Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cheon Joo Young-yang Dolsot - Santa Clara

We have passed by this restaurant numerous times when we visit Lawrence Plaza. The place looked a bit intimidating because the romanization name didn't quite explain anything. One time we walked closer to take a look at it and we didn't see any menu with pictures. Pictures help when you don't quite know what you're ordering. ha..ha..

But my curiosity told me that we should check out that place. So I made sure I wrote down the name so I could look it up on Yelp. The reviews were quite convincing. Also pictures from other Yelpers helped me to decide what we wanted to order. to do your homework before checking out a new place.
Spicy fish cake (right bottom), daikon kimchee (left front)

daikon ? (front), japchae (glass noodle), black bean? (right)

Finally we went and checked it out last week. We went there during late lunch hour. The place was busy and the only two ladies behind counter were busy to even acknowledge us when we walked in. We stood there for quite a while not sure whether we should just sit ourselves. Finally one of them gave us a wave and we understood that it's okay to sit ourselves. The same lady also brought hot tea and menus for us as soon as we sat down.

Ordering was a breeze even though their menu was a bit extensive. But again, no pictures on the menu. Most of their clients seemed to be family except for a large table behind us that seemed like coworkers out on lunch together. It took quite a while for our lunch to be prepared.
Beef and octopus casserole (bul nak ji jeongol)

Finally the same lady came out with a portable gas stove along with all the banchan (side dishes). She set up the gas stove and left us to check out the banchan. There were quite a varieties of banchan other than the typical napa cabbage kimchee. In fact, their napa cabbage kimchee was just okay in my opinion. Our top pick was the spicy odeng (fish cake). Other banchan that was quite unusual was some sort of blackbean and another banchan that tasted like daikon.
Our stew once it was all stirred well

A few minutes later the lady came back out with a shallow hot pot of broth with all the ingredients inside. We ordered bul nakji jeongol (beef and octopus casserole). We stirred all the ingredients and let it boil to get all the flavor incorporated before we dug in. Beside the beef and octopus pieces, the casserole came with tons of slices green onions, zucchini and also thick round udon. It was enough to feed 3 people at least. So by the end of it, we still had leftover to take home for our dinner that day.

Cheon Joo Young-yang Dolsot
3519 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95051   (408) 244-4002