"Your blogging series is so boring," said the oldest '87 during lunch at Tahoe Galbi Restaurant in Koreatown last week. "When are you going to post about food again?"
So this one's for her and lil' sis because it's our favorite all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant.
Tahoe's not the cheapest. It doesn't have the largest selection of meats. The panchan is good enough, although not terribly exciting. And yet, when we're really craving Korean barbecue, Tahoe usually hits the spot.
The first time we stopped by was back in March. There was a one hour wait so we ended up going to Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant instead. That's when I realized that I had eaten here before, about a decade ago. Then the restaurant closed down and I didn't check back to see what had opened in its spot.
We came back a month later and were seated in the outdoor area. The inside has better ventilation with overhead fans.
The all-you-can-eat price of $17.99 includes a choice of chicken, beef short ribs, barbecued beef, thinly sliced brisket, beef tongue, and pork belly. There's also steamed egg, miso stew, rice, salad, and the usual side dishes.
The banchan (Korean side dishes) selection had all the usual Baechu Kimchee (Napa Cabbage Kimchee), Ggakdugi Kimchee (Korean Pickled Radish/Daikon), and Sukju Namul (Korean Seasoned Mung Bean Sprouts), along with rice noodle sheets.
Chadolbaegi (Korean sliced brisket) and beef tongue. The oldest '87 likes the chadolbaegi best. I like the tongue. I used to think the chadolbaegi was too bland, but after eating with my cousin so often, I've come around. I like dipping it with the fermented bean paste. She's all about the sea salt in sesame oil sauce.
Bulgogi and Kalbi/Galbi (Korean Marinated and Barbecued Beef and Short Ribs). Lil' sis goes for the kalbi. The bulgogi here is sliced a little too thick, we eat it but it's not our favorite.
Samgyeopsal (Korean pork belly). Mmm. Pork belly. I always feel guilty when I eat it.
The fermented bean paste and tofu stew had thin slices of zucchini and shrimp.
Sizzling meats on the grill. They gave us little pats of butter to slather on the grill before we threw on the meat.
Service is OK. Just hit the bell when you want a refill of any of the meats or panchan.
Whenever lil' sis comes home, this is where we go.
I should tell you that once, while we were waiting for a table in the reception area, lil' sis saw a huge cockroach crawling toward her. She screamed. A busboy came running, squashed it, and picked it up before anyone else even noticed. Haha! She was so traumatized. Yet, we still stayed to eat and have gone back several other times. And the restaurant does have an "A" rating from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
January 15, 2010 update:
Tahoe recently created a cheaper all-you-can-eat lunch special of $9.99 for weekdays and $11.99 for weekends and holidays. The meats are limited to brisket, pork belly, and chicken, but includes all the usual side dishes.
I also noticed the waiters now have spiffier uniforms, the service is a little more attentive, and they've added the cinnamon drink at the end of the meal.
February 17, 2016 update:
This restaurant is now closed.
Other Korean barbecue restaurants:
Chung Kiwa Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Feedable BBQ Buffet - Rowland Heights
Gui Il Bun Ji BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Hae Jang Chon Korean BBQ Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Hwa Ro Korean BBQ and Tofu -San Gabriel
Hwang Hae Do Korean BBQ - Artesia
Light Town House Korean BBQ - Garden Grove (Korean Business District)
Manna Korean BBQ - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Ong Ga Nae Korean BBQ - Rowland Heights
San Ya Restaurant Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Seol Ak San - Stanton
Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 Korean BBQ - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Tahoe Galbi Restaurant
3986 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
213-365-9000 or 213-365-9289
Valet parking available at dinner time for $1.50
1 year ago today, chili cheese fries with pastrami, pickles, and tomatoes at The Hat - Alhambra.