Amazing Bibimbop Alert: Jin Mi, in the Tenderloin, Rocks It

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Pete Kane

Fans of superior bibimbap have a lot to love in Jin Mi, the new no-fuss Korean restaurant in the Tenderloin. Especially fans of seafood bibimbap served in a sizzling stone bowl that keeps the dish hot even by a slow eater's pace, and crisping the bottom layer of rice. It's large, a fried egg sits atop it, and the seven bowls of banchan which come along for the ride span both the familiar and the mysterious. And finally, it's a deal at $9.99 (and a dollar cheaper at lunch).

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JinMiBanchan.jpg
Pete Kane

JinMiInterior.jpg
Pete Kane

JinMiExterior.jpg
Pete Kane

While extensive, Jin Mi's menu overall makes few accommodations to a more standard American palate. There is no Korean fried chicken here, or even any appetizers, only jabchae (clear noodles), bulgogi soup, seafood pancakes and the like -- almost 40 dishes, all but one under $12.

As is the case with many spots in the TL (of whatever cuisine), it ain't fancy. Unassuming from the street, overly lit inside, and with a long beige wall that's almost entirely blank and numbing to the eye, Jim Mi isn't much to look at, but with seating for about 35 people, it's certainly no hole-in-the-wall, either. It's clean, and the other long wall does have four lovely pen-and-ink drawings. A lively debate -- a genuine bull session, really -- on Korean-Japanese relations at the table behind me made for some fascinating eavesdropping, as well. But I'd listen to wartime propaganda straight from Pyongyang to eat that bibimbap again.

Jin Mi, 366 Golden Gate, 834-5007.

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