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Doobu (San Francisco)

Author: Ken | No Comments
Categories: San Francisco | Tags: Tags: , , ,

1723 Buchanan Street
(In Japan Town’s pedestrian-only block, between Post St & Sutter St)
San Francisco, CA 94115
Doobu (Yelp)
(415) 292-6002


Doobu is a friendly Korean restaurant in the heart of Japan Town, not far from the Kabuki Theater. Signs near the door advocate tofu for good health, and tofu seems to be their specialty. The restaurant is long and narrow with geometric modern art on the walls, and a long row of roomy booths, like a cool Asian diner.

Kathryn and I found Doobu by accident, wandering around Japan Town, and I’ve been there twice. Both times there were other people in the restaurant, but it wasn’t crowded at all.

My eyes zeroed-in on the mixed vegetable Dolsot Bibimbap, which is my favorite Korean entree. Vegetables, mushroom, soy bean sprouts, and tofu, sizzling in a hot (!) stone pot. Stir in the (not very) hot sauce quickly, before the rice burns to the bowl. The rice they use at Doobu is a little different: tasty with a brownish hue. I loved it, but Kathryn preferred the white rice they use at other Korean restaurants.

On our last visit, we arrived a little bit before our friends, and ordered the Fried Tofu Salad as an appetizer to share with them. Somehow, the half of the salad we intended to save for them didn’t make it. It was too delicious. The tofu seemed somehow battered and fried, but wasn’t heavy or oily. It was more like the skin of the tofu slabs was cooked or boiled, leaving a chewy white tofu center inside the golden shell.

Doobu serves the kind of Korean barley tea that I really love. While they don’t serve as many vegetarian, side-dish appetizers as Shik Do Rock in Albany, there is something you have to watch out for. Unless you specifically tell them otherwise, they bring everyone at the table a whole fried fish. There are many reasons I’m a vegetarian, and that’s one of them. (No thanks!)

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Doobu!

Greens Restaurant (San Francisco)

Author: Ken | No Comments
Categories: San Francisco | Tags: Tags: ,

Building A
Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123>
(415) 771-6222


Now celebrating their 30th year, Greens is a veritable vegetarian institution. Their focus on fantastic ingredients makes every dish special, and every time I go there, I can’t remember why I’ve waited so long to return. Spacious and light-filled, with a view of the sailboats slipping across San Francisco’s waterfront, Greens is a destination restaurant for vegetarians, epicureans, and vegetarian epicureans alike.

Greens is one of those rare places where a vegetarian can stare at the menu for a long while and be absolutely stymied about what to choose—so many things appeal. Although everything in the restaurant is vegetarian, many or most dishes have dairy, whether butter, cheese, or cream. Still, it’s not difficult to find a few great vegan choices, and the wait staff are uniformly excellent.

I started with the Fresh Spring Roll with carrots, green papaya, jicama, Thai basil, rice noodles, mint and hoisin. It came with some incredible grilled oyster and abalone mushrooms. It was really nice to see Hodo Soy tofu mentioned by name (!) on the menu, since the owner, Minh, is a longtime friend from the Berkeley and San Francisco Farmers’ Markets. It was easily, the most delicious hoisin sauce I’ve ever tasted.

Kathryn got the black bean chili, and ordered up a pot of chamomile tea.

As a main course, I chose Green’s signature dish, the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes, which are two, flavorful skewers of veggies, mushroom, and tofu, served on a bed of brown and white quinoa. The quinoa was toped by perfectly roasted almonds, and infused with currants, for a little bit of sweet/sour joy. The best item on the skewer was a wedge of butternut squash. I wish there had been more.

For some reason, I only order dessert in great restaurants. Kathryn and I split a warm, flourless chocolate torte with two small scoops of peppermint ice cream. A winning mint-chocolate combo. My father got the Huckleberry, Pear and Apple Sorbets with meyer lemon sugar cookies. Wow.

Lunch with Ken's Parents

Lunch with Ken’s Parents

About the Authors

Ken and Kathryn are the authors of VegJapan, a vegetarian TravelBlog in Japan.


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