You know that adage that bigger is better? Well, Oakland's biggest Korean restaurant is also the best. Samwon specializes in Korean barbecue, where the waiter brings you a bucket of hot coals and you grill specially marinated meats at the table yourself. This can make for a delicious, albeit smoky, experience. Fear not. Samwon has a ventilation system that is far superior to most other restaurants, even other Korean barbecue joints. It serves all the common Korean dishes like chop chae
(a noodle dish) and bi bim bap
(veggies and a fried egg over rice), but also offers less-common ones like oxtail soup. Samwon also does a good version of bib bim nang mean
(cold buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce). If you're a large party, you'll get the ultimate hospitality -- the cooks'll throw in a dish or two, such as a tofu stew, for free. And the best part? It's open til 2:00 a.m.
Koryo Wooden Charcoal BBQ
4390 Telegraph Ave. # J, Oakland