Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Feb 13, 2013 03:55 PM

Mongolian Barbeque in Los Angeles

Our teenage son is not a big fan of eating out but he loves the Mongolian Barbeque in Thousand Oaks. For his birthday this weekend we want to take him to a quality one in Los Angeles. Any ideas? He's not a particularly big eater but I understand that the All-U-Can-Eat craze is big in this style.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: Servorg

      +1 for Big Wok in Manhattan Beach. Good quality. Because they are so busy the food is very fresh. On weekends they have 4 wok chefs working at a time. Very casual with mostly families dining.

      1. re: wienermobile

        Big Wok seems to be the overwhelming choice. Is it worth a 60 mile drive? I'll do it gladly if it is but from reading yelp (I know, consider the source) I'm not sure.

        1. re: winophile

          To me probably not worth the drive, but I drive almost that far for dim sum in the SGV, so it's up to you.

          1. re: wienermobile

            Thanks very much for the feedback! Or is it feedbag?

          2. re: winophile

            can't completely answer your question, but can give you some information that may help.

            of all the mongolian barbeque restaurants that i have seen and at which i've eaten, Big Wok was the best.

            that said, it is not a "celebratory" environment. it is a large, efficient, dining room that serves good food. there are no tablecloths, this is not a place that anyone would want to linger. many of the customers are young parents that come in with their kids in tow.

            many, many, of the "other" mongolian barbecue places that i've seen use these horrible neon-colored yellow noodles. EEEWW! Big Wok uses normal noodles

            many, many, of the "other" mongolian barbeque places have instituted rules governing how much you eat and what you eat. mostly they are interested in having the customers fill up on the noodles and not eat too much tofu, vegetables, meat, or poultry.
            (one of these "other" establishments tried to limit how much tofu i could take even though i paid a premium for "all you can eat!")

            Big Wok lets you eat what you want, as much as you want, and in whatever proportions you want.
            i would normally have a "third" bowl of just vegetables (something that would have been impossible in most places)
            someone on a low carb regimen would NOT be forced to have noodles on their plate at all.
            you can go back as many times as you like.
            their basic food quality is fresh and good.

            maybe others on this board can fill in the gaps.

      2. Fogo de Chao in Beverly Hills is a wonderful all you can eat Brazilian BBQ with over a dozen meats served at you table and the best salad bar in LA if you really want somewhere that's more special and worth the drive.

        5 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          Funny, we've been talking about going there for years. Now our daughter lives walking distance from there (she works @ Cedars). Good idea! Not Mongolian but better for us. Not sure we can convince him but worth a shot. Thanks again.

          1. re: wienermobile

            i second wienermobile's recommendation of fogo de chao.
            there is no question that the place is designed for celebrations and special occasions.

            the variety of meat they offer and the way that the meat is served is fun and entertaining.

            the salad bar is top quality and extensive enough so that even a vegetarian can construct a FINE complete meal from it (i.e. not just a meal to "hold" them until they can get home.)

            1. re: westsidegal

              I went to Fogo de Chao during DineLA for lunch and had a great meal. But wouldn't Fogo be well over $50 pp at dinner, while even all you want Mongolian BBQ be well under $20? (Not to mention valet parking, unless you get lucky and can feed a meter on La Cienega.)

              I just checked Fogo's website -- $58.50 at dinner. So almost $80 pp including tax and tip, without beverages, dessert, and parking.

              1. re: nosh

                no question, fogo is a much higher-end restaurant than any mongolian barbecue restaurant that i've seen.

                prices, as would be expected, are much higher.

            2. re: wienermobile

              Truly, no Mongolian BBQ place I've ever been to is in the same league quality or cost-wise as Fogo. Fogo is a great restaurant. But it is quite different than Mongolian BBQ so it depends on what you are looking to eat. Fogo is heavy on beef and somewhat on pork & chicken.

            3. Thanks. I didn't know about the one in Thousand Oaks. I assume it is Wok 'N" South.

              Also FWIW-I must agree with the posts below. Fogo is just outstanding and while not a place I visit often but it is well worth the money if you can eat that much food.

              1. I have never, ever been to or even heard of a mongolian bbq place worth driving for.

                7 Replies
                1. re: ns1

                  There might be one in Mongolia ...

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    That's actually very funny! Thanks but I don't have enough miles.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

             sausage, fermented mare's milk and lamb's testicles. who's with me?

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          i should warn you it's slow going across the pacific. drive a few yards, come up for air, drive a few yards, come up for air...

                    2. Just out of curiosity, why doesn't your son like eating out? (I first read it as "Our teenage son is not a big fan of eating." - I overlooked the "out." I was even more surprised by that!)

                      Unfortunately, I don't have any recommendations, but I'm curious to hear everyone's suggestions as well.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: erichalias

                        He thinks it takes too long to eat out. He likes to get food, eat it and go. He doesn't get the whole social aspect. And we love to eat out as does his sister. Wish that was not the case.

                        1. re: winophile

                          in that case, maybe fogo de chao isn't the best place. . . .

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            He thought Fogo de Chao was a great idea. Thanks to all for your suggestions. I will let y'all know how it was.

                          2. re: winophile

                            Teenage son - we're in the same boat here. Since I went to Sushi Nozawa he's been wanting me to take him there and on his birthday I went to make a reservation and it had closed. An All-You-Can eat is a must for a teenager or the bill will cost more than $250 (plus tax and tip) for four - and half of it will be for your son since I'm assuming he doesn't drink and eats like a horse and is thin - just kills me.

                            There is, however, a little hole in the wall Mongolian BBQ that just opened by Valley College on Burbank just west of Fulton in this practically empty mall. No one I know has tried it yet but it looks clean and new - so the owner is probably there and still paying attention. It's probably a college hangout but I have no idea whether it's good or not. The 44 reviews on Yelp were mostly quite good -

                            Now that I think of it you might be miserable there but your son will be happy and it is, after all, his birthday.

                            1. re: Debbie from Valley Village

                              That was one of the two Mongolian BBQ places I recommended to the OP in the very first reply to this thread.

                              And if you want to "sushi" your teenage eating machine and not break the bank then check out Midori Sushi for AYCE at one low price: