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New Korean BBQ in Oakland--Ohgane (very preliminary report)

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New Korean BBQ in Oakland--Ohgane (very preliminary report)

jillyju | Feb 21, 2005 01:32 PM

I've been meaning to post this for more than a week. Ohgane opened about two weeks ago, on Broadway near 40th in North Oakland (sorry, I don't have an exact address, but it's just down from the Union 76 gas station at 40th.) They seemed to take a long time to open--signs indicating that it was to be a Korean BBQ place went up at least 6 months ago. I live only about two blocks away, so I've been looking forward to this.

Last week I made it over there for lunch one day. The place is huge, with more than a dozen big tabletops with giant vents over them for barbequeing. The decor is simple but by no means bare bones--in fact it's almost upscale. I'd say someone put a lot of money into it

Unfortunately, since I was by myself I didn't get a chance to really get a good feeling for the menu, so this report must be quite limited as a result. I ordered a lunch special of barbeque pork. The prices on all the lunch specials were each about a dollar higher than places like Sahn Maru or Koryo. If I recall, this dish was $7.99, although it may have been slightly more. I think the lunch special Kalbi was $9 or more.

My lunch was brought pretty quickly, and the pork was a generous serving with onions and mushrooms sizzling on the platter underneath and alongside. I was immediately a bit disappointed in two things: the quantity of panchan (only 4), and the lack of carmelized bits on the pork. The pork ended up being reasonably tasty, without me feeling at all excited about it. Because it hadn't been cooked to the degree that I prefer, it ended up having almost a steamed or quickly sauteed quality rather than a bbq'ed one. I liked the kimchee, it was a bit spicier than I think either of the two above mentioned places make it. The other panchan were fine but not great. Bean sprouts, fish cake, and potato.

All in all I liked the place for the friendly staff and pleasant surroundings. I want to go back with friends so that I can try a larger portion of the very large menu. They have lots of soups in addition to the extensive barbeque items. I wasn't as impressed as I would like to have been, but it was definitely worth giving it a second (or maybe even third) chance.

By the way, a quick search of the web revealed that this is likely a branch of the same Ohgane that is in San Leandro. I didn't find a website for them, but I did find someone else's review of the San Leandro location, which I've linked below.

Link: http://www.marga.org/food/rest/ohgane...

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