Pyung Chang Tofu House
4701 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Pyung Chang is a Korean restaurant located in the Temescal district of Oakland, where a cluster Korean restaurants are situated. Burma Superstar is a couple doors down, while Bakesale Betty and Pizzaiolo are a block or two away. We were looking for some higher-quality Korean food than is present in San Francisco.
Decor, Vibe – Pyung Chang is one medium sized room with pretty basic decor. Pictures of food line the wall. The bench-like rough cut tables are made from natural wood. A lot of Koreans were dining, surely a very good sign.
Pyung Chang’s Menu is not very long and looks pretty authentic. They have a variety of soft tofu soups, barbecue items, and noodles.
Signature Dishes – Soft Tofu Soup, Kalbi, Bibimbab.
Banchan (small dishes of food) consisted of six good-sized items some of which we had not seen in other local Korean restaurants.
Korean traditional style pureed bean pancake ($5) was excellent, crunchy, soft inside, hot out of the fryer, freshly made, filled with carrots, chives, mushrooms. Eat this quickly before it gets mushy.
Korean style Barbecued beef ribs with marinated onions – Kalbi ($16.99) was sizzling hot and had pretty good quantity. Flavors were okay as was meat quality.
Stoneware Bibimbab ($11.99) mixed vegetables, beef and rice cooked in hot stoneware looked beautiful. The egg already topped the dish and served to us. The earthy mushrooms stood out as did the fresh vegetables.
Combo small tofu soup with beef and assorted vegetables ($12.99) with Gajami Gui (Rex sole) panfried was pictured on the wall and would expand variety over just the soup, at a small $3 premium. The very good tofu soup was moderately spicy (medium spicy) and of course bubbling hot. The bits of meat more pretty small.
The fish was huge and possessed an excellent crispy crust on the outside. It was grilled bone in and is highly recommended.
Stone pot rice came with the entrees. They even helped us remove the awesome crispy rice.
Service – Pyung Chang had classic drop and go service. We had hail the waitress to get anything done.
Value – Prices are pretty typical with quality Korean restaurants.
Alternatives – Ohgane is more meat oriented. Nearby restaurants include Burma Superstar, Bakesale Betty, Pizzaiolo, and a bunch of other good Korean restaurants, we will try another day.
Verdict – Pyung Chang Tofu House serves authentic Korean food in their unassuming location. Service is in very good, but the food is.