photo credit: Erin Ng

Manna review image



845 Irving St, San Francisco
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Eating at this Korean restaurant means playing Tetris at the table to make room for trays of spicy pork and bowls piled high with sticky spicy-sweet wings—this Inner Sunset spot is about as big as a garage you’d find down the block. Groups are squeezed around packed-in tables, and getting up from your chair to allow a stranger to awkwardly shuffle past is part of the experience. But because the homestyle dishes always hit the spot, dinner within these extra cozy, slightly chaotic quarters is worth it.

The menu of Korean staples has something for everyone. Bubbling vats of nose-clearing soft tofu soup are ideal for distracting you from the fact that it’s a perpetual gray out and your space heater is broken. The flavor-loaded jabchae is hearty and filling. And on days when your internal clock demands a saucy plate of sautéed rice cakes and fish cakes, Manna’s versions are here for you. Hone in on the barbecued meats, which arrive sizzling and are the highlights of a visit here. The kal bi in particular is a standout—the short ribs with a slightly sweet marinade are charred and the edges caramelized. 

You don’t come to Manna for an hours-long meal—food comes out quickly, and the big windows overlooking Irving Street can make you feel like you’re eating inside of a fishbowl, especially when you realize the crowds waiting outside are staring in, trying to make you eat faster with their eyes. Get here with a (small) group for quick weeknight dinners—and ready your plate shuffling skills. 

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Food Rundown

Manna review image

photo credit: Erin Ng


It’s a creamier version than others around town. That said, we’d cross town for it, in flip flops, during an atmospheric river. The noodles are the ideal chewy consistency, and packed with beef, onions, and carrots.

Manna review image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Kal Bi

These short ribs are sizzly stunners, charred and glistening so hard they’re practically reflective. If you like beef even a little bit, order these.

Manna review image

photo credit: Erin Ng


These chicken wings arrive in a thick, spicy-sweet sauce that we would happily bathe in given the chance. Even though each wing is well-coated in the sauce, its crunch factor is still flawless.

Manna review image

photo credit: Erin Ng

Soft Tofu Soup

This dish packs heat. It’ll make your nose run a bit, but you won’t have to reach for a glass of milk. It’s ideal for warming yourself up on chilly Sunset nights—we only wish there was more tofu and meat.

Kimchi Fried Rice

On a menu that’s lengthy, you’re naturally bound to have a couple of misses, like this kimchi fried rice that lacks significant flavor. Feel free to skip and fill up on other similarly hearty dishes, like the jabchae or jjol myeon.

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