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Jun 24, 2010 02:54 PM

Where to go for authentic Bulgogi (korean bbq)?

I am looking for an authentic korean restaurant with bulgogi here where you actually cook the meat yourself on the grill at your table. combined with all the salads, kim chi, etc. Also if they have makgeoli and soju

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  1. They'll be concentrated around Highway 99 in either Lynnwood/Edmonds in the northend and Federal Way in the southend. As well as some on the east side.

    North end:
    Ka Won
    Old Village
    Secret Garden (it's a buffet, and I didn't like it, but some people like it)

    East side:
    South Gate
    Blue Ginger

    South end:

    Secret Garden Restaurant
    21025 Highway 99, Lynnwood, WA 98036

    18623 Highway 99, Lynnwood, WA 98037

    7 Replies
    1. re: HungWeiLo

      they all have the authentic bulgogi experience and the makgoeli? which one is best? i'm willing to travel for the best bulgogi, kalbi and experience out there.

      1. re: phoenixhazard

        I'm closer to the north end, so I frequent Ka Won and the ones on the east side. I think Ka Won has the best meat quality. I haven't been down south in quite a number of years, but they should all be pretty high quality (by Pac NW standards).

        Not an expert on Korean booze, but I'm guessing any BBQ place should have makgoeli - at the very least soju.

        1. re: HungWeiLo

          Is Ka Won still the best quality KBBQ in the north end? I used to like Sorabol about the same, but have not been to either in over a year. How about Kaya in Shoreline? Any new candidates? TIA

          18623 Highway 99, Lynnwood, WA 98037

          1. re: equinoise

            I think both Sorabol and Ka Won are both pretty good. I believe Sorabol has undergone yet another ownership change in the past year, so their food is noticeably different now - I think maybe not as fancy as before? I've been experimenting with home-cooking a lot of Korean these days, so I haven't been going out there as much.

            18623 Highway 99, Lynnwood, WA 98037

      2. re: HungWeiLo

        Ka won is by far my favorite for grilled meats in the north, but I've heard good things about Kaya's bbq which is on my list of places to try. I usually go to Old Village when I'm in the mood for soups, but the last few times I've been there it's been hit or miss.

        Palace is alright (their Federal Way location is a lot nicer) but $15 for all you can eat is something I can't say no to :P I tried Mirak due to a friend's rec and Ka Won was much much better imo. Their pa jeon was also weirdly egg-y.

        Most places have grill your own bbq unless you only order 1 portion, which they then usually cook in the kitchen for you.

        1. re: roolala

          I tried Kaya. The banchan was pretty good and the meat quality was perhaps the best I've had locally, especially the marinated kalbi. However, the service was awful. We had to ask multiple times for various items (water, beer, tea, dipping sauce, etc.), from multiple staff members. After one server came out and put the pork belly on the grill, we never had any assistance with the cooking process again, and never saw that server again. It took so long to get the dipping sauce for the pork that it became cold before we could eat it.

          I get that some diners may like to tend their own BBQ, but they should at least have the option of assistance and be checked in on at least once. We ended up even adjusting the gas knobs under the table ourselves and cutting the meat with scissors. I doubt language was an issue, since the servers we spoke to were more proficient in English than other Korean restaurants where I have enjoyed much better service. I usually don't complain about service miscues on this board, but this was the perhaps the least attentive and competent service I've had at any restaurant, Korean or otherwise.

          1. re: equinoise

            From what I've been told by Koreans themselves, even they think service is a serious issue to be addressed in Korean restaurants around here. (Though I think the restaurants in Fed Way are better in this regard). I've personally become immune and accustomed to this sort of thing.

            On most visits to Ka Won during crowded dinner times (15-20 tables, 60-80 guests?) there will be no more than 1-2 waitresses working.