like to imagine it is Korean truck stop food, but I’m told it’s originally a favorite from Korean military barracks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • foxstew says:

      So good to hear that!! Yeah, I would stick to the Kimchi pancake (but I love kimchi, especially more than seafood..just a personal preference). Thanks for reading!


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