Korean BBQ in SC/Savannah?
I've recently been reading up on Korean BBQ and am dying to try one. Has anyone been to a decent, if not fantastic, Korean BBQ place in the Low Country, the Midlands or in the greater Savannah area? Do they even exist around here? I see Kim's Korean BBQ and Japanese Steakhouse comes up in Charleston but I am a bit leery.
There are several Korean retaurants in Columbia owing to the size of the local Korean population. I am aware of only one that is set up with the grills in the tables where they put the hot coals for cooking the Q and that is Hero Korean Steak House on Two Notch Rd. It's located in a nice stand-alone brick building and has a sizable Korean clientele. I haven't been in a year or so but the food was solid every time I was there. The tables with the grills are along the back wall. Just tell the person that seats you that you want to sit back there or they may seat you at a regular table.
I don't recall their hours so I'd suggest a call before you make a special trip.
Hero Korean Steak House
6634 Two Notch Rd.
There are several Korean restaurants in Columbia. Most are on Decker Blvd in NE Columbia (right outside Fort Jackson).
Obok has been there forever and the food is usually good but service is relatively slow and prices are relatively high.
There are two restaurants on either side of the fairly large Korean grocery store on Decker. I can't tell you the names because they keep changing.
As you face the grocery store, the restaurant to the left seems to change names, menu, and cooks every year.
The last time I went it was very good, but it's been hit or miss over the years.
The one to the right of the grocery store has had the same staff for years. In general, the food has been better than the other places. They have lunch specials, including on Saturday, which are a little cheaper than the normal menu price.
None of these are specifically barbecue places and they don't cook at the table.
There's another Korean BBQ/Japanese restaurant on Decker in the shopping center with the grocery store (Food Lion?) that's been there for 20 years.
I went there when they first opened and it wasn't very good, but they have been in the same place for 20 years so they must be doing something right.
I'm normally hesitant to eat at a place that serves two cuisines with little in common.
I have not been to Hero which only opened a couple of years ago. I'll probably try it the next time I'm in Columbia. It is just South of Columbia Mall and is less than a mile from the other places I've mentioned.
I made it to Hero in the spring.
It's in an old steak house like a Ryan's or Golden Corral which was also once a Lizard's Thicket.
Inside, they've renovated and redecorated with marble floors and wicker furniture. I'd guess they did the work themselves because the finish work wasn't very good.
The menu is smaller than most of the Korean restaurants and the prices were somewhat higher. There was a selection of Korean dishes on the menu, but there were many non-Korean dishes as well.
I'd guess we spent around $50 on 3 dishes including tax and tip where at most of the restaurants it would have run $40.
The menus were in English, but the Korean dishes weren't well described and differed from the other restaurants we'd visited.
The food we had was good and the portions were large. They did have several tables where you could grill at the table but we didn't try that.
Due to the limited menu and higher price, I'd go back to try the grill tables but if I just wanted Korean I'd go to one of the other restaurants.
Haven't tried the Columbia area, I am in the Savannah area. I lived in Korea for years and my girlfriend and I are addicted to the BBQ. Unfortunately, you have to go to Atlanta or Tampa to get anything really good. Didn't realize that Columbia had options, will have to check out.
Savannah has a decent Korean restaurant, but they don't grill at the table. It's actually a lot of fun to set up your own meal at home and get everything. If you head to a korean supermarket, the owners will usually guide you through the whole process.