Ke's Seafood BBQ Brings Japanese Tabletop Grilling To 9th Avenue

Ke's Seafood BBQ Brings Japanese Tabletop Grilling To 9th Avenue

Photos: Walter Thompson/Hoodline

By Walter Thompson - Published on October 27, 2015.

Ke's Seafood BBQ Restaurant held its soft opening last night at 1358 9th Ave., formerly the site of Andy's Chinese Restaurant, which closed in February. The new eatery is a smokeless barbecue restaurant; inside the renovated space, 11 tables offer built-in electric tabletop grills that give customers the chance to custom-cook their seafood yakiniku-style.

Owner and manager Randy Quan is a Hong Kong native whose family owns and operates several restaurants. "What separates us from other barbecue restaurants is our grill," he said, pointing to a shiny barbecue built into the center of a table for four. "The smoke goes straight down through the bottom of the table; in other restaurants, they have a hood to collect the smoke. Tonight, we have eight tables going, and you don't see any smoke in here," he said.

Randy Quan, Ke's Seafood BBQ's owner/manager.

"I worked in restaurants since I was little, but when I knew I had an idea that no one else had in the Bay Area, I decided to open this," said Quan. "My primary goal is to make this restaurant a place that all travelers who come to Golden Gate Park will love to come here and visit us."

Unlike other barbecue restaurants that serve land-based protein, Ke's menu consists exclusively of seafood and vegetables. Quan said he buys premium fresh-caught fish and shellfish from suppliers who also work with high-end sushi restaurants.

Quan said Ke's signature item is their deep-sea eel. "In Japanese restaurants, the unagi [freshwater eel] is popular, but mine is salt water eel," he explained. "The texture? It's the best. And in the area, I don't know of other restaurants that carry it so far." Seafood orders are presented in a large sushi boat with seasonings and sauces. The menu also includes fresh oysters, appetizers like soft-shell crab and gyoza, and desserts made with mochi and ice cream.

The bar includes beer, 12 different types of sake and five types of soju; Quan said he's planning to add more house wines soon. "We make some soju cocktails and also beer cocktails that are very interesting," he added.

Ke's Seafood BBQ (415-742-4877) is now open from 5pm to 11pm seven days a week, with weekend lunch service from noon to 3pm. The restaurant seats 62 customers at 11 tables; three large tables with two grills each are reserved for larger parties. Reservations recommended.