Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Sep 30, 2007 08:12 PM

Good Oakland Korean Place for Soup & Kimchee

One of my relatives is longing for a meal of soup and really good kimchee at an Oakland Korean restaurant. He doesn't care that much about the bbq.

He used to be able to get good soup and kimchee when he lived in San Diego.

Any suggestions?

Actually, I love kimchee so much that I personally will eat every morsel of kimchee in sight no matter what the quality.

Ooh, writing about kimchee reminded me that my Fuchsia Dunlop chili relish is now ready to use. It has been sitting in the fridge for about a week and a half.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pyung Chang - soft tofu soup
    Ohgane - dumpling soup
    Seoul Gom Tang II - ox knuckle (?) soup

    1. If he's looking for soon dobu, Pyung Chang Soft Tofu House is pretty tasty. I do, however, actually prefer the range of soups offered at Ohgane, though it does not specialize in soup. They do a nice spicy beef soup (dda ro gook bab) with big shreds of braised beef, great dduk man do gook (mild rice cake and dumpling soup w/ egg), hae mul kal guk su (spicy kimchee and noodle soup), and many others. They also have soon dobu. And their panchan assortment is very good. The widest range of soup options is at lunch (when you can order from the dozen soup options on the dinner menu, plus a couple like the hae mul kal guk su that only appear at lunch).

      3915 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

      10 Replies
      1. re: lexdevil

        i just re-read your post, and the spicy beef soup you mention sounds like the yukkaejang i've been pining for in my last pot. but dda ro gook bab doesn't sound familiar at all. could we be talking about the same soup?

        1. re: augustiner

          Just found the on-line Ohgane menu and they have your soup. I think it's probably the one I was talking about, as they're right next to each other on my ancient paper menu.
 Yours is described as "Spicy hot beef soup with green onions and egg." The dda ro gook bab is described as "Assorted vegetables in hot soup with beef." Both have warning chili peppers on my old menu. I assumed I'd had the dda ro gook bab because it's on the lunch menu (and I often get take-out from Ohgane for lunch), but from your description, I think I'm remembering the yu keh jang. I'll try to get this sorted out with one of my Korean students today.

          You should see if it's too late to join the Wednesday night chowdown at Sura.

          Definitely solves your numbers problem.

          1. re: lexdevil

            So, here's what I've gleaned thus far:

            imalexicondevil (6:46:40 PM): But what the heck is Dda ro gook bab ?

            student (6:47:00 PM): gook bab is like rice + soup

            student (6:50:41 PM): if you bring in the korean i might be able to ask my mom

            imalexicondevil (6:53:18 PM): (6:53:25 PM): #83 on p. 3

            student (6:57:38 PM): dda ro means seperately--my mom said that it's like yukehjang but it comes with the rice kinda

            So I think I'll try it for lunch tomorrow and see.

            1. re: lexdevil

              ah, i should've been able to figure that out. i forgot that "ddaro" means separate. well i'm going to wait for it to cool down a bit more and then i'll be heading over to ohgane and seoul gomtang II for some soup.

              1. re: augustiner

                Having had Ohgane's Yu keh jang for dinner last night, and being in the middle of their Dda ro gook bab for lunch as I write, here's the difference.

                The Yu keh jang is mostly shreds of flank/brisket like beef, yam noodles, fern, green onion, and egg in a potent red soup.

                The Dda ro gook bab is more a beef and veg stew with lots of cabbage, bean sprouts, peppers, and slow cooked beef on the bone. The broth is spicy like Yu keh jang, but it tastes richer and meatier, probably from the bones. It is also less impressively red. Rice is served on the side (but I had rice with my Yu keh jang last night too).

                1. re: lexdevil

                  Excellent to know, thanks much! I may try this soup the next time I go out for Korean. Although I will miss the bright red color...

                  1. re: Marc Wallace

                    Don't worry, it's still pretty red. Just not as intensely so.

                  2. re: lexdevil

                    Which do you like better, and why?

                    1. re: twocents

                      Good question. Their appeals are rather different. The Yu keh jang is more exciting. The flavor is bright and intense and I always like the yam noodles in anything. I could definitely understand it having a bit of a cult following.

                      At the same time, I prefer the flavor and texture of the beef on the bone in the Dda ro gook bab to the shreds of beef in the Yu keh jang. The soup is richer and somehow more comforting.

            2. re: augustiner

              More good news. I've had lunch at Sura on Telegraph twice in the past two days, and they have excellent Yu Keh Jang on the lunch menu. The serving is generous, the broth is spicy, and the shreds of beef are nice and tender. Additionally, the two of us received 17(!) banchan with our lunch, along with a seasonal pumpkin soup.

          2. i have been interested in exploring the korean places in oakland for awhile. unfortunately, i never make it to the east bay, or have a hard time convincing friends to go there to eat korean. and really, korean food is best eaten with a group.

            but...i've been having cravings for yukkaejang, or the spicy shredded beef soup (usually brisket, i think) with korean sweet potato starch noodles (the ones in jap chae), fern bracken, other various veggies, and egg. it's in a very spicy broth. a year or so ago, i ate intestines for the first time in a spicy korean stew, and loved it. and from what i understand, this is a traditional ingredient which is usually ommitted in american restaurants. tripe is also traditional. i'm trying to train myself to eat both of these meats, and figure yukkaejang is a good place to start. i used to pick around them in korea, but even there these meats were often ommitted.

            so, while we're looking for soups in oakland korean joints, if anyone knows of a good place to eat yukkaejang that has both the tripe and the intestines, please let me know. i don't remember ever reading any posts about that particular dish. it's so good, and i think that fans of sundubu chigae, the soft tofu stew, should check it out. nothing against sundubu, but let's stretch out a bit. i haven't had a good version since i was last in korea six years ago.

            sorry i couldn't add any pertinent suggestions about good soup joints in oakland. and i'm sorry if this post kind of hijacks this thread. i don't mean to, and just thought that i'd widen the umbrella in terms of korean soups worth seeking out.

            9 Replies
            1. re: augustiner

              Seoul Gom Tang II offers lots of offal in some of their soups.

              1. re: augustiner

                In Oakland, I enjoy the yuk gae jang at Seoul House (13th and Webster) and Sam Won (26th and Telegraph) the best, but mostly because even as a gringo, if I say "extra spicy" they accomodate that. No idea if they would offer to add in tripe or intestines (or if they are leaving them out because I am not Korean), but as they are ingredients in other dishes on the menu, I'm certain they could add them in.

                It never hurts to ask for special things. My wife can always get carrot slivers in her hot'n'sour soup at the local Chinese place because she asked once, and they said (rightly) that it would be easy to do that.

                1. re: Marc Wallace

                  Pyung Chang also will take you seriously if you ask for it extra spicy....

                2. re: augustiner

                  Do you know the difference between kimchi chigae and sundubu chigae?

                  1. re: WCchopper

                    There are a lot of variations of each, but the main difference is the soondobu (soft tofu), which sort of dissolves into the soup. Kimchi chigae would have a clearer broth and usually chunks of regular tofu (dobu).

                    For soondobu you're probably best off going to a place that specializes in it.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Aha! Thanks very much for the clarification! I'm thinking the one I most enjoy is the soondobu. Where do you get yours?

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Pyung Chang is near 47th Street, on Telegraph Ave in North Oakland.
                          It is somewhat near Macarthur BART, a pleasant walk if you are heavily armed.

                          Pyung Chang Tofu House
                          4701 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

                          1. re: Joel

                            "It is somewhat near Macarthur BART, a pleasant walk if you are heavily armed."

                            Well put. Daytime is usually OK, if you have close air support.

                3. If Seoul Gom Tang II in Oakland is anything like the original in Santa Clara, then you should definitely try it out, as they have kimchi and gakduggi right on each table - and best of all, ALL you can eat. Plus they also do Gom Tang very well, hence the name.