Today, it hit 100F in Livermore. Since we've been having a relatively cool summer so far this year, the heat and sun felt extra hot. Being the big wimp that I am, I become a mush in this kind of heat and come down with what we call "natsu-bate" (Summer Exhaustion)...
One of the key features of natsu-bate is a loss of appetite and a general lack of desire to eat anything hot or rich...except for yakiniku. Yakiniku, which directly translates to Grilled Meat, is a Japanese favorite in the summer. Korean in origin, though much like the Chinese-originating ramen, yakiniku is very much Japanified now. Charcoal-grilled, gas-grilled, smoky, smokeless - there is enough yakiniku variation to please anyone. And my favorite yakiniku item is the marinated ribeye - Kalbi!
Although there is a Japanified yakiniku restaurant (with three branches) in the Bay Area, my favorite Kalbi spot is a Korean place in Oakland. Sam Won BBQ's powerful and dynamic Kalbi packs enough punch to nip any natsu-bate in the bud! I frequently find myself craving the divine combination of kimchi, charcoal-grilled beef, and chilled chewy neng myun noodles, even when I am starting to exhibit symptoms of natsu-bate... In fact, sometimes, the thought the Yakiniku Trinity is the only thing on my mind as I drive home from work in the blistering hot car that's been baking all day outside...
Sam Won BBQ House
2600 Telegraph Ave (at 26th St.)
Oakland , CA 94612
Phone: (510) 834-5757