Regarding the Better Spots for Korean Eats on Oakland’s Kimchi Row

Chunks of fried chicken at Oriental BBQ Chicken Town.
Chunks of fried chicken at Oriental BBQ Chicken Town. Photo: Chris Duffey/East Bay Express

A pair of pieces this week highlight some notable Korean delights over in Oakland, along the stretch of Telegraph between 23rd and 51st known locally as “Kimchi Row.” First off, Luke Tsai at the East Bay Express highlights a quartet of soju bangs (soju rooms, like Korean izakayas): Oriental BBQ Chicken Town (6101 Telegraph), a.k.a. OB Town, known for their fried chicken and garlic fries; Kang Tong Degi (3702 Telegraph), which he says is “freaking cool” and hard to find and feels like a private club; Dang Sung Sa (2775 Telegraph), a.k.a. Porno Palace, which shows no porno but which serves their signature Porno Fries, “a fusion-y riff on chili cheese fries topped with pickled jalapeños, spicy Korean-style barbecued pork, and Velveeta.” [East Bay Express]

Then, over at Tasting Table, Jonathan Kauffman (we’re pretty sure this one is his, anyway) tells us about ogyeopsal, or “five-layer” pork, which he calls the “filet mignon of pork belly,” and which they serve at Jong Ga House (372 Grand Avenue). He explains, after barbecuing it at your table, you “swab it through salted sesame oil to enhance its toasty-lard flavor. Then you wrap the sqaure in lettuce leaves, along with hunks of rice and a dab of the spicy fermented-soybean sauce called ssamjang.” Then you pair it with Jong Ga House’s “aged” kimchi. Sounds pretty good. He also notes that they have the more common “three-layer pork”, or samgyeopsal, at the aforementioned Kang Tong Degi. [Tasting Table]