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Korean BBQ in Seattle/Eastside?

Anyone know of a place that's good? We're fairly recent transplants from the LA area where Korean can be found in abundance. Dying for some garlic!

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  1. For BBQ meats, Ka Won (15004 Hwy 99, Lynnwood) is the best. They make Geh-Rahn-Jjim (steamed whipped egg) that is a treasure.
    For the best Soondobu and Pa Joon, go to HoSoonYi in Edmonds or Seoul Hotpot in Redmond/Bellevue.

    16 Replies
    1. re: kirkj

      You may have noticed from other posts that charcoal Korean 'que is a rare bird around here, and I, like many, consider that to be an critical factor.

      If you can live with gas-fired cookery, I agree with Ka Won, and also recommend Sorabol, a newer place in a two-story Korean strip building also on Highway 99 in Lynnwood, 18623 Highway 99, Lynnwood, WA, 98037-4552, 425-778-4717. Very good quality meat and banchan. I also enjoyed their goat stew with sesame and perilla leaf. Apparently, Sorabol brought in a New York chef.

      In federal way, I hear good things about the BBQ at Tobang, but I have yet to vist. TOBANG KOREAN CUISINE 33324 Pacific Hyw S. #203 Federal Way, WA 98003. 253 874 8888 . On Yelp it was said they brought in an LA chef, which you might appreciate. Apparently, the local community needs some schooling on how to do BBQ right.

      1. re: equinoise

        As far as gas BBQ goes, we enjoyed Chang Ahn Jung (aka "Jang-An Restaurant") in Federal Way last week. Good quality meat, good banchan.

        Service was hesitant for us at first - not many non-Koreans seem to go there and English proficiency was dubious - but improved immediately after I ordered soju to drink. When we paid the check we got very curious questions about if we had been to Korea and how we knew about soju. Cute. :)

        I still strongly prefer charcoal BBQ, so will probably wait until we try Old Village to order that again. I want to try the yang nyum at Tobang, though.

        1. re: terrier

          I had a curious experience at Western Garden (Korean name Suh Won) in Federal Way. I had thought that Western Garden was known for bo ssam, sliced pork to be wrapped in steamed lettuce or another leafy green. They had an english language primer on korean food on the face page of the menu, with a picture of bo ssam. I asked the waitress if they had it and she just shook her head and smiled. Then I pointed to the picture they had of it, and she ran her finger over the words in the caption, said "Bo ssam", hesitated, and then finally just said "sorry. sorry." We defintely weren't communicating.

          But I digress. The banchan was good, so I'd like to go back and try the Samgyeopsal, as Kauffman recommends: http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-06-...

          Other Federal Way Korean Notes:
          1. Chang Ahn Jung has apparently turned into a Korean-Chinese place.
          2. Jhang Choong, reputed to be a bo ssam/soon dae specialist, has apparently closed. No storefront at reported address; phone disconnected.

        2. re: equinoise

          eq.,
          I just noticed that Ka-Won has fried chicken on their "sides for drinks" menu. Have you tried it there?

          1. re: kirkj

            I haven't. Truth be told, the only Korean fried chicken I've had was Cockatoo's in Federal Way.

            1. re: equinoise

              How was it? From your postings, seems you and I have remarkably similar food tastes!

              1. re: dimsumfan

                I would agree...I definitely loved Shiang Garden in Richmond--world class dim sum. Thanks again for that tip.

                Without a basis for comparison, I thought Cockatoo's was pretty good. I would have normally ordered the spicy version were it not for my condition on the day I visited and got take-out. This place is very much a bar as opposed to a restaurant. I had a beer and popcorn while I waited. I had the wings (12 pieces?), topped with a dark red, sticky tangy sauce sprinkled with green onion, which was good while hot but became overly thick as it cooled. They came with a big cup of pickled radish cubes and a salad with a ranch style dressing. A very substantial meal.

                1. re: equinoise

                  Cool. Thanks for the report. Definitely need to get down to Fed Way for this sometime.

          2. re: equinoise

            Tried Tobang. Ordered house special kalbi and baby octopus. banchan were numerous; quality mid-range comp. w/ others locally. complementary egg/miso dish was appreciated. meat quality was good, portions quite large. service was problematic, as the young server was overwhelmed, resulting in awkward hesitation over whether customer or staff was tending to the 'cue (gas, BTW). Good price, sweet people, better ambiance and digs than average; alot of flat panel TVs make Tobang apparently shooting for bar/lounge status. My overall K bbq rankings to date:

            sorabol > ka won* > hae nam kalbie & kalamarie* > tobang > old village > kokiri

            *did not have full tabletop cooking experience

            1. re: equinoise

              Sorabol is indeed very nice. Thanks for the rec.

              Kawon has very good meat quality. These 2 alone keep me very satisfied and not driving down to Federal Way for Korean food.

              1. re: HungWeiLo

                i went to Sorabol based on these recommendations and had a very disappointing experience with the kalbi. However since i was alone at the time, it was cooked in the kitchen rather than tabletop, which may account for some of the problem. Very overcooked (recooked?) and subpar flavor and sides. Have no desire to go back even though it is closer to me than Kawon, which was a much better experience

                1. re: barleywino

                  Sorabol's meat quality is above average, but it's not superb (haven't tried to BBQ tabletop there yet either). I really liked their soondoobu, and they made a very fine steamed egg dish. Both Kawon and Sorabol have really good sides.

                  1. re: barleywino

                    Sorry to hear about Sorabol. I haven't been for several months--perhaps it has declined. When I visited it had just recently opened and the place was quite empty; I was concerned about its prospects.

                    But I had two good experiences there with kalbi and the goat stew, and I couldn't really say the banchan at Ka won was much better (1 visit, at lunch).

                    Have you tried chang ahn jun (sp?) in Federal Way?

                    1. re: equinoise

                      not yet, but thanks for the tip, will try that next

                2. re: equinoise

                  Just went to Ka Won last night. While it was not too bad, it felt sub-par. I ordered the short ribs and the sirloin for tabletop cooking. The sirloin was very poor in quality as it tasted essentially like a cheap steak. The short ribs were better, but felt a bit lower-grade than what I remembered. I ordered a steamed egg custard, and was nowhere near the quality of Sorabol's.

                  I did notice that the Koreans there ordered mostly pork (black pork belly, it seems). I had that there last time and it was really good. Maybe pork is the way to go at Ka Won.

              2. re: kirkj

                lynnwood and edmonds will be "about" 35 minutes via I-405 to I-5 from Belleveu on a good day (weekend). you'll be driving with the commuter traffic, so be sure to time your weeknight dinner time accordingly. weekends should fall close to the 35 mintues.

                and yes.... i like ka won and hosoonyi.
                i am not of korean heritage, but my dental hygienist who is, has recommended hosoonyi.
                i am a recent transplant here too and i live in lynnwood. lynnwood has a large korean population, so there are lots of lots of small korean restaurants.
                btw...there is an H-mart that will open soon, i hope. and Paldo World is another korean grocery store with a great little tofu soup restauarant inside.

              3. You might want to try Eastgate Korean on SE 38th just west of 150th in the old Dennys. Seems to be pretty busy most of the time.