gohyang sanchun: hometown food is always within 3000 miles
my good friend duk kyung lee first told my wife kaela and me about this awesome korean comfort food restaurant as i was driving us up to kirkwood for an awesome day of snowboarding with my cousin walter and his friends. he recommended the restaurant to us because i love spicy food. i mean _really_ spicy food. i don't settle for that wendy's spicy chicken sandwich b.s. no, i want straight up habaneros n' lots off them! anyway, i also consider myself a decent critic of korean cuisine. i don't settle for your run of the mill sorabol stuff. i mean, heck! i live right off of el camino real, where i have access to a plethora of authentic, authentic korean restaurants.
in this day and age of halryu, where so many asians and asian.americans of various ethnicities are taking such a great interesting in everything korean espeically kdramas, korean gayo kpop music, and korean food; we're finding more korean restaurants that tailor their taste away from the traditional korean palate. do you know what that statement means? it's that most americans only know bulgogi, kalbi, and dolsot bibimbap when it comes to korean cuisine. they think korean food equates to korean bbq. nowadays, most non.korean americans (espeically those of related asian cultures) have at least expanded their knowledge of korean cuisine to include the soondubu genre, which they often call "soon tofu." still, many non.koreans have further expanded their knowledge of korean cuisine to include korean "hof" bar/pub favourites if for no other reason cos while growing up in college they exploited korean pubs for their naivete about the legal drinking age in this country etc. that's awful, but i guess it's all a cultural experience, etc.
anyway, while many people only think of bulgogi, kalbi, bibimbap, and "soon tofu" when they think of korean food, restaurants like gohyang sanchun offer authentic korean culinary experiences such as their boolnakjungol n' well... all sorts of jungol dishes. "jungol" have often been tranlated as "casserole" on menus, and most americans probably shy away from them expecting some kind of baked maccaroni. no, what you'll get is a flavourful mix of meats and vegetables and seafood cooked at your table in a spicy, red, gochujang-based sauce. yeah! this is korean cuisine! heck yeah; bring it on!
at gohyang sanchun, you can enjoy various jungol dishes as well as samgyubsal type dishes. it's all pretty good. would i recommend the samgyubsal at gohyang sanchun over that at chunggiwa (blue stones) or jangmojip? uh... hrm... they're all good. if anything though, i'd recommend samgyuhbsal at chunggiwa because you can get the all-u-can-eat option.
the name, gohyang sanchun: it really means "hometown mountain stream." it's a traditional korean word that can be written out in hanja chinese characters. at the same time, my friend duk misnomered the restaurant "gohyang samchun." he changed the 'san" to "sam," as you see. he says it's an old proverb, meaning good, homestyle food is always within 3,000 miles. hrm, well, heck! we all know i'm a big fan of professor alan dundes and his excellent research in folklore at uc berkeley, which is the ultimate institution of higher education. this is an good example of "version and variation." anyway, i think i've seen the hanja for this restaurant's name, and it's "mountain" and not "three" and "stream" and not "thousand." eh, i don't know. in any case, eat here now!