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Friday, December 11, 2009

San Ya Restaurant Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

Before our dinner at Little Fat Sheep - Monterey Park, the boys had asked me to take them out for Korean barbecue.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 1

Yup. That sign was the dinner price.

A while back, Tony of SinoSoul told me he stuffed himself on $9.99 all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue with a choice of eight meats. Whoa! That beats the $9.99 all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue with a choice of four meats offered at Hwang Hae Do Korean BBQ - Artesia.

So I mentioned it to my trusty Korean barbecue sidekick, the oldest '87, and off we went to check it out.

The price includes barley tea, salad, five panchan (Korean side dishes), rice noodle sheets, and dipping sauces.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 2

And steamed egg.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 3

The meat choices were brisket, Bulgogi (Korean Marinated Beef), rib finger meat, hanging tender, pork belly, Daeji Bulgogi (Korean Spicy Pork), pork outside skirt, and chicken.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 4

The quality was pretty decent, even at that price.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 5

The hanging tender was a little too iron-rich in taste for my cousin.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 6

When we feel poor but still craved Korean barbecue, we'd go here.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 7

I've gone here about four times and noticed that the quality of service was progressively worse each time. If you go during off-hours when they're not so busy, the waitresses will treat you nicer. When it's busy, I feel kinda bad for them because I've seen customers be extremely rude. They probably don't make that much in tips because the barbecue is so cheap, so it's a catch-22.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 8

When the restaurant was packed, they've refuse to give refills on the panchan. Rather ridiculous when the veggies are way cheaper than the meat. So, the last time I went with the boys, we ended up getting eight refilled plates of meat because they wouldn't bring out anything else.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 9

Also, they'll tell you they ran out of the rice noodle sheets, when they actually mean you only get one order. Because they'll give it to other tables that just sat down. Or if you have a Korean-speaker, you'll get refills. You know, those ho fun sheets are about $1/lb and are cut into fourths and you only get about a quarter of that quarter portion. Seems like they're being weirdly stingy on the cheaper stuff.

Restaurant San Ya Korean BBQ & Noodle - Los Angeles (Koreatown) 10

Anyway, after the last visit when service was so surly that I had to remark on it because it went beyond the usual Korean barbecue indifference, I haven't been back.

I'd rather have my choice of four meats, instead of eight, but with nicer waitresses, better banchan, and free refills at Hwang Hae Do. Or for lunch, Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown) gives you a lot of panchan with refills and chicken, pork belly, and brisket for $9.99 weekday, $11.99 weekends.

But if you're so inclined to check it out, the brisket is decent, the finger meat is the stuff in between ribs so the closest you'll get to unmarinated short ribs, and the chicken and pork belly have been what I usually order. Not much of a fan of their bulgogi or spicy bulgogi.

Also, the restaurant is rather "sticky." Just beware, it's a great deal, but you do get what you pay for.

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
Seol Ak San - Stanton
Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 Korean BBQ - Los Angeles (Koreatown)
Tahoe Galbi Restaurant - Los Angeles (Koreatown)

2897 W Olympic Blvd., Ste. 105
Los Angeles, CA 90006
9 a.m. to 11 p.m.

1 year ago today, Prince Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Cerritos.
2 years ago today, Soon Dubu Kimchi Chigae (Korean Soft Tofu and Pickled Napa Cabbage Stew).


  1. I usually find the all you can eat korean bbq for 9.99 aren't as tasty as the ones that are a bit more expensive. You should try Cham Sut Gol in Garden Grove. It's a bit expensive, but I think it's really good for what you pay. :)

  2. sigh. this is one of the times where i am jealous of ppl who live in LA. San Diego offers very few AYCE Korean BBQ and the one they have is nowhere near this price.

  3. Oh, man. I had great hopes, but I don't do sticky!

    No need to go to Garden Grove for Cham Sut Gol. There's one in K-town.

  4. Diana,
    Yup, as I said, you get what you pay for. The Cham Sut Gol in GG is just an off-shoot of the original in Ktown. There's actually several Korean restaurants in OC that are extensions of the ones in Ktown.

    Poor economy creates some pretty stiff competition these days!

    See my Hwang Hae Do post. $9.99 and not sticky.


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