Bowl’d BBQ (Alameda County, California, U.S.A.)

Being back in the United States, I’ve begun to miss Korean food more than one might expect. And while I love going to Korean restaurants in the US, a number of these spots, when compared to restaurants in Korea, hold reputations for being expensive and not serving large-enough portions. But when a friend told me that he would be interested in Korean cuisine, I was more than happy to try out Bowl’d BBQ in Alameda County, California.

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Although my friend, Mr. X, whom I know from the New London chapter of Drinking Liberally, enjoys eating at Asian restaurants, he had never before tried Korean food. I could tell that he was a little unsure of what to order, so we agreed that I would order the food and we would split all of the dishes. The menus are printed in both Korean and English, and the waitstaff appeared to be bilingual.

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When the waiter came around, I ordered three dishes: kimchi fried rice (김치볶음밥), cheese ddeokbokki (치즈떡볶이), kimchi jeon (김치전), and sujeonggwa (수정과). Kimchi fried rice combines white rice and kimchi with beef, some veggies, and a fried egg on top. Ddeokbokki are rice cakes served in a spicy red sauce with fish cakes and cheese on top. Kimchi jeon is a type of Korean pancake; previously I’ve reviewed haemul jeon (해물전) which is made with seafood instead of kimchi. Sujeonggwa is a tangy drink made from cinnamon. Side dishes known as banchan (반찬) were also served.

The food arrived much sooner than expected, and the portions were much larger than I had anticipated. While I expected us to finish the food, we ended up having to ask them to wrap the kimchi fried rice and the cheese ddeokbokki to go. There was a lot of food, but we also ordered three dishes; had we each only ordered one dish, it would have been a perfect meal.

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The kimchi fried rice was delivered first. While perhaps not as spicy as what one might find in Korea, it was flavorful and not too salty. The cheese ddeokbokki was next, which really hit the spot; my only complaint was that the cheese on top was not fully melted when it arrived. The kimchi jeon was last, and was served precut in on a rectangular platter. My friend said that he enjoyed the sujeonggwa that I ordered for him.

Bowl’d BBQ combines the aesthetics of a contemporary United States eatery with the menu of a hansikjib (한식집), or Korean restaurant, in Korea. While its menu may seem a bit pricy, the portion sizes are generous and the prices are not terribly expensive for the San Francisco Bay Area. I recommend this restaurant for Korean food enthusiasts and novices alike.

Tasteless  |  Bad  |  Okay  |  >> Good <<  |  Tasty

Name: Bowl’d BBQ
Phone +1 (510) 263-8717

Credit Cards? Yes
Apple Pay [?]? No
Bathroom? Yes
Reservations?  Yes
Take out? Yes
Delivery? Yes
Wifi? No
Outside seating? Yes
Wheelchair friendly? Yes
Alcohol? Yes
Dogs allowed? ??
Bike parking? Yes
Car parking? Yes

Date night? Yes
English-speaking staff? Yes
English menus? Yes
LGBTQ friendly [?]? Yes
Information updated on: August 18, 2018
Prices [?]: $ $ $ $

Monday: 11:00 – 22:00
Tuesday: 11:00 – 22:00
Wednesday: 11:00 – 22:00
Thursday: 11:00 – 22:00
Friday: 11:00 – 22:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 22:00

Address (English) 2201D S Shore Center Drive, Alameda, CA 94501 U.S.A.