Dosirak Shop Serves Up Korean-Style Boxed Lunches

At the new Adams Point quick-serve eatery, a popular Korean concept is finding fans.


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Photo by Lance Yamamoto

Few culinary concepts have a more universal appeal than convenient, convey-and-consume boxed lunches.

Korea’s version of this portable pleasure is the dosirak, its s pronounced a bit more like a soft j. Traditionally, a dosirak includes rice, kimchi, seaweed, sesame seeds, a sunny-side-up fried egg, and other protein sources such as Spam or small fish.

At the sleekly stylish quick-service Dosirak Shop, which opened this spring in Adams Point, the signature dish comes in several varieties, including some of the classic elements along with tasty additions such as kimchi pancakes, sweet-potato-starch japchae noodles, shredded vegetables, avocado, edamame, gyoza, and protein options ranging from bulgogi beef to spicy pork to salmon to tofu to shrimp to grilled teriyaki chicken. Diners can choose between salad and rice.

“My favorite is our special, the Lake Merritt Dosirak, because it comes with all the banchan we have, plus a stone pot of bulgogi stew, so you get all your side dishes plus some hearty soup,” said Sam Kang, who runs the Grand Avenue shop with his brother Daniel Kang and their parents.

Like its Japanese cousin the bento box, “dosirak is usually made for a quick lunch on the go,” Kang explained.

“It’s most commonly used for students and full-time workers who don’t have much time to stop and eat somewhere,” Kang said. Lately in Korea, he said, “dosirak has become more popular in late-night eateries.”

Despite its name, the fast-casual shop also serves bowls and sides such as bibimbap, Korean-style fried popcorn chicken (with your choice of spicy garlic or sweet-and-tangy chili sauce), and bulgogi fries: crispy French-fried potatoes topped with bulgogi beef, kimchi, and shredded cheese.

The Kangs aren’t newcomers to the restaurant business. They ran the San Francisco Japanese restaurant Kamakura for nearly six years, “and also an American breakfast spot” — Danny’s Kitchen in Vallejo — “for another three years,” Kang said.

“But we finally wanted to share what we are, which is Korean. It is very humbling, and we are proud to share our culture through our food.”

Dosirak Shop, 366 Grand Ave., Oakland, 510-285-6391, DosirakShop.com.

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