Slowly but surely, Korean food in the Bay Area is coming into its own. Only a few years ago, it was possible to dismiss it entirely (as the South Korean consul general did). Now that the folks behind Oakland's Ohgane have opened their second effort, Copan, in the Temescal space once occupied by the all-you-can-eat Korean place Sura, such snobbery is increasingly untenable. Korean -- or as Copan spells it, "Corean" -- is here. (Just don't confuse Copan with "Copán," the ancient Mayan city and World Heritage Site in Honduras and come expecting chilaquiles.)
This capacious restaurant is putting out lots of wonderful rice dishes such as kimshi fish roe and stone (which is to say, hot) bibimbop. As for the current ramen mania, it's there, but only quietly. As with Ohgane, Korean BBQ is the emphasis here -- with some shades of Japanese cuisine, like yakitori, glass noodles, and vegetable udon -- divided by preparatory method. You can get bulgogi rib eye, beef tongue, pork belly, and short ribs cooked on either a charcoal grill or (with rice) on a stone. Other interesting offerings include a sashimi crudo of the day, oyster scallion pancakes, and a somewhat pricey but almost certainly delicious "ssam hop" wrap. Considering that chef Eddie Joo hails from NYC's Momofuku Ssam Bar, it's probably worth the $17.
As the alcohol license allows for beer and wine, there are plans afoot for an expansion into a wide variety of Japanese and Korean beers and sake, as well as to move into late night hours on the weekend. And, of course, there's a lunch special: braised pork belly, fried chicken, or katsu sandwiches for $7. High-ranking officials shall slag off the Bay's Korean no more!
Copan, 4869 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 654-2000.