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Is Park's K-bbq DIY? Chosun Galbi is not.

  • d

i went to chosun galibi recently for the first time. i was surprised that it we did not get to bbq the food ourselves. (also, i had to plead with the server not to put the raw uncooked meat on the grill with the cooked food. really, an elementry rule in food safety that they aren't aware of. it was obvious this place is all about turning over the tables as fast as possible and the staff is so frenzied about rushing through the cooking and getting you out it was incredible.)

apart from having to get rid of the over-vigilent server and the assembly line delivery of the experience, i thought the actual food was really very tasty. however, i won't be back b/c i would rather bbq the food myself (at my own pace) or just have the restaurant cook the food in kitchen and serve the food to me.

do diners get to grill themselves at parks korean bbq?

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  1. you know, that is one of my big pet peeves at kbbq. all of them try to cook your food for you, although chosun the last time i went was absolutely rotten in how fast they tried to rush you.

    i don't mind the uncooked meat touching the cooked food or whatnot, but i eat really really slowly and it pisses me off when the meat burns. lately, i've gotten into the habit of simply telling them to bugger off and let me do it myself. i think if you establish that from the outset, and wave them off when the various servers approach, they eventually take the hint.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rameniac

      Last time I went to Chosun Galbee, a female co-worker got so annoyed at the rush-rush-rush that she whacked the waitress on the back of the hand with a spare pair of tongs.

      Park's is not like that. They're perfectly happy to have you cook your own food. They will try at first -- meaning that if you're not Korean and speaking Korean to them, they will assume you're incapable of rendering meat onto hot metal. Once you wave them off, they're happy to have you do what you want. They'll just keep offering you more meat, is all -- which, naturally, you must pay for.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        haha points for your friend!

        another thing that annoys me is at BCD, when they keep trying to put the hot water into my stone pot of rice. i don't want the hot water until the end of the meal, cuz if you put it in too soon the crispy rice gets soggy.

        the technique for that then is to cover the stone pot with an unfolded napkin; when the waiters see this they stop coming by and trying to put water in there until you remove it and are good and ready.

        1. re: rameniac

          I hate the rice water. I know it's about not wasting it, but it just has absolutely no flavour whatsoever. They don't do hot stone pot rice at Beverly, though, which is my destination.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            actually the rice water is a big deal for me at the end of the meal. it's like cantonese "fan jiu" or japanese okoge, just this pleasing, palate-cleansing thingy with crispy rice bits. don't think i could ever get tired of it actually!

              1. re: cls

                Eh, get your mind out of the gutter.

                I believe rameniac is referring to the rice (and egg) crust that forms from the Japanese soup pots and NOT the colloquial use of the term "okoge" ...

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Much more innocent than that. I was assuming he meant food related. It's a term I am not familiar with.
                  Funny, I never thought about the col.

    2. At Chosun (and any Kbbq place for that matter) the key to cooking at your own pace is holding onto the tongs. Move the meat platter, or at least the tongs, away from the edge of the table. That will also ensure that you can place your raw meat far away from your cooked meat if that concerns you. The waitresses always seem to get it when I do this.

      2 Replies
      1. re: trishyb

        good tip. but they kept the tongs on the tray that was not even on our table - so we couldn't reach it w/o getting up. i just assumed that all korean bbq places were cook your own -- i've only been to woo le oak and gyu kaku (which i know are probably not representative of authentic k-bbq but are tasty). so, i was just surpirsed at the rush rush and the staff-ownership of the tongs. i really didn't want to offend anyone by asking for the tongs but did have to wave the staff away repeatedly so that they wouldn't put raw next to cooked meat. it was crazy. one time they came and the meat was done in their opinion and she said "eat eat!" we were just like - we will when we want another bite! sheesh! it was funny. i'm just glad it tasted good! that made up for the rush.

        1. re: dtud

          hahaha... Korean Mothers are interchangeable with the Jewish ones...eat eat!

      2. I've always done my own cooking at Park's.

        1. I've done my own cooking at both.

          1. They'll offer/try to cook for you... All you have to do is tell them that you'll do it yourself. I believe you could do that at any Korean BBQ place.

            What enrages me more than waiters forcing their services onto you is watching people cook on their own when they shouldn't be: smashing the meat onto the grill, poking and prodding it, etc...

            1. I've had meals at which I barely tended to the meat because I was too engaged in conversation to do a good job and the waiters took over and I've had experiences in which a friend and I were managing the grills for a large party the whole meal with minimal interruption from the waiters. So, Chosun is defintely DIY if you want it to be, as is Park's.

              In all honesty, I don't think it's about them being rude and trying to rush you but more a case of the waiters trying to give you the best experience. I wasn't there though so I can't speak to your experience, only mine. I do know that when I want to cook my own meat without any interference at K-BBQ, I just waive off the waiters or I put my hand over the grill and I ask for the tongs. I think you just need to be forceful and they adjust to what you want.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Frommtron

                Frommtron is absolutely correct. Even the most aggressive servers (and the Koreans can be pretty aggressive), you just need to be a bit forceful and most of them will back off. I'm pretty meek looking and I can hold my own at Park's, even when there's a long wait but I want to enjoy my food.