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korean restaurants: best kalbi/best deal, best banchan?

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i find that i don't have a favorite place for kalbi and that most places have pretty much the same thing. for example, i had some kalbi at han yang today and it was the standard. does anyone have a place that has great kalbi? and i'm talking about the korean style fold-out attached to the large bone cut. none of that local plate lunch cut with the three small cross section bones and thin meat. maangchi calls it LA style (if you like korean cooking go to her website, it's the best!).

han yang isn't a deal for kalbi anymore, or at least it seems that way. $20 for two fairly large pieces on top a bed of onions. the original owners in the late 80s never used to put onions and had three pieces of meat for about $17, i think. current owner david said he still puts three pieces of meat if they are smaller. i guess they do it by mass? do you know of a great deal on kalbi?

also, is there a restaurant that has the best banchan (side dish)? banchan overall, or just a particular one. again, i think they're pretty standard dishes and don't have a current fave.

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  1. You gotta come ova to my brother Jerome's house Christmas time when I am in town every holiday-I make him buy me da beeeeg bone kal bi and then I devour about 10lbs worth! I enjoy the grisle around the rib much more than the meat itself!! It's also great for teething babies!

    9 Replies
    1. re: UES Mayor

      Are we all invited?

      1. re: Joebob

        im in

        in response to indelible, wondering where aside from han yang he has tried recently. Choi's garden gets good reviews, my Korean friends from LA thought it was OK. Another recommends ShillaWon, very authentic presentation from what I remember and good banchan. Camillia is no longer even a good buffet, and while a lot of friends like cafe million, i wasn't all that impressed. the servings are good sized there though. Yakiniku don-day gets very good reviews, but i've not been there.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          yes, i also like choi's garden, shilla won (my dad reports he doesn't like the new buffet style), million. haven't been to camillia in awhile. jang su jang in pearl city used to be good, i don't know if they are still in business. there is a korean restaurant in the pearlridge strip mall where tower records used to be that i've eaten at a few times and liked. after reading kman's comments about cho dang and eating there another time, i find they are good too, except for their famed 'deal' of meat jun.

          1. re: indelibledotink

            Choi's Family Restaurant for big bone kalbi.

            1. re: Glicoman

              choi's garden=choi's family restaurant?

              1. re: indelibledotink

                no, they are two different restaurants although they are located nearby each other. choi's garden is on rycroft while choi's family restaurant is on king st.

        2. re: Joebob

          Of course! da more da merrier!

          1. re: UES Mayor

            You are very generous with Jerome's energy. How does he feel about that?

            1. re: Joebob

              Easy-won't tell him -just show up!

      2. You can try working your way down this list and let us know what is good. http://www.nonstophonolulu.com/eating...

        3 Replies
        1. re: killersmile

          ty. there is also a link to a previous article with the same topic, part 1.

          the opinions are all over the place!

          1. re: indelibledotink

            I know. It seems like there is no consensus as to what is best. Kind of the same as other asian cuisines, people go to different restaurants for specific dishes that the restaurants prepare well. The problem is that outsiders don't know what those are.

            1. re: killersmile

              most of the recs are for non kalbi dishes, but i like that because i, although korean, am not that familiar with korean cuisine as a whole. lots of stuff to try!

        2. Chun's in Kaneohe actually does a great "large bone" kalbi. A real local favorite.