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Japanese BBQ? Grill at table?

cheesecustard Jun 16, 2007 06:46 AM

I've always been interested in going to a japanese bbq where you can cook your own food at your own table? Not exactly a group table where you sit next to strangers, just your own party. Any suggestions on where I can/ should go?

  1. c
    ccognac Jun 16, 2007 08:49 AM

    Yakuniku Housenka....there is one in Torrancce and one in Gardena....both tasty!

    1. w
      whatsfordinner Jun 16, 2007 08:50 AM

      Musha in Santa Monica has several menu items that you cook yourself. But if you do go there, don't limit yourself to that part of the menu. Be sure to try the mackerel they torch at the table and the slow cooked pork.

      4 Replies
      1. re: whatsfordinner
        ns1 Jun 16, 2007 09:35 AM

        Great thread. Anybody also have links to doing this at home?

        I've been to the one by Hurry Curry on the Westside, it was pretty good. Don't think the quality/price ratio was that good, but that was before I found chowhound..

        1. re: ns1
          hannaone Jun 16, 2007 04:55 PM

          Most Korean stores should sell some type of butane table top stove/grill. Post on the home cooking board for recipes for different meat/fish marinades.

        2. re: whatsfordinner
          lisamp29 Jun 16, 2007 10:14 AM

          is there a website for Musha?

          1. re: lisamp29
            whatsfordinner Jun 16, 2007 06:29 PM

            Not that I've found.

        3. j
          Jwsel Jun 16, 2007 10:51 AM

          Gochi in Encino has very good meats and well-priced specials.

          1. j
            Jesdamala Jun 16, 2007 10:59 AM

            As you specifically ask for Japanese BBQ, and not Korean, I will suggest Gyu Kaku, which I always enjoy. The quality is wonderful, many choices of meats/chicken/fish to grill, wonderful veggie selections and much more, rice/noodles, etc. It isn't cheap, and often gets dissed by Chowhounds, but I always have lots of fun, and am always satisfied. There are WLA and BH locations, as well as in the Valley and in the South Bay and Pasadena and it seems Topanga Canyon. Kids love this interactive dining, and it is easy to order just the most simple of things for them, while others more adventurous can choose other items. It is a chain that is very popular in Japan.


            7 Replies
            1. re: Jesdamala
              cheesecustard Jun 16, 2007 04:00 PM

              Thanks for the suggestions! Will Gyu Kaku break my bank account? How much do you guys think 2 - 4 people would go for? What about Musha? Do I need reservations for these kind of places?

              1. re: cheesecustard
                whatsfordinner Jun 16, 2007 06:29 PM

                Musha is very reasonable - about $30 per person including drinks. Reservations are a good idea.

                1. re: whatsfordinner
                  cheesecustard Jun 18, 2007 03:53 PM

                  Musha sounds reasonable. I think I'll check that out. Manpuku sounds promising too. Any preference between the two? If you could pick Musha or Manpuku, which one would you choose?

                  1. re: cheesecustard
                    wilafur Jun 18, 2007 04:31 PM

                    if you want j-bbq then go to manpuku. if you want izakaya/sushi/j-bbq, go to musha.

                2. re: cheesecustard
                  Jesdamala Jun 16, 2007 07:50 PM

                  Truly depends on what you order. We all order our own meat/chicken/shrimp or main, and then a couple of orders of asparagas, and also the mushroom medley,
                  maybe another veggie or something...hummmm....the fabulous rice in the stone pot can serve four, a salad, and a few other things. I am thinking it will run $100/$125 for four, and more for drinks and then tax/tip. Did you check the website? Are prices posted? Perhaps go by and ask for a menu with prices. Yes, portions are small, but that is the fun of it, getting a variety of dishes. And the S'mores for dessert.
                  Yes, there are Happy Hour specials and usually one or two dishes on certain nights that are two for one. I have never been to Gochi in Encino. I will say that the quality of what is served at Gyu Kaku is very, very good. I am not sure why it is dissed, perhaps portions/price and some don't consider it 'authentic', but it isn't claiming to be Korean, it is a Japanese BBQ, a branch of a wildly successful chain in...Japan!

                3. re: Jesdamala
                  Jwsel Jun 16, 2007 04:36 PM

                  I think Gyu Kaku is generally disappointing unless you go for the Happy Hour specials. The portions are tiny and the cost is high. Between the Gyu Kaku in Sherman Oaks and Gochi in Encino, we find Gochi the better bang for the buck.

                  1. re: Jesdamala
                    nyfoodjoe Jun 18, 2007 04:39 PM

                    I will second Gyu Kaku...it will not break the bank, either

                  2. j
                    justagthing Jun 16, 2007 11:59 AM

                    Tsurahashi in Fountain Valley off of Brookhurst.

                    1. b
                      budlit Jun 16, 2007 01:05 PM

                      manpuku on sawtelle is my favorite

                      1. k
                        karynx78 Jun 16, 2007 03:40 PM

                        If you don't mind driving to OC there is an amazing Japanese bbq place in Costa Mesa called Anjin. There is always a wait there even on regular weeknights. What you do is go inside the restaurant to sign in and you will have the choice to leave a ph number so that they can call you when your table is ready. The meat here is of incredible quality. My favorite there is the marbled rib eye.. it melts in your mouth. The free range chicken is also a favorite .... very tender and juicy. We opted to try the kobe beef prime rib.. but realized that for the cost it was better just to go with the marbled rib eye. They have these 2 really great dipping sauces for the meats. A sweet soy sauce and a thicker peanut sauce. I also enjoy their kimchi there...although its made a little different then the original Korean Kimchi. It is a slight bit tangier and sweeter. They have a couple of other fun things to try on their menu like their spicy cold noodles which has kimchi and this spicey red paste in it with green apples. Sounds weird but the combo is excellent.Portions are pretty good and the service is great.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: karynx78
                          justagthing Jun 16, 2007 05:17 PM

                          The former manager of Anjin is now the manager at Tsuruhashi in Fountain Valley. Same idea. I haven't had Anjin yet, but I've been told by many that Tsuru is better. Also a bit closer. Both of these are Japanese Korean style BBQ owned by Koreans. Went last week to Tsuru for the first time and definately not my last. The meats were quite tasty, especially the Kobe and the tongue.

                        2. Fresser Jun 16, 2007 06:16 PM

                          Manpuku on Sawtelle. It's in the strip mall near Olympic with the Hurry Curry. The lunch specials are a great deal.

                          1. g
                            gundy1814 Jun 16, 2007 06:32 PM

                            hi there

                            im from la and gyu kaku is a good bet. there are a few locations and what puts them above the rest is the variety of marinades you can choose for your meats and seafoods. they even give you suggestions for pairings. i've been several times and always enjoy it.


                            good luck!

                            1. i
                              ILoveNatto Jun 16, 2007 06:33 PM

                              San sui tei in torrance has excellent meats if you're looking for yakiniku. for korean bbq, in koreatown- cham soot gol(charcoal grills) or chosun galbi(good atmosphere). oh ya, and shinsengumi shabu shabu even though thats their specialty, they have good meats to grill

                              1. k
                                ktm Jun 16, 2007 07:58 PM

                                Manpuku on Sawtelle is one of my favorite places to eat PERIOD. Get the "seasoned" meats which come with a delicious marinade on them. I love the rib-eye. short rib and the pork. When you order they will bring a bunch of little bowls of condiments. After you grill your meat you can wrap it in a lettuce leaf and dip it in your sauce bowl and eat it with your hands. Their side dishes are great too. Try the watercress green apple salad or the spicy shredded carrot salad. Get the rice with green onions which is a delicious alternative to plain steamed rice. For dessert try the litchi sorbet. Yum! And the atmosphere is casual, but kind of cool. Make a reservation or plan to wait unless you get there at 6pm. I've been to Gyu Kaku. I found it very corporate feeling and felt like the food paled in comparison.

                                1. c
                                  cheesecustard Jun 25, 2007 08:31 PM

                                  Manpuku it is! Thanks for all the suggestions. I can't wait to go!

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