Yesterday, Darin and I met up with some people at Fresh Korean BBQ in Van Nuys. I was kind of hesitant about the whole experience. Would there be food for me to eat? (I don’t eat red meat or fish.) Would I get sick? How would I know what to do? Luckily, one of the guys we were with was Korean, so he knew what was up and guided us through the whole thing.
We sat down, and our Korean friend just started ordering a bunch of meats in Korean. We apparently were all taking part in the $19.99/person all-you-can-eat dinner. How it works is simple – you order all the meats you want, and they come out in a never-ending, seriously raw stream. Then you cook them on the grill and share them. You enjoy them with a plethora of family-style served sides (seaweed, spicy pickled cucumbers, sprouts, fish, noodles, rice, etc), and a really tasty salad. I don’t know what the dressing was, but I was super into it.
I was excited that they had chicken, and my co-eaters were careful about cross-contamination for me. Hurray for food options and awesome people! The chicken was very flavorful, and went really well with whatever the dipping sauces were. I filled up on chicken, salad, and the freaky purple rice. (I don’t know why it was purple, but it was tasty.) I gave a few of the stranger sides a try, but the seaweed and spicy pickled cucumbers weren’t doing it for me. Overall, the dinner was way more enjoyable and edible than I had anticipated.
Despite my tame tastes, you can rest assured that our group enjoyed some of the more “adventurous” fare.
Yeah, I’ll stick with poultry.
My take on the whole thing is that if you’re hungry and like meat, this is the place to go. The food was really tasty, and it’s endless. (Also – it’s been 24 hours and I haven’t been sick at all. Bonus!) However, if you’re a vegetarian, steer clear! As far as I was able to discern, there really aren’t vegetarian-friendly options – at least there weren’t at this particular KBBQ. I’d consult a menu or call ahead if you have diet concerns. With all the sharing, things get pretty fuddled, so food allergens may be an issue, too.
Anyway, Darin and I have decided the next time our dads come out here we’re going to have to take them to a KBBQ. They’d appreciate all the tasty, manly meat grilling, for sure. If my dainty lady friends come out, though, I think I’ll stick to some less visceral restaurant options. 😉