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Mar 8, 2010 09:37 AM

Korean BBQ

Fell in love w/Korean BBQ. Tried Kogi Truck in LA, thanks to an in the know friend. Didn't need the taco, just the beef. Any place in Maricopa County that has that style.

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  1. Sadly, no.

    Although you can get a pretty good Korean short rib (galbi) at Cherryblossom Cafe. There's no kimchee that Kogi gives you with the tacos, however.

    1. At first I was stumped, but now I just remembered where you can go: Paradise Hawaiian BBQ, across the street from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Like many Hawaiian BBQ joints, they do have kalbi on the menu, along with other various grilled or fried meats. Paradise is a little different than most Hawaiian BBQ places because it's a Korean style Hawaiian BBQ. At your average Hawaiian BBQ the sides are automatically two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. With Korean style at Paradise, the sides are two scoops of rice and four scoops of banchan, various Korean veggie side dishes. They have a couple of American sides (broccoli and corn are always on the list), the requisite Hawaiian macaroni salad, long rice (Hawaiian cellophane noodle salad), and a number of Korean choices, including kimchi (of course), seaweed, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and a couple of others I don't remember off the top of my head. Grilled meats are all outstanding. I haven't had anything fried yet. Something worth trying is meat jun. It's a Korean Hawaiian dish of meat cooked in a thin egg batter. I'm trying to figure out the best way to describe the dish beyond that and am coming up completely short; you'll just have to go try it out for yourself . Oh, don't bother with their SPAM musubi, it's one of the more lackluster that I've had.

      Most Hawaiian BBQ places do serve the Korean style short ribs. Ma'i Island Grill just down the street from Paradise is extremely delicious, but they are only open during lunch. Ono Hawaiian BBQ is the most prevalent around town, but they are not very good.

      1. Can anyone recommend really good Korean restaurants in Phoenix? ...I am new to Korean cuisine would like to try it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mdietrich

          I'm a big fan of Takamatsu, in west Phoenix. They also have a Chandler location, but the west Phoenix location seems to draw a mostly Korean clientele, which I like. You can order from the kitchen or do tabletop Korean BBQ.

          1. re: ejs1492

            What do you recommend to order at Takamatsu? I work really close but haven't tried it yet.

          2. re: mdietrich

            Give Red Kimchi in Scottsdale a try.

            Of the places I've tried in the Valley, Red Kimchi probably has the best array of banchan. The grill options are sort of limited (well, actually pretty limited), but the well made soondobu and bibimbap sort of make up for that.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              thanks for recs...I plan on trying Red Kimchi this weekend. Are there any menu items in particular that you recommended, or do not recommend ordering?

              1. re: mdietrich

                For the grill, I would suggest either the Galbi or the Bulgogi, or both. Avoid the chicken and pork.

                And as I mentioned above, the bibimbap and soondobu are pretty good. The mandu not so much. The jigae is ok, but was a bit mild for my tastes.

                Also, make sure the restauant does not hold out on you on the banchan. Make sure the kitchen brings out all the stuff that they have that day (or night).


          3. had lunch at paradise hawaiian bbq in tempe yesterday and thought it was excellent. had the kalbi beef and bbq pork combo plate and 4 korean sides and 2 scoops of vinegared rice. you get a huge plate for 8 bucks.
            my only gripe is that they keep the heat down on the kinchi and other korean veggie sides. i prefer it spicier but that just may be my thing.