4620 Convoy St., yelp reviews
Min Sok Chon is one-stop Korean Convoy fun: drinks, deep-fried stuff, karaoke, wacky seafood, rustic Oriental roofing, grilled meats, K-Pop. Somewhere in the back there are private karaoke rooms where extroverts can get their sordid birthday parties on. In the center ring, the tables have call buttons: “call”, “bill, or “water”. The engineer in me wonders if these actually turn on different lights behind the bar: certainly the “water” button seems redundant, since they brought the five of us two giant pitchers of water right from the get go.
Given the collegiate beer hall vibe of the place, I am pleased as punch to report that the food was pretty good. The banchan – that collection of yummy cold plates – was adequate; the savory pancake – we opted for bacon and potato – was sort of bland, but I noticed it all got eaten. As did the Galbi short ribs – about the same as you’d get in any of the twenty other places that serve it within a mile. The kimchi fried rice was more successful – tangy and properly stinky. A pungent soup of different varieties of fish cakes with a cool name that I’ve forgotten came in a black kettle with a skewer of said cakes balanced serenely on top. And then there was “Sea Snails Muchim”: bales of clear noodles beside a sea snail stew floating in one of those evil-looking red lakes that I’ve come to associate with the best things on Convoy. A bit spicy, a bit sweet, very tasty. One of my co-conspirators (who will remain nameless, though I will reveal that his initials are Andrew Bianchi. Oops.) declared this dish his new favorite. I’m not ready to go there myself, but yummy is as yummy does. Incidentally, sea snails taste a bit like chicken hearts, which taste a bit like pig’s knuckles, which taste a bit like bacon-wrapped brussel sprouts, which … well, stop me when you’ve got it. Basically, turtles all the way down.
We were joined once again by the Convoy Conquistadoras – fellow Convoy food-bloggers -, who had somehow missed Min Sok Chon on their first go round, and who probably would have given the sea snails a miss anyway. Much to the detriment of the culinary world. I got a kick out of lovingly mocking their methods – datasheets and clipboards were involved – but would share a meal with them anytime. San Diego Food Blogs Unite!
I’d rate Min Sok Chon around average or just above for Convoy Korean. Unless you’re hosting a big frolicsome bunch of drinkers, or you’re after sea snails, in which case, you’ve just hit the jackpot.