Second Mission Rhea's Deli Location Put a Dent in S.F.'s Korean Deficit

Categories: Mission, Opening

Rheas_Pork_Katsu.jpg
Pete Kane
Rhea's pork katsu sandwich.
A few years ago, the South Korean consul-general for San Francisco blurted out that to get good Korean food in California, you basically had to go to L.A. For someone tried in diplomatic niceties to be so blunt about San Francisco's lack of bibimbap and ssam really says something.

Well, there's Rhea's, faithfully serving pork katsu on Valencia for some time now. And as of yesterday, there's a second location over on Bryant and 20th. Maybe that will get Mr. Fancy-Schmancy Diplomat to pay attention?

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Rhea's pork katsu sandwich (panko fried pork, pickled red onions, jalapeños, slaw and katsu sauce) is quite tasty, in fact -- although it disintegrates rather completely by the third bite, requiring a fork. With a pickle spear and chips on the side, one also can't escape the feeling that it's been slightly toned down for an American palate. Fine, little bowls of banchan may not be culturally appropriate here, but one of the pleasures of Korean food is the variety of sides. Blow us away, Rhea's!

However, the wings (six for $7, a dozen for $12, in either original or sweet garlic sauce) are light years beyond most American fried chicken; it doesn't even compare. That's probably for the best, because Rhea's ran out of vegetarian options before the tail end of lunch. Also, there's beer -- cheap beer. $3 for a bottle of Sierra Nevada? Wow. That almost makes up for the noticeable uptick in sandwich prices, which are in the $10-12 range at this location.

Rheas_Interior.jpg
Pete Kane
Cool, almost neutral tones prevail in the interior. It's less retro than doctor's office-esque, but as with anyplace else, it'll certainly accrue character with time -- and God knows, they'll get the traffic. A few minor tweaks, and this place could be a standout addition to a section of the Mission that's not even close to the total foodie inundation found only blocks away. The more Korean food, the better.

Rhea's Deli, 2200 Bryant St.


Follow Pete: @wannacyber



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4 comments
Lance Walker
Lance Walker

They should have put one out in the Avenues or something, that's pretty close to the original.

jeesung
jeesung

@Lance Walker The location makes sense if their target market is the Mission Hipster ;-)

As others have pointed out, Katsu is Japanese, but it has been embraced by Koreans. Still it's probably not what the Consul-General is looking for.

danielp359
danielp359

Rhea's doesn't put a dent in anything. This is not real Korean food and is not what the consul was talking about.  As another poster pointed out, Katsu is Japanese.

Most Korean restaurants are in the Richmond and Sunset.  If Pete Kane wants to make the effort to leave the Mission to review a Korean restaurant, he might actually know what he's talking about.

snafu
snafu

Katsu is Japanese.

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