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Korean Bar-B-Que

Im looking for a place that has those little charcoal hibachi's in the middle of the table where your grill your food. Looking for an elegant one in manhattan.
Any recs?

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  1. How about Woo Lae Oak? Not sure if they have little charcoals though.


    1 Reply
    1. re: wench31

      Woo Lae Oak is really good and we go there fairly often, but you cook on a gas grill, not charcoal. Every other Korean barbecue I've tried has been the same. I've never seen charcoal grills, but would be interested to know of any in Manhattan.

    2. Not elegant -- but has charcoal at table BBQ set up: WON JO

        1. re: DoctortedNYC

          Does Gyu-Kaku have the charcoal grills in NYC? (I believe there are two locations now.) They do have charcoal grills in Los Angeles. These restaurants are considered Japanese BBQs more than Korean. What about Bann? I believe Bann is owned by the Woo Lae Oak people.

        2. Yes, love Gyu Kaku. They have the charcoal grills in the middle of the tables, and just opened a new midtown location on 51st and 3rd. They even have a long bar for single diners with persona grills. Yum

          2 Replies
          1. re: girlcritic

            Gyu Kaku is often dissed as non chowish...but I am going on the record as loving it..I have been a gazillion times to LA locations, and in NYC. This latest location on 51st and 3rd I have not been to. The quality of all is great, it is fun, interactive dining, and many sides, dishes, if not all, that I have tried, are grand. It may not be a true Korean experience, but it is wonderful. Remembering that only once in NYC, but in LA so many times I cannot count, any meat marinated Miso,Harami Miso, the mushroom medley, the rice in the stone pot, asparagas in foil, much to be happy with. Many friends love the garlic chicken, the shrimp. OK, not authentic anything perhaps, but a great time and food!

            1. re: girlcritic

              I'm with you on Gyu-Kaku. My Korean friends slam it as being an authentic rip-off, but honestly I've found the meat to be better quality than the K-Town joints I've been to (maybe I've been going to the wrong ones?). Add to that the festive atmosphere and excellent service, and I think you've got a winner.

              Ditto on the Harami Miso, by the way--one time I went with about 15 friends on Wednesday for Happy Hour, and I think we had about 35~40 orders of half-priced Harami Miso and 8 half-priced pitchers of beer. Good times.

              I'd also recommend the Gyu-Tan (beef tongue), and they also do a respectable Kimchi Chigae (although admittedly, I would prefer to head to K-Town for that one).

            2. There's an entire block of Korean restaurants with the bbq at the table on 33 St. between 6th & 7th. We often go to Schilla (or maybe it's Shilla)

              1 Reply
              1. re: tsiblis

                The K-Town main drag is located bet 32nd St between 5th and 6th Ave.

              2. Yes, Gyu Kaku may be not chowish, but it's Japanase BBQ, not Korean. They have about 300 locations in Japan, a few in LA, and 10 in Hawaii. And it's always a crowd pleaser. I get the sho gun special for 4 people and they bring you pretty much the whole menu. My favorites are the salad, soup, and mushrooms. and the beef is very good, especially the marinades.

                1 Reply
                1. re: girlcritic

                  WRONG!!!! Gyu Kaku is Korean. The chain in Japan started as a Korean BBQ place. They serve bibimbap in a rock bowl... that is as korean as you can get. Also, the style of BBQing is korean not japanese. The whole concept of Gyu Kaku was to wrap the Korean food in japanese clothing. in essense, it has become to authentic korean food what Olive Garden has become to Italian food. It's still very good, but it's basically, japanese-ized korean food.

                2. I actually like gyu kaku, i think its pricey for what it is, but the meat is generally decent quality and its kind of a cool place...i mean if this were flushing i'd laugh at it, but i dont think most of the manhattan ktown places are very good anyhow

                  try ny komtang, they have charcoal, they generally have good bbq...i also like chung moo roo, which is probably the best all around ktown restaurant

                  kunjip is good, but not for bbq...i've heard woo chun on 36th is good although i've never eaten there

                  you chun is a high recommendation of mine though not for bbq (it's a neung myun place)

                  1. In "Garlic and Sapphires", Ruth Reichl writes of meeting Raymond Sololov at Kang Suh. His favorite Korean BBQ, or Korean restaurant, and talks of how this food critic of the '70s was 'forced out' because of his favoring ethnic restaurants. Well, is this place still there? Wondering. It seems this area, according to her book, teams with Korean BBQ. While I lived on and off in NYC for the past three years, now back in LA, didn't have such an experience. We worked and traveled much, didn't get to many places we would have loved to. So, anybody know this place?

                    1. Kang Suh is still there on 32nd St but I do not recommend it. Had a subpar dinner there in Feb, they cook on gas grills but not even charcoal would make me rank this as a top Korean place. The side dishes were so lame, service was inattentive at best (had to flag down the waitress for water, tea and rice!), japchae was overcooked and the marinade on the kalbi & bulgogi were not the best I've ever tasted. Prices are steep as well, cost $80 for 2 appetizer size dishes of meat and an order of noodles.

                      But what really made me so upset at Kang Suh is that they have a double standard, non-koreans get less side dishes & what appeared to me as lower quality food, as my friend & I were leaving we saw a korean couple's table laden with side dishes that we never received.

                      If you want excellent korean food with better quality and better prices...head out to Flushing. San Soo Gap San and Ham Ji Bak are my favorites. I will never, ever go to Kang Suh again.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: moymoy

                        I don't know what year this meeting took place, but I took note of the name, never went there. Your comments are interesting. While I am not sure when I will be back in NYC on a regular basis, I would skip this based on your comments. Thank you.
                        Could it be the other diners ordered these 'extras?'...I will agree, so many choices why go back to something that one tried, and didn't find appealing. Same here in LA, my mostly home....although I go between NOLA, NYC and LA, lucky me. Sometimes in LA I strike out, still go back, don't know why, but I do..easy, convenient? Hopeful? Probably all.

                        1. re: Jesdamala

                          They have a Ruth Reichl review from the early 90's posted prominently out front. Maybe they were better in the past but I'm a harsh Chowhounder ;-) It only takes one bad experience to keep me away forever.

                          As for the side dishes, these are "complimentary" and inclusive of any korean dining experience (it's imbedded in the cost of the main dishes) that's why I truly believe they pick and choose who they want to give the choicier picks to...maybe they think non-koreans can't handle it or won't appreciate more exotic sides.

                          Plus, I've heard that korean restaurants have done this in the past but hey, this is 2007 and American palates have really gone global. It just left me infuriated.

                          On a happier note, I went to a wonderful, small korean restaurant in LA back in 2003. They served the most delicious ginger tea (I have yet to find anything close to it!) and bibimbap. I'll try to get the name for you from my pal.

                          1. re: moymoy

                            I understand about the sides being inclusive, as I have dined at many of the Korean restaurants in LA going back decades! I was just trying to be hopeful....but I get it, I do. While I do dine at Gyu Kaku, fabulous with young non adventurous types, and I am not very adventurous in some of my choices, I love Korean and would love to know about this ginger tea, if possible!

                      2. Unfortunately, there is no good korean bbq in NYC, period. If you want good korean bbq, then you must hop on a plane and head out west. LA has GREAT places. the most fun is Manna in koreatown LA. the food is not the best (but unless you are an expert like moi, you would have no way to tell! it's certainly better than anything in manhattan ktown or queens ktown), but the festive atmosphere beats gyu kaku into the ground. the place is not only filled with asians of all apellations, but also gringos too!

                        Now the best TASTING korean BBQ is in Santa Clara, CA (suburb of SF). The place is called Palace BBQ. You get the meat yourself a la buffet style and then grill it at your table. i don't know what's in the marinade, but this place rocks.

                        Korea has some mean places too... but LA is better than Korea (the generally accepted consensus among most koreans).

                        When you're talking korean BBQ cali rocks. For other korean food, you can find decent ones almost everywhere, but the best are in LA hands down.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: tewkewl

                          The only place in Manhattan that uses charcoal, that I know of, is this place called NY Kom Tang Soot Bul Kal Bi.. It is on the first floor of 32 W 32nd St.. Despite using charcoal, I am not a fan of this place.. The meat and sides are off, they put a pan over the charcoal so none of the smoke really gets into the meat.. The seasoning is off as well..

                          My favorite Korean BBQ spot for many reason is a place called Woochon Restaurant.. Its 8 west 36th street.. A few blocks away the bustle of K-town and the prices are better.. The pork and the short ribs I normally get.. Its not the best Korean BBQ i have had but, its consistantly good.. The people are really nice and the service is good..

                          I would check the outer burough boards for talk of Korean BBQ in Queens.. I have been to a bunch of really good places out there..