Broadway slightly after 40th. This is a Korean BBQ place that’s slightly out of the way from the main Korean drag on Telegraph. If you’re willing to pony up a ridiculous amount of money to be stuffed to the gills with meat grilled at your table, rice and an array of 20 little dishes of pickled things of unknown provenance, this is the place for you.

In case you’ve never been to a Korean BBQ, the tables have a hood and a grill at the table — you order various sorts of marinated (and sometimes unmarinated) meat that they then bring to the table and grill for you. There are some kind of wood chips in the grill to give a little smoky flavor, and the meat comes pretty de-fatted, which makes it all the better. We tried the saeng kalbi, which is unmarinated kalbi meat with a sesame oil dipping sauce. We also had a spicy pork thing that was not for the faint of tongue. Next time I come here I want to bring a larger group and also some Korean people to help explain the food better. This will be after my pocketbook recovers, of course.

A big thing to draw me back is that they have naeng-myun, a cold soup that I really like and haven’t had in years.



883 Island Dr. #C-2. Angelfish is supposed to be the Alameda’s big secret — a sushi place hidden away in a strip mall near a golf course in the outter reaches of the city. The fish was excellent, and that is the number one reason to go here. That being said, I was little underwhelmed by some of the things we got and the overuse of mayonnaise on the menu (mayo in maki seems unnecessary to me…). The black cod appetizer was a nonstarter with me — the whole flavor of the thing was off and the mayo-ed potato salad put me off. The fresh octopus was smothered in mayo as well. We had a sashimi plate and a bunch of a la carte nigiri and maki as well. There were a lot of those rolls that I don’t like as much — tempura things with avocado and so on. Next time I go I’m going to stick with the fish, since the sashimi, by itself, was excellent, especially the tuna and salmon. For that quality, the price can’t be beat.

East Ocean

1713 Webster near Pacific. I think East Ocean may be my new favorite place for dim sum. Rather than hunt for parking near Legendary Palace in downtown Oakland, we just drove through the Webster tube and into Alameda. We showed up at around 11 and were seated in under 5 minutes, which is almost unheard of when going for dim sum. The food itself was pretty good — I’d rate it almost better than Legendary Palace, and certainly less greasy. The place is small compared to Legendary Palace — more the size of Yo Ho — so the dishes come out still hot. We had a small group so I didn’t get to try that many things, but I did have most of the old standbys. The only disappointing dish to me were the Shanghai dumplings, which were a little dull. I didn’t see a lot of specialities on offer, so I can’t evaluate how much a connoiseur would like it, but as long as you’re not looking for something fancy, this place can’t be beat.

The classics make a comeback

Colombian gangsters face sex ban:

Wives and girlfriends of gang members in one of Colombia’s most violent cities have called a sex ban in a bid to get their men to give up the gun.

Lysistrata, by Aristophanes:

Now tell me, if I have discovered a means of ending the war, will you all second me?…if we would compel our husbands to make peace, we must refrain… We must refrain from the male altogether…

Harvard ends early action

Harvard is getting rid of early action — This strikes me as an all-around good thing. The early-action system is a bizarre opt-in system whereby wealthy, reasonably bright high school students voluntarily enter a meat-market of academic recruiting. In my view, a lot of the psychotic behavior you see from these applicants and their parents (harassing admissions offices, spending thousands of dollars on prep courses, and worse) comes from the fact that it really is a buyer’s market out there. The applicant has no real power, which leads fo a kind of desparation on their part. The universities love it, however — they make out like bandits. All this crap about how “doing away with early action won’t help diversity” is just their way of trying to keep the status quo, which I would argue is a morally indefensible position.

The grad school application process is completely different at the top, from what I gather. There are a few top applicants in each year for a given program/area, and it’s a seller’s market, with the student having all the decision power and the universities trying to come up with attractive fellowship packages. Perhaps that is just as pathological, but the scale seems so much smaller…