Sunday, February 26, 2006


Seppo and I went to a new-to-us Korean Restaurant on Wednesday night. It's called Ohgane and it's located at 3915 Broadway in Oakland, near 40th Street.

Suffice it to say that this is probably my new favorite Korean restaurant. Seppo and I both feel strangely guilty about pulling Sahn Maru from its current first place ranking, but this is a great all around restaurant. Sahn Maru is definitely more homey and cozy, and has a strong "family-run" vibe and friendliness. This restaurant is clearly less homey, but the decor is pretty nice (the murals are fairly impressive) and everything looks squeaky clean. They served us 12 banchan dishes in addition to our entrees and appetizer. The banchan had a nice variety of textures, colors, and spici-/nonspiciness, and included some dishes which I never see in other Korean restaurants.

The galbi we tried was much more tender than anywhere else in the Bay Area (at least that I can recall). There was some miscommunication such that they brought us the meat cooked in the kitchen instead of having us cook it at the table, but it was no big deal. The bindaeduk (Seppo's favorite appetizer, which is a fried mung bean paste-based pancake with vegetable bits and/or a little meat) was cooked as well as the ones as Sahn Maru, which to date had been the best ones we had had. The dumpling rice cake soup was also really good, with a rich broth and lightly cooked rice cakes with good bite. They served not only lettuce but seasoned perilla leaves (I LOVE these!!!!) and wasabi-infused turnip slices to use to wrap up the meat & rice.

I could find nothing to criticize, except that it took them a while to give us the check. However, there are little buzzers at each table which indicate to the waitstaff you want service (sort of like the flight attendant call button) if you really feel neglected and need them to come by.

All in all, I give it a thumbs up and would definitely return again. If it weren't for the fact that I feel a weird personal attachment to Sahn Maru, I'd declare this once and for all my favorite and never go anywhere else again for bbq + soups. (There are some specialty places, like for fried chicken, tofu stew, oxtail soup, jjajjangmyun, and grilled pork, that I would still go to.) This place is especially great for large groups as it is frickin' huge. But it was great for just the two of us too.


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