Sura Korean Restaurant
4869 Telegraph Ave. (Near 51st Ave.)
Oakland, CA 94609
Sura closed in 2013 and is reopening as another Korean restaurant, Copan, under the ownership of long time restaurant Ohgane.
Sura (Meal fit for a K) Korean Restaurant is 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 and have methodically eaten at several spots on the street. Our last visit was at the end of 2012.
Decor, Vibe – Sura is one large room plus a private dining room, all with with decent Korean style decor. Some Koreans and a mix of other races were dining, surely a very good sign.
Sura Korean Restaurant’s Menu is fairly extensive and pretty authentic. They have a variety of set menus, soft tofu soups, barbecue items, noodles. There is also an all you can eat self barbecue option at $22.95 – $23.95.
Signature Dishes – Tabletop Korean BBQ, Kalbi, Bibimbab.
Sura Food Picks:
Banchan (small dishes of food) consisted of 18! Good-sized items some of which we had not seen in other local Korean restaurants. This is the most we have ever had and most items were very good. We received steamed egg at dinner.
Chamchi Hoe – Seasoned Tuna Salad ($14.95) looked great and proved to be pretty popular with our party.
Seafood Pancake with vegetables ($12.95) was absolutely huge and filled with ingredients.
Korean style Barbecued beef short ribs marinated in house special soy sauce – Sura Galbi ($23.95) was sizzling hot and had pretty good on the quantity. Two enormous sized bones were also included. Flavors were among the better we have tasted lately. Underneath the meat was lettuce and onions that soaked up all the wonderful flavors.
Honghap Sotbap mussels ($13.95) sautéed mussels, calamari, and vegetables over rice cooked in hot stoneware looked beautiful. This dish possessed a medium amount of heat, slightly fishy cubed up seafood, and a nice crust to the rice.
Bolgogi Sotbap – BBQ Beef ($13.95) in a stone pot was steaming hot but didn’t include an egg. Reasonable flavors but not as good as some others.
Oijin-eo Ddeok Bokkeum / Calamari with rice stick in chili sauce was very spice and included lots of calamari and some tender rice cakes.
Ginseng chicken soup ($17.95) with Brown Rice and Oriental herbs was a dish that we wanted to try at Pyung Chang but didn’t have the stomach power to. This is more of a 25 minute boiled chicken, than of soup. The broth was on the thick side, possessed a lot of green onions, but was not particularly flavorful. The chicken was tender and came off the bone easily. We could detect no medicinal or ginseng flavors.
Pork Tofu Soup came sizzling hot out of the kitchen in a standard sized metal pot. Spicy and good.
The meals included a solid green tea ice cream or a watery rice soup with tinge of ginger and herbs.
Service – Sura Korean Restaurant had classic drop and go service. We had hail the waitress or go up to them to get anything done. This place just didn’t have enough servers.
Value – Prices are pretty typical with quality Korean restaurants.
Alternatives – Very good Pyung Chang Korean restaurant is on the next block. Ohgane is more meat oriented. We find the food here superior to the nearby Sahn Maru and Jang Su Jang in the South Bay. Nearby restaurants include Burma Superstar, Bakesale Betty, Pizzaiolo, and a bunch of other good Korean restaurants, some of which, we will try another day.
Verdict – Sura Korean Restaurant serves authentic Korean food in their nice location. Service is not very good, but at least the food is worthwhile.