Cho Eun, also known as Evergreen is one of the hidden gems of the San Fernando Valley. This no frills restaurant is tucked away in a popular Korean shopping center at the corner of Sherman Way and White Oak in Van Nuys. The seafood pancake put this restaurant on the food map, but it's the tasty comfort food that keeps customers coming back. If you work in the area, this is also a great spot for a fair priced lunch. For about $7, you will be more than satisfied and probably wishing you could go home for a nap. The banchan changes often, but kimchi, potatoes and bean sprouts are the staples. The service is nothing to write home about and you might be lucky to get a smile, but the food always delivers. In addition to the items featured below, chicken stew and kimchi pork belly are also worth your consideration.
This dish is not for everyone. If you don't like to make your own food, you will probably want to skip it. Bossam is all about wrapping the ingredients on the platter into a package of deliciousness. Take a piece of napa cabbage and fill it with pork belly, garlic, pepper, and radish kimchi. Every restaurant serves it a little differently. Cho Eun does not serve it with fermented shrimp paste or picked radish. Here, every ingredient stands out on its own yet comes together harmoniously in each bite. Sure, restaurants that specialize in bossam do it better, but the simplicity of the version at Cho Eun makes it equally enjoyable.
Assorted Seafood Pancake
There is a reason why seafood pancake or pajeon put the restaurant on the map. It's light, crispy on the outside, loaded with an assortment of seafood and well seasoned. There's no oil puddle under this seafood pancake or undercooked flour mix. It's served with the usual dipping sauce made of vinegar, sugar, soy, sesame and green onion. The pancake is so good on its own, the sauce is almost unnecessary.
Seafood Tofu Stew
A visit to Cho Eun is not complete without an order of their seafood tofu stew or soon dubu. They don't ask you how spicy you want it here. It comes out how the chef prepares it with a bowl of purple rice. I'm sure you can request the heat level or lack their of, but it's perfect the way it is. A good balance of tofu, seafood, and broth. Every bowl comes with two pieces of shrimp, a mix of clams and mussels and small pieces of beef. This is the ultimate cold weather food or bad day pick me up.
So, if you live in "The Valley" and don't want to make the trek to Korean town, stop in to Cho Eun to get your Korean comfort food fix.
Cho Eun Evergreen Korean Restaurant
17621 Sherman Way
Van Nuys, CA 91406