February 4, 2013

413 words 2 mins read

Food Review: Camp BBQ (San Francisco)

After several nights of drinking and debauchery, Lauren suggested a slight change of pace for an evening excursion. There was this new Japanese BBQ place out in the Inner Richmond which she’d been to once and claimed that “it was to die for”. To me, “Japanese BBQ” typically means yakitori and a few similar items. Sure it’s tasty, but it’s not exactly exciting. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by our trip to Camp BBQ SF.

While I didn’t know this beforehand, Camp BBQ strikes me as a mix of a Teppanyaki table and Shabu Shabu style Japanese restaurants. In short, you order your desired meats (of which they have quite the selection) and it is served to you in fairly small portions, raw. You’ve got a grill built into your table upon which you cook the meats to your liking. Want something on the raw side? Or maybe you prefer burnt to a crisp? No problem! Make it however you want. The best part are the small plates. There are about two dozen different types of meats and seafoods to pick from, so you can try a variety of different cuts and spices.

One of the simultaneously coolest and strangest things at the restaurant was the fact that they have S’mores on the menu for dessert. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a proper s’more on a restaurant menu (yes, s’more like items, s’more flavored… but not a 100% true s’more)… let alone at a Japanese place. When I think s’mores, I think about camping or being at the family cabin. Doesn’t matter though, we ordered them and they were delicious.

Steak, S’mores & Sake
I came up with one key phrase that best describes Camp BBQ:

Steak, Sake & S’mores. If that doesn’t immediately catch your attention… well… obviously you don’t appreciate tasty food and I’ve got no idea why you’re even wasting your time reading this entry. Camp wasn’t “expensive” (certainly much more affordable than M.Y. China), but it wasn’t cheap either (considering the amount of food you received). We ordered 9 different meat dishes, a hot sake, s’mores, and one or two other extras and the total pre-tip was ~$70. That isn’t outrageous for San Francisco, but at the same time it could be downright pricey if you were REALLY hungry. I certainly enjoyed the place and will go back, however, skip the steamed buns — they just don’t work in my book.