Best Korean BBQ Joints
Oo-Kook offers more than 25 different types of meat.
(Credit: Roonhee Ko)

When visiting Koreatown, Korean BBQ is a must! Check out these four unique restaurants that will have you coming back for seconds…and thirds.

1. Oo-Kook, the best all-you-can-eat Korean barbeque restaurant in Koreatown.

Welcome to Cow’s Kingdom! Oo-Kook (translated as Cow’s Kingdom in Chinese) is indisputably the best all-you-can-eat Korean barbeque places around. Attracting customers with more than 25 kinds of meats, Oo-Kook is especially famous for black Angus marinated beef and Black Angus prime rib. Because of its popularity, there is always a long line during weekends; but a reservation fixes that problem. Another bonus: the service is excellent. The wait staff constantly fills side dishes with vegetables and sliced beef. Compared to other crammed all-you-can eat places with loud music, Oo-Kook is also relatively spacious, and the noise level is moderate; you can have conversations without screaming or watch the newscast on wide TV screens.

Oo-Kook is located at 3385 W. 8th Street in L.A. For more information, call 213-385-5665.

2. Honey Pig, pork belly cooked on huge stone pot lids and tasty kimchi fried rice.

Roasting pieces of pork belly on huge stone pot lids and finishing your meal with kimchi-fried rice are just two of many unique features in Honey Pig. Thick, fatty slices of pork belly are the most popular on the menu. This meal is always served with a variety of vegetables such as kimchi, tofu, mushrooms and sweet potatoes. Honey Pig does not provide all-you-can-eat menus, but you are full enough after eating the fried rice, which is prepared on the stone pot lids. The Honey Pig owner highlighted that the slope of pot lids let oil drop from the meat and add the sweet taste. The restaurant is clean, and the service is fast. The price is about $16-17 per person, but it is more than worth it considering the fresh quality of unfrozen pork belly and the chunky pieces they serve. Unlike other restaurants that accustom its menus to suit foreigners’ appetites, Honey Pig preserves Korea’s traditional style of serving meat with bean sprouts, kimchi and rice.

Honey Pig is located at 3400 W. 8th Street in L.A. For more information, call 213-380-0256.

3. Palsaik Samgyupsal, wine, garlic and red pepper-flavored pork belly with fantastic service.

Eight different flavors of pork belly, trendy K-Pop music videos, fabulous service, modern decorations and deep rich seafood soup are all in Palsaik Samgyupsal. This new restaurant is the perfect place for Korean BBQ lovers who want something different. Palsaik Samgyupsal introduces eight kinds of pork belly flavors: wine, original, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso and red pepper. Strips of pork belly are cooked on a tilted grill with kimchi and bean sprouts, and the slanted grill lets the oil and fat drop, leaving only tender pork belly pieces. The service is excellent; they grill and cut the meat for you, so all you need to do is enjoy the side dishes. Also, managers constantly visit to see if you need anything. Because of its fame, many celebrities also visit (who knows? You might spot one!). With TVs on the wall that screen latest K-pop music videos, he restaurant attracts many young customers. It is worth $14 per person.

Palsaik Samgyupsal is located at 863 S. Western Ave. in L.A. For more information, call 213-365-1750.

4. Kang Hodong Baekjeong, juicy marinated beef and pork combo with steamed egg, kimchi and spicy bean stew.

Don’t know what to order at Korean BBQ? Well, get the beef or pork combo in Kang Hodong Baekjeong. The beef combo includes boneless short rib, thinly sliced brisket, prime boneless short rib, steamed egg, mushrooms, onions, corn cheese, kimchi and kimchi stew. All of the combo menus, except the meats, are always refilled. Seasoned pork short rib and seared pork belly are also recommended. The service is also great. Waiters and waitresses kindly cook and cut the meat for you, and they are friendly. It is not awkward for the waiters to sit down for a few minutes and chat with you. $20 per person may seem pricy, but the constant refills of side dishes and large proportions of meat makes it worthwhile. Warning: Look out for the long wait, and the fact you can’t make reservations. However, you can always go there to write your name down and come back when they directly call you. Its most popular menu (besides the beef combo) is the “lunch box.” The special thing about the “lunch box” is how they serve it: Waiters shake the lunch box in front of you, and out comes rice, egg, seaweed and tofu!

Kang Hodong Baekjeong is located at 3465 W. 6th Street in L.A. For more information, call 213-384-9678.