Restaurants & Bars

Livermore: Korean-style at 84 Teriyaki

Shep | Aug 8, 200507:36 PM    

I go in here every couple weeks, because there's not much Korean in Livermore. It's in a small strip of businesses, not even a mall, in an industrial park by the airport.

They offer a variety of hybrid Japanese/Korean dishes, including sushi and bento. In the past, I've had pretty good yakisoba, and a beef ramen soup whose somewhat boring broth was compensated by the nicely grilled beef. Lunch and dinner plates are the usual suspects: chicken, beef, pork, salmon, unagi, served with steamed rice and a good quantity of Asian-style chicken salad. My favorite has been the kal bi, the tender meat charred and smoky and carrying a lot of good beef flavor. The unagi katsu is also good, chunks of eel panko-breaded and deep-fried, crusty outside and flaky inside, with a clean flavor.

Today I had agedashi and a large chicken salad. The deep-fried tofu were a little different than I am used to; the crust, instead of being a layer of the tofu itself, was a distinct coating, very thin and delicate and with a pleasing crunchy texture. I like my dipping sauce hot and sweet, to compliment the bland tofu; the sauce here was subtle to the point of anonymity. $4 for six pieces, I've paid less for more, but if the sauce was a little better it would be worth it. The chicken salad surprised me: I had expected the same shredded lettuce with shredded chicken that comes with the lunch plates, but instead got a large bed of lettuce, some sliced, some shredded, some torn, topped with crispy rice noodles and rather a lot of chopped peanuts. On top was at least a whole breast of chicken, marinaded grilled and sliced, with some crisp caramelized edges to add interest and flavor. The dipping sauce here was more like a tempura sauce, dark, thick, and sweet, with a gingery tone. Not bad for $7.

The service here is brisk and totally impersonal; I've been coming here for a year, and have yet to be treated as anything but a stranger. Their loss, nothing in their stockings at Christmas. The TV in the corner gave warning that football is just around the corner, ESPN in full cry with endless replays of undistinguishable highlights, but entirely too much of the Dallas Cowboys for my taste, thank you.

84 Teriyaki
51 Wright Brothers Ave, Suite D
Livermore, 94551
phone orders accepted
closed Sundays

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