On the way to The Macallan scotch tasting at the Regency Center (Sutter/Van Ness), Beth and I decided we'd better fill our stomachs with food before doing some serious drinking. She took the Geary bus, so I met her on Larkin Street and we ate at Aria, which has taken over the space formerly occupied by the Old Chelsea. (Does anybody know what happened to Old Chelsea?) Aria doesn't have a website, but it does have a Facebook page, and there are many positive reviews on the web.
A very nice man with limited English took our orders, and immediately set up our table with placemats, chopsticks, napkins and water.
I ordered the beef bibimbap with a small side of pickled radishes for $9.75. The meat is served on top of rice and bean sprouts, with carrots, mushrooms and eggs, and a small container of hot sauce.
Beth thought she was ordering kim chee on top of beef, but received a vegetarian meal for $8.95. If you want both, you have to be specific and order a side of kim chee. The gentleman asked me whether I wanted "big radish or little radish." I thought he was talking about two different kinds of radish, but it turned out he meant the size of the serving. The smaller size was more than enough for the two of us.
The food was delicious and filling and we'll definitely be going back to try the rest of the menu. It also enabled us to actually taste all the scotch we sampled. There was a presentation, trivia questions and samples of the 8, 10, 12 and 18 year bottles. The comparison was interesting and we both liked the 12 year old whisky best.