One of the first times I ever had Korean food was at Ohgane, in Oakland. This was before I discovered Koreatown in LA, so I was really impressed. You mean this delicious thing called kimchi has only 30 calories per serving??!
Fast forward several years to where I decide to give this place another go-around, hoping to relive that magic of discovering Korean food for the first time.
Prices have risen but portion sizes have gotten smaller. AYCE is around $25, with a two person minimum. They also have a lunch buffet which is only $10, a great deal if you can ignore the possibility that they’re serving you last night’s leftovers.
Yes, this is morbid, but I love watching baby octopus cook on top of the grill.
The rest of the meat was decent, a little on the chewy side, but filling. For $25 you’d expect a server to help with the grilling, however we ended up cooking most of the food ourselves.
Good selection of banchan.
We ordered a plate of spicy chicken because it was recommended. After one bite I realized it was just a mess of hot sauce on top of flavorless chicken. Everyone else concurred, and the plate remained like this for the rest of dinner.
My favorite dish was definitely the steamed egg (gaeran jim). Light, fluffy, and pretty!
For dessert they have a freezer full of treats, including Samanco ice cream sandwiches!
b/t 38th St & 40th St in North Oakland
Grade: C+ (To be fair, I’m grading this from the perspective of someone with easy access to Koreatown. I suppose if I was stranded in the Bay Area with no other options for Korean food, I would give Ohgane a B-, but compared to the other Korean restaurants I’ve tried so far in my life, the food was slightly above average.)
Pros: Clean, great selection of food, spacious interior. And a really awesome wall mural in the parking lot!
Cons: The problem with AYCE restaurants is usually quantity over quality. Sure, there are plenty of options at Ohgane, but you’ll have to gamble with the hits and misses on the menu. Service is lackluster, I’ve heard that it’s extremely difficult to flag down a waiter on their busy days. Plus I’m not thrilled that they’ve expanded into a chain of Bay Area Korean restaurants that includes Bowl’d, Spoon, and Bowl’d BBQ. Why not just focus on making one restaurant AMAZING instead of spreading mediocre Korean food all over the Bay?