Berkeley Social Club (Berkeley, CA) – I saw two friends of mine go to Berkeley Social Club in the span of a week, so I knew I had to go check it out one of these days. While it’s more known for their awesome brunch, I decided to have my birthday dinner there!
We went to BSC on a weeknight, so it wasn’t busy at all. It also ended up being a rainy evening, so I’m sure that detracted students from walking over to come eat in Downtown Berkeley. Of course, there isn’t much parking in the area – aside from a couple of garages, but they charge. Our waiter was friendly and attentive, so that is always a bonus!
Onto the menu – the best way I can describe Berkeley Social Club’s menu is Korean-American fusion. A lot of their menu is heavily inspired by Korean and other Asian flavors and concepts while putting new twists on them. Since we were a group, we decided to order a few appetizers and share them. I always like doing this since it’s a great way to try several dishes at once without having to finish the whole thing yourself (especially if it doesn’t turn out as great as you hoped it would be!). Their dishes are designed to be family style anyway.
First up is the Gooey Corn. It sounded intriguing and it looked even more mysteriously delicious when it arrived at the table. There’s a lot happening in this skillet dish. The sweet corn is baked with mozzarella, bell peppers, onions, and topped with crumbled hot Cheetos. Housemade pickles and shrimp puffs are served on the side. This was such a comforting dish with the creamy corn, gooey cheese, and the spicy hot Cheetos! The large shrimp puffs were perfect to dip into the corn like chips and dip.
We also ordered the Dino Foot, which is crispy rice crackers with avocado, spicy tuna, onion, sprouts, and lotus chips. I wish I could have tried this, but the tuna was not fully cooked. It was a bit like a tartare. My friends really enjoyed it however as it didn’t last very long at our table!
And of course we had to order Garlic Fries, because it goes with everything no matter what and everyone loves fries. Berkeley Social Club’s garlic fries come with parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.
Since we enjoyed and ate our appetizers, we kept it lighter for our entrees. My friends are awesome and usually don’t order pork when we do family style, just so everyone (including me) can enjoy everything on the table. We kept it classic and simple – first with the K.F.C., which is boneless Korean fried chicken, served with rice and pickles. It was interesting that half of it came with sauce and the other half didn’t. I think that was a great compromise for those who want it on the side and those that love it already on the chicken.
And we also ordered Galbi, which are beef short ribs served with seasoned rice. These were also delicious – I love the sauces and marinades that are used in Korean cuisine! There’s so much great flavor and so many things happening in it. I also really liked the presentation of this dish.
We also did order dessert since, after all, it was my birthday! We ordered a Chocolate souffle, which is a moist chocolate cake with a heart of creamy chocolate. I thoroughly enjoyed this since I was in the mood for something rich and chocolatey. It was such a nice, soft, and creamy cake.
I had a great time at Berkeley Social Club and need to come back for their brunch one of these days!