Last month, Eric Ehler went from Seoul Patch pop-up sensation to brick-and-mortar restaurateur with the opening of Gung Ho, a Korean/Asian/American eatery in the Design District. We spoke with Ehler a week into operations, who had already settled into a nice routine. But what's the word on the street? Read on to find out what Gung Ho's first patrons have to report.
The Ambience News: SF Weekly's Anna Roth likes the "lounge-y vibe", and says that while "the decor is minimal" the "room doesn't feel sterile." Yelpers agree: Filip M. finds the ambience and music "cool" and Jen L. describes it as "chill." Urban Daddy notes that its counter "looks right into Zynga's HQ, if you're into the whole corporate espionage thing." [SFoodie, Yelp, Urban Daddy]
The Clientele News: Located directly across the street from Zynga headquarters, you may be able to guess who makes up the majority of Gung Ho's diners. Yelper Genevieve Y. describes the scene as "Groups of Zynga Guys + Girls in Red Zynga Tee's under Black Zynga Track Jackets." [Yelp]
The Food News: The Pork Belly sando seems to be the dish not to miss, according to almost every Yelper. The pork is "tender, juicy, and flavorful" on a "to-die-for buttery and crisp" muffin, says Jen L., while Karen N. describes the sandwich as a "mouthgasm." The chicken wings are pulling away as an early winner as well: "a shatteringly crisp skin and a light sweet soy sauce" make them Chowhounder Dave MP's favorite, and Yelpers like Megan L. love that they're "twice-fried crispy and juicy." Fellow Chowhounder Jillyju singles out the "fantastic" brussel sprouts, which are "caramelized, salty but in a good way, and tender" and would be her "primary reason to return." [Yelp, Chowhound]
The Service News: The vast majority of Yelpers applaud Gung Ho's service, describing it as "super nice and friendly" (Alvin L.), "very helpful" (Daphne D.), and "awesome" (Johnny W.). [Yelp]
The $$$ News: Guests seem split on whether Gung Ho's prices are just fine or a little too much. Steak bibimbap is "the most expensive thing on the menu at $15, but worth it IMO," says Louie M. on Yelp. Fellow Yelper Daphne D. agrees, saying "there was enough food in there for a family of four." But Chowhounder Dave MP has a different take: "I expect to be wowed when a rice based dish is this expensive, and I wasn't." Yelper Alex H. says that while the "prices are typical soma prices," she thinks "the items are at least $1-2 overpriced." [Yelp, Chowhound]
Have an opinion to add to The Early Word on Gung Ho? Go right ahead in the comments, or into the tip jar.
· All Gung Ho coverage [~ ESF ~]