If you’re looking for all you can eat Korean barbecue in Oakland, stop by Gogi Time located Downtown! This place is a classic if you are a local in the Bay Area. Located in a small plaza next to a billiards and pool shop, there is parking although it is always packed and I would recommend just finding street parking along the block. Gogi Time is always packed no matter what time and day you come, especially during dinner time. There are plenty of tables and additional seating in the back so this restaurant can fit a decent amount of people. While their focus is barbecue, there is also an option to add hot pot if you pay a bit more and have a group of five. The menu is extensive and the variety of items to choose from can be intimidating but order away. The menu was broken down into categories like marinated/non-marinated meat, soups, ssam, etc. Once you order, the food comes out pretty quick. Their bonchon is good and they're more than willing to refill them. Now, you can make reservations via Yelp to guarantee a table or waitlist through the platform.
With all you can eat, the experience is cooking the meat yourself and enjoying the ambiance with good company and drinks. I always order the usuals: beef brisket, bulgogi, LA-style short ribs, pork belly, shrimp, etc. Everything cooked relatively fast and service is quick although I would have to say it is a hit and miss sometimes. There have been times where the service was attentive but also a few times where it took 20 minutes to order more items or even get a check-up from the server. I ordered french fries and their soybean paste soup which was delicious if you are choosing appetizers! I also love that they had corn cheese. After a few rounds of meat and appetizers, the food makes a dent in my stomach.
The price is average for all you can eat and is $32 per person. You can also order a la carte if that is your preference. Given their extensive selection, I would recommend this place if you are looking for something local in Oakland. The ambiance and food are good and feels as though you are at a bar sometimes. This place gets crowded quickly so make sure to come early. Overall, this is a solid place for Korean barbecue although I wish the service will be faster next time.