Tag Archives: Chef Jeong-In Hwang

Dining At Michelin-Starred San Ho Won

Summer squash bibimbap at San Ho Won.
Summer squash bibimbap at San Ho Won.

It garnered a Michelin star only a year after opening its doors in 2021. That same year, it was also named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by the Robb Report; one of the “50 Favorite Restaurants” by the New York Times; a “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire; and highlighted in Eater’s “Best New Restaurants.”

When it comes to the Korean charcoal barbecue restaurant, San Ho Won in San Francisco, the hype is not only real, but richly deserved, as I found out when I dined last month.

Then again, one would hardly expect anything less from Chef-Owner Corey Lee, who also operates Monsieur Benjamin and whose flagship San Francisco restaurant, Benu, has glittered with three Michelin stars for years. San How Won is a collaboration between him and Chef Jeong-In Hwang, who moved from Korea to San Francisco in 2016 to first work at Benu.

Sure, you’ve probably had your fill of Korean barbecue over the years. But none like this, with an unmistakable clarity and purity of flavor. Nothing tastes muddled, nothing gets lost. Instead, every bite is exuberant.

Indeed, pretty much everything is made in-house, down to the binchotan that fuels the fiery grills. Take a seat at the bar encircling the kitchen for a view of the action. Or if you gather with a group and plan ahead to book the private room, you’ll really get a show when one of the cooks expertly sears your meat on a separate grill in the corner.

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