Korean BBQ in SGV?
A friend of mine wants to try a Korean Barbecue restaurant for lunch, but would like to find one closer to home than Koreatown. We're in Pasadena, so anywhere within a 20-minute or so drive would be fine.
I know of three Korean BBQ places in the SGV, but none of them stack up to the places in Koreatown. There's one in Arcadia on Baldwin in a plaza with a CVS. The other two are in San Gabriel area (these I have not tried)-Manna and my sister went to a place in the San Gabriel Hilton plaza on Valley.
What kind of Korean food are you looking for? All you can eat? Able to grill at the table yourself?
There are a few restaurants in SGV but nothing in terms of quality compared to the good restaurants in K-town. Still, sometimes you just need a fast and quick fix and will settle for the not so primo level...
PASADENA - Seoul Bros in Pasadena was clean and served decent meats but I believe they are now closed and another Korean restaurant will be opened in its place. Look out for that if you're intent on a Korean restaurant in Pasadena.
1) Han Yang Garden Korean BBQ is in the CVS plaza Crystaw referred to and they just changed management. (It used to be called Seoul Jung Korean BBQ). You can order all you can eat but it is not the greatest quality. Then again, it is stuff til you bust style and that in itself will compromise the quality of the meat served.
2) Young Dong Tofu Restaurant is across the street from Han Yang Garden. It is in the same plaza as the Burlington Coat factory. You can't grill the meat yourself here but the quality is good for the area.
3) Young Dong Garden is also located in Arcadia (near Rod's off of Huntington) and like Young Dong Tofu, you cannot grill the meat yourself. The quality is similar to Young Dong Tofu because they used to be the same owner or they still may. That family owned three restaurants at one time and sold one of them already.
4) Manna BBQ - This place is not yet opened yet but will shortly. It will be in the Westfield Mall in Arcadia off of Baldwin. I believe (although this is not confirmed) that it is the same owner as the All you can eat Manna BBQ off of Olympic Blvd. in Koreatown. I was hoping for a true K-town type of restaurant to open up in San Gabriel Valley but unfortunately the Manna in K-town doesn't serve the best quality cuts of meat.
SAN GABRIEL -
1) Young Dong Tofu off of Las Tunas (the same plaza as Tokyo Lobby) is okay and yes, it used to be owned or is still owned by the same owner as the two Young Dong's in Arcadia. Again, you cannot grill the meat here.
1) Manna Restaurant is off of San Gabriel Blvd. and it is NOT related to the Manna BBQ in Koreatown. You can grill your own meat here and it is not all you can eat. This restaurant is hit or miss as I've had some good dishes here but sometimes the quality is off. One thing stays consistent though - the ambiance. The place is pretty old school (meaning same furniture since they opened) and they didn't think about the decor at all. Still, a couple of my friends like coming down here. It's average generally speaking but can be above average on good days.
1) Cho Dang Tofu and BBQ off of Verdugo is a place I've been meaning to try for lunch but I haven't had the chance to yet. If you're near here, you may want to stop by.
LA CANADA -
1) Daban off of Foothill Blvd is pretty good although I've only been there once so I can't comment on the consistency. It is not all you can eat and you grill the meat at your table. For the most part, when I went here, the meat here was above average but again, not the quality of Park's, Chung Ki Wa, or the other good K-town BBQ restaurants.
*** There are a few more Tofu places you can find around the area that also serve korean bbq in the San Gabriel Valley area but I haven't tried them myself nor have any of my friends. Plus, I wasn't sure if you were looking for a place to grill your own meat as that will impose more limitations on your options. Hope this list helps. Happy bbqing!