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Kitchen Story, Sweet Maple Owner To Open Surisan In The Wharf

Kitchen Story, Sweet Maple Owner To Open Surisan In The Wharf
Surisan will be located in this building on Beach Street, in the space closest to Jones. (Photo: Google Street View)
By Geri Koeppel - Published on February 15, 2016.

Fisherman's Wharf is getting a flourish of culinary creativity with a new restaurant called Surisan, which will offer everything from traditional American breakfasts to innovative modern Asian-American fusion with a heavy Korean inspiration. It's expected to open in late May in the former Andersen Bakery at 505 Beach St. (at Jones).

Co-owner Steven Choi used to be a bioengineer working on viral research, but veered into the food business 14 years ago. He also owns also owns Blackwood American-Thai Fusion in the Marina, Kitchen Story in the Castro (which also features Asian influences), Sweet Maple in Lower Pacific Heights, Taylor Street Coffee Shop in the Tenderloin, and a couple of places in Marin. And his brother-in-law, who's a minority partner in Surisan, owns Hollywood Cafe in the Wharf. (Choi has yet another project in the works slated for a May opening—Berkeley Social Club on University Avenue in Berkeley.)

Despite Surisan's Korean influences, Choi said he's not going to even put "Korean" on the sign or menu, because it's going to be such a departure from traditional Korean food. "It’s a little more modernized," he said.

As in the United States, a food revolution is happening in Korea, Choi said. "In Korea, they have a lot of food shows, just like in this country. There’s a lot of young talent. They create new ways of cooking, plating dishes. A lot of interesting things are happening down there, so we want to bring that to San Francisco." And, he added, "there are a lot more Asian tourists coming over to San Francisco than before."

Because his other places do a big breakfast and lunch business, Choi will largely handle those menus for Surisan, which is named after a mountain in Korea, near where he grew up. While breakfast will cater more to the tourist trade, he's hired a five-star chef from a top hotel in Korea to develop the Asian-fusion dinner menu. "As far as dinner, it’s going to be his show," he said.

Unlike many Korean restaurants, the evening menu will feature full entrees, not a lot of smaller side dishes. Breakfasts should run about $10–20, and dinner will be in the $20-30 range, Choi told us. The restaurant has a beer and wine license now, and he's hoping to acquire a full liquor license eventually. 

The space has both inside and outside seating, totaling about 6,000 square feet, Choi said. It seats about 170. Jeon Design will design the space. Hours are expected to be 8am–3pm and 5–10pm daily.