Oakland | bbq korean dinner at bowl’d

While I am still working on my “2019 Year In Review” post, and there is a brief lull before 2020 starts hitting us full force, I thought that it is the perfect time to catch up on writing restaurant reviews. I do have a delicious back log of 2019 eats.

I would like to start by posting our most recent dining experience. By most recent, it was as recent as yesterday evening! An item on my 2020 New Year’s List is to put in more efforts as to where we would eat for date night. It will still be casual and no-stress as I intend it to be but more thought out.

For our first Saturdate of 2020, I chose (because I am the date night planner in the relationship) to go to Bow’d Korean BBQ. Korean food is our favorite comfort meal and we find ourselves at Korean restaurants quite a bit although I have not written about them on my blog. I counted 17 Korean restaurants just few blocks alone from where we live. There are hundreds more Korean restaurants in the Bay area! Bowl’d is a favorite although not what I would consider the best among those restaurants. I like Bowl’d because it is spacious and airy compared to mostly cramped and smoky Korean BBQ restaurants.

I caught a cold on Friday at work and maybe this was what prompted me to go for something hot and spicy which best describes Korean cuisine. When we walked into Bowl’d, it was surprisingly not full and there was not the usual wait of sometimes over half an hour.

I already looked at the menu before we left the house. I suggested to Mr Sweetie that we get the Two Person Combo which comes with a choice of two meats, soft tofu stew, egg souffle and rice.

We could choose two meats from the list above. I let him choose the meats because I would not be eating them (apart from a nibble to taste). I was really interested in the banchan (small dishes), egg souffle and soft tofu stew.

Banchan or Korean side dishes served with cooked rice

We got 9 banchan (some restaurants provide a dozen but 9 is typical) which consisted of kimchi, marinated veggies, boiled potatoes, cabbage and pumpkins, seaweed, bean sprouts, etc. These side dishes alone get me already full even before the main dishes arrive!

We also ordered a kimchi pancake as an extra appetizer. We both love Korean savory pancakes and we could not resist!

Mr Sweetie ordered pork belly and BBQ beef short ribs as the two BBQ meats. We could cook them at our table but we never do. He says that he does not want to cook when dining out while I could not stand the smell of smoke that clings to my hair and clothes. It is worst when cooking your own food in Asian restaurants! While he really enjoyed the short ribs because they were tender and well-marinated, he thought that the pork belly was bland. He did not eat it.

I devoured the steaming egg souffle that was so simple yet so comforting. I had no more room for the soft tofu stew.

Between the kimchi pancakes, banchan, egg souffle and 2 bowls of multi-grain rice for me; entire serving of BBQ short ribs, banchan, pancake and a bowl and half of rice for Mr Sweetie, we were close to bursting by the time we finished our meal!

We ended up taking 1/3 of the pancake, the full BBQ pork belly and soft tofu stew home. I had them for lunch and dinner the next day, Sunday, when I stayed home and could not go to church because of staying all night congested with a cold. I enjoyed the leftover pancakes and soft tofu all over again. The pork belly was indeed bland and did not have the expected marbling of fat as expected in pork belly. This is the reason why I ate it although I hardly ever eat pork, let alone pork belly. (I am used to bland food at home since I do not add salt in my food.)

It was a food coma and we practically rolled ourselves to the car that was parked three blocks away.

Stay tuned for more delicious eating adventures in 2020!

There are three Bowl’d locations in the Bay Area. We went to the one in North Oakland.

10 thoughts on “Oakland | bbq korean dinner at bowl’d

    1. 9 banchan or more should be the going rate for a Korean restaurant! 6 is too little. I think the most that I had was 14 banchan. Ask them fore more next time! If it is an authentic Korean Restaurant, they have more banchan in the back and should be happy to give you more. Do not hesitate to ask for seconds as well. I learned this from my Korean friends. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a legit place and looks delicious! I am sure that if there is a banchan that you like and if you ask nicely, they will bring them to you. You can definitely ask for seconds of banchan for free. Your friend is probably not as pretty as my Korean friend. That girl is feisty but she turned on the sweetness factor and we even got an extra appetizer! LOL! The computer does separate “banchan” into two words. Sometimes “banchan” is also called “panchan” but we use “banchan” here in the Bay Area. Have you tried more Korean restaurants after your first Korean meal? We have so many here in the Bay Area. Just less than a mile from my house, Yelp lists 17 Korean restaurants and there are tons more all over the Bay Area.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope. That was my only experience. We don’t have many Korean restaurants here at all. In fact, I just googled “Korean restaurants near me”, and that one is the ONLY one in New Orleans! The very few others are out in our neighboring Parish to the west.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, it seems like you have a really good one from reading your post, so that’s good! They seem like they have everything covered from the corn and cheese and KFC which are typically “drunk food” served along other appetizers and soju/sake, oxtail stew and bbq. The restaurant that you went to have it all.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am actually home sick with a cold but it is okay. It is a good excuse to be home and rest. I have been to Singapore many years ago. I traveled there solo for 4 days while visiting my family in Manila. Your country is lovely and the food is just marvelous! I hope to go back again someday. I am looking forward to your future posts. They are fun. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks so much! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed your trip to Singapore! I hope you’ll visit again, the city’s changing constantly! There’s plenty of new places to visit and food to taste year after year. I would love to visit the Bay Area too – especially from reading your posts! I’m enjoying your posts and adventures 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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