Ten of us went for dinner last night, We chose it for our Monday night pre-meeting dinner location at the request of one member of the party who just returned from four months in Fiji and discovered he was craving their tofu stew while living the good life in the tropics....
Tofu stew is the dish to order here, though the two guys who went with bbq/fired fish enjoyed the preparation and huge portions. My personal favorite is the beef dumpling tofu stew and it was as good as ever: dumpling skins seem to be the perfect thickness to my unrefined taste, the tofu is lovely, the stew is served bubbling hot and they will adjust the spice to whatever level you want. The panchan were great (I liked the potato as a sweet contrast to the spicy, savory stew; the pickled long peppers were also a hit) and plentiful: as soon as we emptied a plate of anything more would show up.
We ate and drank (OB Korean beer, which was the only beer choice last night, unfortunately, though they do have a few brands of sake and sodas as well) ourselves silly for a grand total of about $19 a person, including a very generous tip of over 20%. If you skip the beers here you can easily stuff yourself for less than $12 tax and tip included. (Most of the tofu stews are around $8.95).
Zero decor, unless you count rough-hewn wooden tables and benches, but the table in front was comfortable for ten (with a chair on each end). Best part for our group, since this was a pre-meeting dinner: service was fast and efficient (we were a bit amused that if anyone ordered a beer while our server was going around the table to take orders, she'd interrupt herself and run and get a beer and cold glass from the cooler, then continue taking the orders. From the point of view of the group she had her priorities straight, even though the food really is the priority here :-)). We came in at six, had no problem making it to our meeting in Orinda by 7:30, but we could have lingered if we wanted to do so.
Good bay area re-entry spot after trips to places like Fiji; good anytime, great on a cool or cold day.
Pyung Chang Tofu House
4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
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