439 Balboa St. At 6th Ave., San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411837.777240 -122.463690
Neighborhoods: Northwest, Inner Richmond
Food decent...but glass is half empty – I really wanted to like this restaurant and have given it several chances since it's in my neighboorhood, but after last night I wan't go back.. The food is creatively prepared and tasty, but the main problem is in the overall attitude of the establishment . There's a big screen that plays continuous graphic Ninja movies where heads are getting lopped off and hearts ripped out, but my wife and I could just turn away from that. One thing that's hard to turn away from is the lack of generousity and very measured way of portioning the food and drink...in other words, it's a lot of money for a little bit. I don't mind ordering more food since that seems to be the way of Namu, but I take issue when I pay full price for a glass of wine that's poured very skimpily as if the establishment is trying to get 6-7 glasses out of a bottle. Last night, when the same "half empty" scenario occured at my 2nd glass, I brought it up with my waitress and even offered to pay for a slight "top off" on the glass to make it look respectable. She had a pow wow with the manager and reported back that each glass was measured and she couldn't do anything about it. The bill came to $80.00 (and my wife wasn't drinking), and I had to ask myself, what kind of management would risk losing a customer so they could save a few cents? This restaurant might fare better in LA, but it's not a San Francisco neighborhood joint for sure. Places like Clement St. Bar and Grill have thrived for decades because they make a gallant effort to treat the customer with generousity and respect...and their food and service reflect that. The Richmond district deserves nothing less from a restaurant that attracts a fairly affluent clientele.
Not impressed, each dish had a problem. – A guest and I went because of its "best of the bay" rating. First off, cold reception at the door. We were asked if we had reservations in a empty restaurant, late in the evening. When we said we did not, hostess acted like she was doing us a favor by giving us the lone/worst table in the middle of the room right by the door. The waitress was nice, she gave the due warning that the plates were small. Small was an understatement. We picked out 6 plates at about $7-9 each. The first plate comes, its the scallop carpaccio. On the plate was one..., count em one scallop thinly sliced on a thinly sliced cucumber. A little drizzle of an uninteresting yuzu vinaigrette and finely diced tomatoes. The next dish was probably the best of the night, the shitake dumplings. The fish broth as good, nice and rich finished with butter. But the dumplings were undercooked at the tips. Next Mung Bean Cakes, boring, flavorless... We finished with three of the grilled options. The grill flavor was nice, not bad, but very very small plates. I like the idea of tapas/small plates, but I believe that each one should be executed flawlessly and each should explode with character. Not the case with any of the dishes we had. Will not be returning.
BAD KOREAN FOOD..NOT AUTHENTIC – I went to Namu expecting great korean food and was very dissappointed The food was bland and unoriginal like another review I read in the San Francisco Chronicle re: Namu. PArkign was a pain and the service wasnt good. They messed up my order 2 times and when they got it right, the food wasnt even good. If you want good Korean food go down geary street and you'll find some great food. If you are looking for great japanese food head voer to sakan on post street. This food isnt worth it.
Original taste! – Normally I dont take the time to write restaurant reviews but I must give my kudos to this new dig. What can I say, the food was amazing. Grilled asparagus and artichoke hearts were phenomenal. The bbq meat dishes were so tender and flavorful. Their version of the caesar salad had a great kick. And the infused soju with mango is to die for. A must try!!
Inner Richmond restaurant combines Japanese and Korean influences in artfully presented dishes. – The Scene
White lights outline the windows of this single-room neighborhood haunt. An open kitchen is visible behind a rustic wooden counter-top, and is the focus of the grey-green dining room. Diners can watch the staff carefully assemble orders, or turn their focus to the large flat-screen TV above the counter. A dark ceiling and low light give ambience to the otherwise sparse interior. Tables are dark, and set with small, intricately glazed plates.
Japanese and Korean influences are woven into a diverse but coherent menu. Ocean salad features crisp yet chewy pieces of brightly colored seaweed tossed with cucumbers and ume dressing. Shitake dumplings arrive in an intensely flavorful mushroom dashi broth, while plump lamb chops are cooked on Namu's custom grill and served with Thai-basil pesto and spicy sambal. The apple-tart dessert, with its crumbling pine nut crust, is irresistible with a scoop of creamy ginger ice cream.
korean tapas anyone? – It was so good. The flank steak melted in my mouth and the cod was sweet and flaky. I wasn't disappointed with any of the dishes that came out. It has a really cozy atmosphere and the service staff was very friendly, helpful and attentive. I'm very familiar with Korean cuisine and I was impressed and delighted to find Korean cuisine served like tapas. What a great idea.
Great food, day or night! – Great food, the steak was melt in your mouth goodness, hamburger was one the best I've ever had, the pan di mie buns are a great compliment to the burger! Great people, wonderful place! AWESOME BATHROOM, HAHAHA! A nice, quiet place whether it be for a first date, anniversary, whatever the occasion! I will definitely return, a customer for life!
Delicious! – The oysters were fresh & served raw or grilled - both accompanied by sauces. The scallop carpacio was delicate, delicious & subtle. The bamboo was ok. The spicy pork ribs was ok. The miso black cod was delicious. The chocolate brioche dessert was similar to a bread pudding but not very rich. Ambiance & lighting were intimate/cozy but the room was chilly. We'll definitely return.
Excellent food and great ambiance. – The food was prepared very artistically and the dessert was excellent. The ribs and the mushroom dumplings were the standouts for me.
Didn't know what to expect going in, but I went home happy.
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