Sura in Temescal (on Telegraph)
- grocerytrekker Jul 18, 2007 04:25 PM
Does anyone have any information about this place?
spent an entertaining afternoon yesterday highlighted by lunch at Sura and a stroll along Telegraph Ave. from 40th Street to 51st Street.
-- Sura - had one of the specials from a sheet attached to the first page of the menu - Fish Stew for $12.95. Before the entree, pumpkin soup and 17 (!) panchan and almost all had a far more delicate flavor than the ones at Koryo that I'm more familiar with: yam, a sprightly kimchi, a custardy thing, a slippery silken tofu, pickled zucchini. Nothing crunchy, like Koryo's dried fish, or overly hot. Oh, and the hostesses were quite gracious.
The fish stew had cod, tofu, veggies and some curly things that were either some type of intestines or an uncut noodle that I had never seen before. Ate a pinch of the curly thing and it didn't taste like noodle and was told later that it was fish intestine. It added a distinctive flavor to the soup and I regret that I was a little too squeamish to appreciate it.
Does anyone have any experience with Korean soups with fish intestine?
-- As to the rest of Telegraph Avenue, the Temescal District is certainly perking up. Bakesale Betty had a sign up that they were out of Fried Chicken sandwiches but there were short lines for those ordering scones or pumpkin pie. Walgreen's, across the street, had a sale on Halloween items and I grabbed about 15 Pez dispensers with monster heads and 2 rolls of candy at 25 cents each. At Clausen House thrift shop at 4838 Telegraph they had wooden tennis rackets that were almost 100 years old for $2 each. Got 3. KangNam, a Korean Pho house at 4419 Telegraph, had about 6 or 8 patrons and next time want to try the Bo Kho, beef stew with noodle. The front doors to both Dona Tomas and Pizzaiolo were open as staff were filtering in to start setting up for 5 pm diners. East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, 4695 Telegraph Ave, is a thrift shop/art supply store with some nice deals on used chairs and worth a look before 6 pm while waiting for an early table at Pizzaiolo. This area is developing quite nicely being anchored by Pizzaiolo and Dona Tomas; all it needs is a first class ice cream shop and it could come close to being an East Bay version of 18th Street and Guerrero in SF with its Delfina, Tartine and Bi-Rite.
It is open. I just poked my nose in this afternoon.
It seems to be an upscale place, very nice decor. This fills a non-existent gap -- it must be the twentieth Korean restaurant on Telegraph Avenue.
Extensive menu, gas grills on tables (with fan vents above, = noisy).
With a day's notice, they will make special "Wellness" stews, with ginseng, brown rice, black chicken.
Black goat stew is $28.95 (but I am guessing it serves two).
Lunch items range from $8 to $10.
4869 Telegraph Ave (near 49th street)
My first meal there was great! The quality of the food and the special care from the owner make this a very promising new Korean Restaurant. The black goat stew is now my top one!!! Time for a chowdown? I will post one through the yahoo groups for EB and SF. See you there? See yahoo groups at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ebchowd... and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sfchowd... to join.
Have had lunch at Sura twice over the last two days. Both times my guests had the Daeji Bulgogi (spicy BBQ pork). Yesterday I had the bacon and squid from the BBQ lunch list. It was a huge serving, far more than I could eat. The bacon was very thinly sliced and tender. The squid was a nice break from the bacon's richness. Today I had the Yu Keh Jang (spicy beef soup w/ yam noodles, fern, egg, green onion, etc.), which was also very good.
The lunchtime banchan assortment is amazing as well. 17 varieties today, not including the seasonal pumpkin soup. Sura is definitely establishing itself as the best Korean restaurant in a neighborhood filled with great Korean dining options.
Had the "B" special combo for dinner this week and can confirm the 17 varieties of panchan. In addition, we were gifted a zucchini and tofu jigae (fairly strong bean paste base) and an eggy crock with texture somewhere between an omelet and a foamy custard (savory). Combo had bulgogi, kalbi, spicy bacon and some large prawns. Bulgogi and kalbi were nicely if lightly seasoned; I did not think "could use more salt" but maybe more flavor, such as green onion or garlic. The beef was a very nice cut, nicely trimmed so that it was easy to focus on the beefiness and good amount of fat. Kalbi was similarly seasoned, somewhat sweeter. I liked the spicy bacon but again thought it could be spicier and somewhat more aggressively seasoned.
17 panchan were impressive, but suffered somewhat in comparison with the fewer number of more strongly flavored dishes from a take out Sahn Maru lunch a couple of days later. I particularly liked that meals' sweet, spicy, garlicky root vegetable (burdock? it was quite chewy/toothsome) and garlicky, spicy, vinegary cucumbers. On the other hand the beef from Sahn Maru seemed of lower quality, but more agressively, and to my taste, more palatably seasoned than Su Ra's.
Su Ra is a pleasant space, surprisingly so given the exterior, and warrants further visits, although I wasn't totally blown away. About $40 before tax+tip.
Sura is currently my favorite Korean restaurant in the east bay right now. They have been consistently good, the service is friendly, the decor is more upscale than most Korean restaurants. They have lunch specials that are much cheaper than their dinner menu equivalent so lunch is a great deal. Things to have are the baby octopus mixed rice in a stone pot. Similar to dol sot bibimbap, but less veggies and spicy octopus. Very similar is the fish roe mixed rice in stone pot. You get 4 different varieties of fish roe, beautifully presented. Finally the BBQ there is different than most, with a more ginger-like finish than the sweeter, typical BBQ. When ordering chicken, you can ask for regular BBQ chicken or spicy BBQ chicken, which doesn't seem to be on the menu.
went there for the first time last week. Had a very nice meal and as mentioned the decor is very clean and each table has it's own built in grill and ventilator.
food was good, soondubu was particularly good IMO. I'll definitely be going back.
Four of us had a nice dinner here the other night.
To start, the server brought out a delicate soufflé--very light and custardy, not as foamy as a French soufflé, reminiscent of chawan mushi. Maybe not properly a soufflé at all. Delicious.
Then came 18 panchan, including a couple of dense sliced fish dishes and some other unusual items.
Unfortunately I didn't write down the dishes and they don't have a paper or online menu to help me remember. We got a sautéed version of kal bi, a double-order sized bowl of soup or stew with mandoo, noodles, beef, cabbage, and various other things, and pork belly in "green tea sauce." The first two were great, the pork belly was just sprinkled with a bit of green tea and pretty boring. With ample beer and soju it came to about $34 a head with tax and tip.
This is a more delicate style of Korean food than other places.
Does anyone know Sura well enough to explain the pricing to me? Some of the menu items cost twice what others do but most of them don't seem to be portioned for two.
Unfortunately, I walked by Sura this afternoon at about 1 pm intending to have lunch there but instead saw a closed sign on the door. They are regularly closed on Monday, not Thursday. There was no indication of a remodeling, change of ownership or an emergency requiring a closure.
A few minutes ago I called the number that is listed on their website, (510) 654-9292, and a message indicated that the phone was not in service.
If it has closed, I'll remember Sura for my favorite lunches on that stretch of Telegraph and its unparalleled selection of banchan, along with the warm service from the people who worked there.
Maybe there was too much competition from the other Korean places on that street or possibly the rents shot up too high. If this is only a temporary setback, someone please report back if they are indeed open.
4869 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Simply put: I am heartbroken.
I stopped going to Ohgane a while ago, as Sura became my go-to place.
This is devastating news to me, It was my 2nd favorite Korean restaurant in the Bay Area (after To Hyang) and now I will never be able to try all of their Chicken Ginseng Soups.
While there are worse Korean (or non-Korean) restaurants that could have taken the spot over, I'm not bowl'd over by the further expansion of the Ohgane empire.