For a pleasurable night out, watch your dinner prepared in front of you in Koreatown, where the largest Korean population resides outside of Korea. Eight Korean BBQ was packed when I arrived around 7:30 pm. My friends already seated around a table of specialized cookware from Korea instructed me to open my circular seat stool and put my purse inside. No need to get it dirty on the floor! Under the tabletop, my friends opened a drawer filled with utensils and napkin options. Aprons were brought out to help keep the sizzling meat juices from landing all over us.
The Mangalitza pork belly marinated for hours in 8 different flavors is a must, thus the name. Our server was super attentive and cooked everything for us table side, making sure to check the temperatures, cut our meats and bring us more soju and beer. To start our interactive meal, we dropped pomegranate soju in a shot glass right into our beer and guzzled it back. Cheers!
As the long tray of meat arrived, we learned we would work our way through the meats from the most subtle flavor (red wine) to the strongest (red pepper paste) flavor. The 8 flavors include: Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, and Red Pepper Paste. Garlic and the more intense flavors were my favorite options to enhance this fatty meat, and sauces weren’t necessary. The combo was perfect to share with two or more guests. Seafood stew followed where I greedily scooped up a succulent mussel.
Somehow after this enormous meat sampling, we found room to devour the bulgogi or “fire meat” cooked with red peppers and enoki mushrooms. I enjoyed the bulgogi even more, with enough flavor and marinade that no sauces were needed. Towards the end of our meal, a spicy kimchi fried rice was concocted right at the table with drippings that slowly poured from the meats from the specially designed Korean cookware. The juices dripped right into the soup pot and topped with cheese.
If you aren’t a pork fan, 8 Korean BBQ also has an array of Argentinian grass fed beef, USDA Prime, and Japanese Wagyu beef! Two locations can be found in Southern California, in Koreatown (LA) and Buena Park.
Eight Korean BBQ
863 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90005