I want to go to a Korean BBQ for a birhtday. I need something very nice where I can bring my parents and friends. Any suggenstions?
I'm no expert, but I think Chosun Galbi on Olympic is a safe bet. Big clean place, good for bigger groups, and while it's not the charcoal grill of Soot Bull Jeep, it's certainly tasty. I've brought lots of folks there who had never had Korean bbq before and they loved it.
A much more westernized upscale suggestion you might hear is Woo Lae Oak on La Cienega. I've only been once with my (non-Korean) parents; they liked it, but I thought it was pretty forgettable.
Let me second the Chosum Galbi suggestion, if you are looking for nice and beginner-friendly, but still satisfactory. I went here for the first time (some time ago) with a group of people only a couple of whom had been to Korean barbeque before, and the evening was a big hit -- and the lack of charcoal remnants in the clothes and hair afterwards is a plus for some people.
I fourth the suggestion for Chosun Galbee. I've dined there extensively for both lunch and dinner over the last few years. Although it is a little more expensive than other Korean BBQ places in Koreatown, it definitely has a nice interior decor where one can eat and leave without smelling like you spent the last 5 hours in a cattle incinerator (not that that aroma is always a bad thing).
This is the URL:
I can think of only a couple of other "very nice" places where one can bring friends and family without having to apologize for the interior decorating or lack of ventilation: YongSuSan and Woo Lae Oak. YongSuSun, however, is not a Korean BBQ place, but a different style Korean restaurant with more North Korean style food.
(Note the amusing misspelling of "Taste of Korea" in the upper righthand corner of the website)
And, as stated in the initial follow-up post in this thread, Woo Lae Oak is a very poor choice. Korean food watered down for Westerners and made into nearly unrecognizable, bland fare. Nice presentation. However, bad food and small portions.
I third Chosun Galbi -- it's elegant enough to be nice, while still being good -- and the prices aren't ruinous.