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Jan 23, 2009 08:14 PM

Korean Food in K-Town

Can someone recommend a moderate to low priced restaurant for Korean cuisine beginners? We want to do the meats & veggies that you cook at your table -- blanking on name. Thanks!

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  1. Korean BBQ is not usually low to moderately priced. However Manna gives you an AYCE for one price that does work out to be quite reasonable. You could also try Soot Bull Jeep if you don't mind coming out smelling like you were having a picnic in the middle of a forest fire. If you are looking for better (and more expensive) options then places like Park's, Tahoe or Sa Rit Gol would be places to consider.

    Sa Rit Gol
    3189 W Olympic Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90006
    (213) 387-0909‎

    Soot Bull Jeep
    3136 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005

    Manna Korean BBQ
    3377 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

    14 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Adding links:

      Park's BBQ
      955 S. Vermont Ave, Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90006

      Sa Rit Gol
      3189 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006

      1. re: Servorg

        Btw, by 'moderate', mean about $40 for two sans alcohol. Never been to Korean bbque, so want to start off moderately. Thanks!

        1. re: Silverlaker

          Then Manna is probably the place for you.

        2. re: Servorg

          Are there websites for any of these places besides Manna?

        3. re: Servorg

          Hi Servorg,

          A friend of mine is looking for moderately priced AYCE KBBQ as well and asked about Gui Rim. How does Gui Rim compare to Manna?

          (I'm trying to convince them to pay a little more and go with me to Park's or Soot Bull Jeep, etc. :)

          1. re: exilekiss

            Haven't tried it so if you do I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Manna is not great, but the price is.

            1. re: Servorg

              Is Parks super pricey (their website doesn't list any prices). The website looks good -- what do you guys recommend for beginners?

              1. re: Silverlaker

                It's going to run about $30 to $35 pp probably. Try the bulgogi and the galbi (marinated ribs) and cha-dol (brisket) and the pajeon (scallion pancakes). It will ruin you for the AYCE places, but that's the price you pay.

                1. re: Servorg

                  I would say even more than $30pp, unless you're a light eater. One order of meat is around $30, but if you want to try all the things that Servorg mentioned (which I agree you should), you'll probably be closer to $50 pp.

                  You should start with something cheaper and crappier, or else you'll be spoiled and always expect Parks quality, which is hard to match.

                2. re: Silverlaker

                  Besides the BBQ, the Short Rib soup w/ Ginseng is good. We've been to some of the other AYCE places, but we decided we would rather spend the extra $$ for Park's . Maybe we don't eat Korean BBQ as much, but it is really good when we do. Kind of the same philosophy I have about Sushi.

              2. re: exilekiss

                Been to Gui Rim once. It was certainly cleaner and less noisy than Manna. Food was ok, quality of the meat was probably a bit better than Manna. For friendly and more casual feel I used to like going to Castle on Vermont (I think?). The owner would come out and check things out every time I went there. But that's not an AYCE place. Not saying it's better than Park's or anything but it was convenient. For beginner, Chosun Galbee is the usual place to take them but that's not cheap by any means.

                1. re: exilekiss

                  exilekiss.. I actually ate at Guirim with a Buddy for lunch last month. Its pretty good. I think it was less than $45.00 out the door with tip.. Rib eye was excellent, the marinated meats were good to. Im not a fan of organ meats so have them be aware of that point when they look at the menu on the wall, there are 15 different selections in all. Banchan, panchan whatever you like to call it was fine and the mixed green salad was nice and tasty. I did bring a bottle of Bordeaux and had a blast. I would reccomend this place for sure..

                  Guirim Restaurant
                  3977 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

                  1. re: Foodandwine

                    Hi Foodandwine,

                    Thanks for the report. Good to know it's a good value. :)

                2. re: Servorg

                  DONT EVER GO TO MANNA! Unless you want frozen beef and horrible service(even below Korean standards). If you want AYCE go to either Tahoe or Soot Bul Gui rim 2. All of them are the same price as manna. Tahoe is the nicest looking, but you will have to wait a long time. Gui rim 2 is short wait and uses actual charcoal which adds a lot of flavor but will leave you smelling like an ashtray. They also have an assortment of fun meats like intestine, heart etc. And if you ask ahead of time, the AYCE includes a hot bowl of deng jang chigae (spicy miso bean paste soup) and neng myun (the cold buckwheat noodle). But they won't give it to you unless you ask. My vote is for soot bul guirim but either one is better than manna.

                  Tahoe BBQ
                  3986 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

                  Sootbul Guirim Two Korean BBQ
                  233 S Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

                  1. Shik do Rak on Olympic and Hoover is so good. They have set menus, and #2 will be about $40 total with no alcohol. You will be stuffed. The place is a dump but service is great and the food is consistently awesome. 3501 Olympic Blvd.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: hungry mom

                      I'll second Shik Do Rak if you want to do Korean BBQ and don't want to spend the money that Park's requires.

                    2. there's a plethora of AYCE K-bbq restaurants with prices ranging from $15-18 per person (before tax/tip), most of which are better than Manna in meat quality. I would suggest Hae Jang Chon (link below) or Ga Jok Hwe Gwan (Family Restaurant, 8th & Berendo). Like nearly all AYCE K-bbq restaurants, both offer 3-4 different types of beef/pork and come with a variety of side dishes. The former will serve you fried rice after your meal while the latter offers cold buckwheat noodles (included in price). If you let them know that it is your first time, I'm sure they will be more accommodating. Cheers and enjoy.

                      Haejangchon Dolgooi Restaurant
                      3821 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: sungscow

                        i love manna! and, thus, second servorg's suggestion!

                        a lot of people hate on it, but it's a fun place to eat because of the boisterous atmosphere and the korean-techno happy birthday song they blast on the PA system.

                        a lot of non-Koreans eat there now, so i would say it's also "beginner" friendly in that respect.

                        i've also been to (Castle BBQ, Chosun, Gui rim 1, Gui rim 2, Mu Dung San, Park’s, Sa Rit gol, Soot Bull Jeep), but as others have mentioned, some of these are a bit more pricey. in terms of quality, i like Park's the best, but unfortunately it's not AYCE.

                        pepper, i've heard great things about tahoe, and would like to try it sometime.

                        1. re: thehungryghostkid

                          I guess there is some merit to the drunken fratboy atmosphere that occurs every weekend at manna but I just cant get over the frozen platter of meat filled with things you didn't even order. Even after my 3rd bottle of sake. Tahoe is much more acceptable though you may go into a hypoglycemia coma waiting for a table on a friday night.