South Bay: Tobang

To celebrate my sister landing her first job out of undergrad, we called up our Ahyi and met her at Tobang:

Your party has to be complete before they allow you to be seated.  Luckily, Ahyi rolled in just a few minutes after we did.  The restaurant was kind of empty when we arrived, but it quickly filed up.

Definitely nothing fancy about Tobang.  Just some tables in a room.  But that's really all you need, right?

The banchan came first, as usual:

My favorite was the shredded potatoes.

My father and I decided to order BBQ family special for a "small family" (serving size for 1.5) to split between the two of us.  We were given sauces for the wraps, which included some hot sauces, sesame oil with salt, and ssamjang:

Our BBQ also came with lettuce and salad:

Close up of the rice noodles for wrapping:

And daikon slices:

The 1.5 family special ($35.99) comes with 1.5 order of any two kinds of meat.  We decided on the beef brisket:

And the intestine:

I loved the brisket, but the intestine was very...intestine-y.  A little too intestine-y for me.  And that's saying a lot because I love intestine.  But apparently I draw the line at intestine with powder-like stuff inside.  It stinks to high heaven and reminds me of cooked liver.  Bleh.

The family special also came with a choice of bean paste stew (doenjang jjigae), kimchi stew, and tofu soup.  I wanted the bean paste stew:

And a steamed egg:

As well as a choice between steamed rice or kimchi fried rice.  Uh.  How's that for a no brainer?  Who in their right mind would pick boring steamed rice over kimchi fried rice?

The kimchi fried rice came pre-fried in a foil packet:

Which you place on the grill at the end of the meal and mix everything together:

But of course by the time you get to the kimchi fried rice, you're too full to do it justice.  Or at least that's how it went with my father and me.  We ended up packing it to go and I had it for lunch at work the next day.  Still good.

My ahyi, mom, and sister didn't want to partake in our BBQ party.  They each ordered a tofu stew ($10.99):

As if all that food wasn't enough, we got a free seafood pancake for checking in on Yelp:


It took a while, but we eventually reached the end of our meal.  Our bill came with complimentary yakult:

If you're looking for a great deal, Tobang is it.  Now, it's not all you can eat.  Get that straight first.  But for the cost and the amount of food you get, it's worth it.  The 1.5 family special is enough for two or even three people.  (Unless your family eats like linebackers.)  If you like to drink while you BBQ, there are also special combos that include alcohol.

Though we watched servers go to other tables to help them grill their meats, nobody came by to help us.  Either we looked capable enough to handle it on our own or we didn't order enough meat to merit tableside service.

Oh well.  We did fine on our own.

Congrats again to my baby sister for landing her first big girl job!

1052 Kiely Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 615-7540


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