Location: 2320 4 St NW
After a long hard day suffering through the LSAT, I guess I could say it was nice to have some Korean BBQ. Normally we got to Seoul or Koreana (which is unfortunately now closed), but we decided to give this place a try.
Unlike Seoul or Koreana, they don’t have the option of a set course dinner for 3-4 people or 2-3 people which is usually just the right amount of food for us, so we went with the 4-5 people combo option meaning it was more expensive than what we normally got. The combo included a choice of appetizers: seaweed salad or seafood pancake, BBQ: chicken bulgogi, pork bulgogi, beef bulgogi, and short ribs, and hot pot: mushroom & bulgogi, pork bone & potato, and kimchi & pork. It was different (a nice different) to be able to be able to customize the meal to a degree. We chose the seafood pancake, chicken & pork bulgogi, short ribs, and pork bone and potato hot pot. In addition to these dishes there were about 8 side dishes: fresh green salad, kimchi, sweet glazed potatoes, jap chae, bean sprouts, seaweed salad, pickled cucumber & radish (daikon), and glazed soy bean. And of course the staples of every one of these meals is lettuce and rice.
Personally, my favourite sides were the green salad, jap chae, bean sprouts, seaweed salad, and pickled cucumber & daikon. All of them had the touch of acidity needed to complement the richness of the meat. My only complaint was as a side dish the jap chae was “cold” which made it not taste as good as it could have. The pancake was huge as the combo was meant for 4-5 people and it was chock full of seafood, which I was very happy about. More often than not, the pancake is onion and batter with maybe one piece of seafood per slice if you were lucky. It was pretty good, but considering that we get a heaping bowl of rice each, I think that it would have been a better option to have gone with the seaweed salad, especially if the side dish was any indication as to how good it was. While the chicken and pork bulgogis were good, I would have really like to have had the beef bulgogi because I have chicken at home all the time and pork, depending on the cut can be quite dry and boring. I know that we chose each of the ones we did for the variety, but if we ever come back here, I want that beef. There’s not much that needs to be said about the short ribs. Short ribs are honestly my favourite thing every time we go for Korean BBQ. Despite being really difficult to eat with the metal chopsticks, the taste and texture are phenomenal. What I liked about their short ribs was that they were a thicker cut than most other places I’ve been too, more meat, more happiness. The pork bone and potato soup was nothing like the one we had at Jang Mo Jib, but that was because this one has no other option besides spicy. At Jang Mo Jib, you can tell them not spicy, mild, medium, or hot (or something like that), but here they give it to you like it is. And let me tell you, I don’t like spicy, hot soups because they burn and not in the good way. I’m usually pretty good at holding my own when it comes to spicy food, with this, haha, I’m reduced to tears and that’s with me avoiding the jalapenos.
Overall, I was very satisfied with my experience here. Service was good and so was food. I liked that the grilling pit didn’t emit as much smoke as the traditional ones (which usually needs a hood attached to the ceiling above to get rid of some of that smoke). The contraption was also a lot easier to control than the traditional ones where we are often left trying to figure out how to turn it up or turn it off (usually resulting in us turning it off when we need to turn it up or vice versa). Next time I come back, I’d like to bring along a few more people and go with friends instead of family. This place provides a warm cozy retreat from the cold (but maybe it was so warm and cozy for me because we were seated right near the fireplace). I’d rate this place a 3.75/5.