Bay Area Restaurants
San Leandro Restaurants
Update: Ohgane is still around, but I don't think it's the same restaurant than when we visited it a decade ago.
Despite our long residence in San Leandro, we had yet to make it to the Korean BBQ Buffet on Davis St. In the last couple of years, we'd been hesitant to go as we figured a table-top grill would not offer the safest dining experience for a couple with a baby. Mika is older and wiser now, so we figured we'd chance it, and one Friday night (August 2004) we headed there.
The restaurant seems to be under new ownership. While it retains its large "Korean BBQ Buffet" sign outside, there was a large banner saying "Grand Opening" and the menus are now printed under the "Ohgane Korean BBQ Restaurant" name. It's also not a buffet. You choose your appetizers/entree from a long list of possibilities (unfortunately, there are no combos), and the waitress brings the uncooked dishes to your table along with a plethora of side dishes. You then cook your food at the table, either on the center gas grill for broiled dishes or on one of the burners.
The choices are fairly pricey, with most broiled meats averaging $15-20, and sautees and stews ranging from $9 to more than $20. They have lunch specials for around $8, however. They also serve appetizers ($6-14) and quite a few different Korean beers and sakes.
We decided on the Bul Go Gi (thin beef - $18) and the Dak Gu E (boneless chicken - $15). The marinated meats were delicious, though a little bit on the fatty side (a problem when you don't have a knife to cut the fat away). The portion wasn't overly generous, however, and even though we weren't very hungry to begin with, we'd have had room for dessert if any had been offered. Mike grilled the food at our table, but the kitchen will do it for you if you ask. Indeed, Mike found all the grilling to be a lot of work and next time he'd have the kitchen do it, even if we went without Michaela. It may be more fun if you go with a larger party - though for the life of me I don't know where their plates/bowls would fit on the extremely crowded table.
Along with the meat, Ohgane serves a 15 side dishes, mostly pickled vegetables. Each person also gets a (spicy) salad, a bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. Our palates are not particularly educated when it comes to Korean side dishes, though we found most of them to have a similar taste: pickled and sour - though a dish of spinach tasted overwhelmingly of sesame oil. Mike particularly enjoyed the seasoned seaweed, and Mika ate all the fried taro, the broccoli and carrots, the pickled zucchini and some fluffy white things that I thought tasted like eggs. Most of the dishes were too sour or too spicy for her, though.
All in all we had a good dinner. We'd go back, though next time we'd probably order some appetizers. Dinner for all of us, including two sodas, came to $37.
1292 Davis St.
San Leandro, Ca.