I learned from a few online sources that Mixed Grain is owned by the same family that runs Ohgane, Bowl'd, etc. Like Bowl'd, you won't find offal, goat, or snacks like corn cheese on the menu, but the quality of the standard dishes/ingredients is high.
In addition to white rice, there's an option of "mixed grain rice" (wild sweet rice, sweet brown rice, barley, and wild red rice).
Banchan: The eleven items are things common in the East Bay's Korean restaurants. As far as I could tell these were all vegetarian (i.e., no anchovies or fish cake). Pickled vegetables were all crisp and nothing was overcooked. Service bonus No. 1--- I realize banchan can be refilled upon request as most places, but the server was kind enough to ask if we wanted extra.
Mung bean pancakes: We opted to get the mung bean pancake rather than a more assertive variety such as kim chi or seafood. But even so, these were bland. These were served as small half-moons rather than as a giant greasy pancake. Very crisp.
Short ribs (small order) : Excellent--- meat flavor well balanced with marinade, easy to chew, and not remotely greasy.
"Fire bird's nest" : A special on the wall saying "DO NOT TRY" and "We can't make it non-spicy." It contains BBQ chicken in a spicy sauce (gochujang?) served in a stone pot with rice and a fried egg. Delicious. Spicy enough to make my eyes water, but not so much it killed the bold flavor of the dish. Service bonus No. 2--- we declined the server's offer to make it extra-spicy, but we appreciated the offer nonetheless.
1546 BONANZA ST., WALNUT CREEK, CA 94596
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