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Korean food-- Pasadena or Alhambra?

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I am looking for Korean BBQ 5-10 minutes from Old Pasadena. K-town is closeby, but parking is a problem there, so I am looking for something local. Please post any recommendations. Thanks.

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  1. I will probably try Seoul Jung in Arcadia.

    3 Replies
    1. re: katkoupai

      Is this place charcoal or gas?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        They cooked my bulgogi in the kitchen, because I was dining solo. However, the grills in the tables looked like they were gas.

      2. re: katkoupai

        I wouldn't, it's very mediocre and overpriced. Young Dong Tofu across the street is much better.

      3. If you want a place in K-town that has great parking then give Dong il Jang a try on the NE corner of 8th Street and Hobart. They have a huge overflow lot right behind on an upper parking lot and another one that is just past the restaurant as you go by their main lot on the west side of the restaurant. No valet. All free. Never any parking problems here.

        1. There aren't that many in this part of the San Gabriel Valley. Here are a few:
          http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ko...

          1. Is there anything good near China town or Union Station? if you one could take the Gold line from Pasadena and forget about parking troubles. Could be a fun experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: spankbot

              no. and then you might as well go to k-town if you're that far. there's plenty of parking at plenty of good K BBQ places in k-town. PARK and CHO SUN GALBI all have tremendous parking.

              if you're stuck on DT, SEOUL JUNG in the wilshire grand is red line accessible. i believe the hotel is still owned by korean air. and there's a great little place in the bonaventure (more like take out) called KOREAN BBQ PLUS. nothing fancy, but passable.

            2. I finally went to Seouljung in Arcadia. It was good, albeit empty at 5:30PM. Prices were a few dollars higher than other Korean BBQ that I've had in LA, but it was nice, and had ample parking too.

              I did check out Ray's weblink (above), and it was very useful, and also funny (good sense of humor).

              Thank you to each person who responded for the suggestions.

              The only Korean place I've been to in Pasadena itself is a fusion Japanese and Korean place, and it left much to be desired.

              Re. K-town: Going to downtown LA after a long day usually means dealing with traffic, which I've usually had enough of by the time I want to eat. That said, I will try to check out the place Tony mentioned.

              Thanks. :)

              1. daban in la crescenta is about 10 minutes from old town. decent bbq. kasan is a leeetle bit further down in la crescenta but also really good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: olivexjina

                  Thank you. :)

                2. Whatever happened to the Korean BBQ place on Union in Old Pas? I never went, but I'm curious what others thought of it.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: SauceSupreme

                    You're probably thinking of Arirang right next to Idealab. It disappeared some time ago, and I think Idealab or something else consumed the space.

                    I went there a couple of times. I thought it was very pretty inside, but the food was very bland and overly expensive for what they provided. That is, there were too few panchan side dishes, and the portions of meat were small and unfulfilling. It was kind of like the antithesis of a typical Korean BBQ restaurant, which is usually all about the strong-tasting food, large, plentiful portions of meat, wide variety of vegetable and creative side dishes, and poor ventilation and interior decor.

                    I don't miss Arirang, although I do wish a decent Korean restaurant would open up in the Pasadena-South Pasadena-Alhambra area.

                    1. re: SumYungGai

                      Yes, I tried to go there, but I realized it was shut down. I wish there was a good Korean place in Old Pas.

                  2. There's a Korean restaurant literally right next to Ocean Star Seafood Restaurant within the same strip mall complex on the northwest corner of Atlantic and Garvey Avenues in Monterey Park. I cannot seem to recall the exact name, but it's located on the same floor of that complex as Ocean Star, and the entrance to the Korean restaurant is about 10 feet away from Ocean Star, too.

                    They have soontubu and the usual soontubu + [insert meat dish here] combos. The first time I went there, it was because Ocean Star was too crowded, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Korean food.

                    However, the second and third times I went there, I just found that although there was way too much MSG in the dishes. My tongue and throat kind of got that numb, constricting feeling that happens when a restaurant drenches on the MSG.

                    Still, if you're in the area and don't want to drive to Koreatown or to Arcadia where Seoul Jung is, it's better than nothing.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: SumYungGai

                      Thanks. :)

                      1. re: SumYungGai

                        Thank you.

                        1. re: SumYungGai

                          The korean restaurant by Ocean Star is called 'Tofu House'.

                        2. SOOT BULL JEEP on 8th(and catalina). yes it's in a k-town and yes parking is a bitch, but OMG it is soooo worth it. best korean bq in LOS ANGELES. I can't believe noone has mentioned this place yet.

                          p.s. its charcoal

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: AdamFoodie

                            That's why Soot Bull Jeep is so darn good ... it's the Charcoal!

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              I agree, the only downside is coming home smelling like a campfire. which is why whenever I go to soot bull jeep I wear an old t shirt and an old pair of jeans

                              1. re: AdamFoodie

                                Honestly, I feel like Korean BBQ without charcoal is almost pointless.

                                I mean, should one really do fondue with Cheez Whiz?

                          2. oh yes, had the pleasure of trying The Jeep w/ my gf this week. it's really good! had kalbi and beef tongue, and both were delciious. i love how smoky it is in there - and the cup of ice cubes used to tame the charcoal flames. beware of flying bits of charcoal haha - clipped my gf in the ear.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                              Yes, I've heard a lot about this place on Chowhound. I still have never been there. How does one decide in K-town? Too many choices...

                              1. re: katkoupai

                                that parking will send you over the edge if the small lot is full.

                                1. re: revets2

                                  It's not that bad. My wife and I routinely park on the street across from SBJ. Just cruise for a bit and hope for a spot that is well lit ;-)

                            2. theres not to many choices just go for SOOT BULL JEEP, trust

                              1. Whenever I invite friends over to Soot Bull Jeep, I especially make it a point NOT to warn them. (That's me being sadistic.)

                                1. it's more than a 10 minute drive, but there's pete wood bbq on garvey west of new ave in monterey park. they've changed ownership recently but they still bring hibachis out with wood charcoal - but for a minimum of 2 orders. otherwise they grill everything in their kitchen.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: barryc

                                    Cool. Sounds great. :)

                                  2. Is SeoulJung all you can eat? I heard from someone, but you guys are talking about smaller portions and a little more pricery and stuff, so I'm jsut checking. Thanks!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: xxjenleexx

                                      I don't remember if they had an all-you-can eat option at Seoul Jung or not. I thought the service was very friendly. A few weeks after trying Seoul Jung, I went to Si Gol in LA. I thought the food at Si Gol was better. I had all-you-can-eat bbq at Si Gol.

                                    2. try pete wood in plaza on garvey/new in monterey park.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: zack

                                        There is also Manna Korean Barbeque on the northwest corner of San Gabriel Blvd. and Potrero Grande. Haven't been there for a while but from what I remember, it was good.