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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) (Closed)

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 1

"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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 2

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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 3


Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 4

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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 5

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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 6

Samgyeopsal (Korean pork belly). Mmm. Pork belly. I always feel guilty when I eat it.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 7

Steamed egg.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 8

The fermented bean paste and tofu stew had thin slices of zucchini and shrimp.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 9

Sizzling meats on the grill. They gave us little pats of butter to slather on the grill before we threw on the meat.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 10

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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 11

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 12

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.

Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 13

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.


  1. Very nice review. I have never been to Korea-Town, but now I have an excuse to go.

    I recently have completed a lot of research for Kimchi and Bulgogi for menus at our restaurant. While I am sure that my recipes are not authentic, I hope to get as close to the real thing as possible.

    You mentioned about the ventilation in the restaurant. Did the previous restaurant have an issue with ventilation? I can see if you are barbecuing inside where it could be a problem.

  2. One time, the lady that waits around your table as you're getting ready to leave ran after me and demanded tip because she saw that we didn't leave any on the table. What she didn't know what that we left the tip with the check! That kind of spooked me out and seemed pretty rude to demand tip like that.

    But I thought that the food was ok. Not a fan of the steamed egg, soup, or chicken.

  3. I just got home from dinner party and was pretty stuffed, then I see this post and the photos..mmmhh!! I can't say I mind if anybody asks if I want to go for midnight Korean buffet. I know I know..this is just so wrong!! I just ate!! :D

  4. Jason,
    No, the inside had big fans. The previous incarnation of the restaurant was actually very nice and quite fancy by Korean BBQ standards. Not sure why it closed down actually.

    That sounds weird since almost everyone leaves tip on the credit card these days... I'm not a fan of the egg, soup, or chicken either. I'm all about the brisket, tongue, and kalbi.

    I can eat Korean BBQ all the time so I understand perfectly! :)

  5. Pork belly!!! Must have!!!
    God I'm craving for Korean BBQ now..

  6. Cindy,
    Haha! I had such a craving for Korean BBQ after typing up this post!

  7. my dad's best friend is the owner of tahoe!! haaha they have great food and we always get it free

  8. Azndragon,
    Lucky you! All that great food for free! I'm jealous.


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