Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ko Ryo Jung Korean BBQ 高麗亭

1585 W Sepulveda Blvd
Ste N
Torrance, CA 90501

(310) 530-0025

http://www.yelp.com/biz/ko-ryo-jung-restaurant-torrance

 

Ko Ryo Jung is an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant in Torrance.  It’s located in the same strip mall as BCD Tofu House.  A friend had recommended this place for our gathering, but based on the Yelp ratings, I wasn’t expecting much.  However, I was pleasantly surprised, so don’t be fooled by the 3 star Yelp ratings!  It turned out to be one of the best Korean BBQs I’ve had in South Bay – I liked it better than Moon or Star BBQ.  Meat quality is good, there are a lot of side dishes to choose from, and even ice cream is included!!!  Parking is pretty easy to find, since it’s located in a large strip mall.  Service can be a little slow, so make sure you order a lot at once!  ^ ^

 

There is really no visible sign of the name of the restaurant in English, so just look for the “All You Can Eat” sign near one end of the strip mall!

 

The menu is pretty simple and has pictures of all that you can order.  I like how it’s in both Korean and English.  There are 2 all-you-can-eat options:  $17.99 and $22.99.  You get more premium meats and seafood with the more expensive option.  We went with the $17.99 option.

 

Ko Ryo Jung provides an assortment of side dishes, all of which are pretty good, ranging from the normal Korean kimchi, marinated bean sprouts, spicy pickled radish, salted veggies, potato salad, etc.  Ko Ryo Jung also provides pickled radish slices (pink and green) and rice paper for wrapping your cooked meats!

 

Condiments:  in addition to the normal sesame/salt sauce and the soy sauce with jalapenos, you can also request for the Korean soybean sauce (doenjang) and raw garlic & jalapenos.

 

Tofu stew is also included in the meal.  Pretty good flavor and not too spicy

 

Steamed egg – cooked with bits of scallions.  This was a little bland, so eat it with some sauce!

 

Bibimbap – this was pretty good and is included in the $17.99 AYCE

 

Black angus prime beef brisket  – the meat was really fresh and tasty!

 

Kobe beef short plate – this was also pretty good, it’s thicker sliced than the brisket.

 

Black angus marinated beef chuck flat – this was well marinated and the meat was tender!

 

Beef tongue – these were rather large slices, compared to other Korean BBQ joints.

 

Baby octopus – I didn’t try this but heard they were good

 

Assorted vegetables – just leave them on the grill until the kabocha squash has softened

 

The grill!  The server will come periodically to switch out the grill… you can request it too.  My favorite meat was the pork collar butt (on the left) – fresh and juicy, with the right amount of fattiness, hot off the grill!

 

The meal ends with ice cream!  And yes, you can request for seconds… it’s AYCE after all!!!  🙂

Otafuku

16525 S Western Ave
Gardena, CA 90247

http://www.yelp.com/biz/otafuku-noodle-house-gardena

 

Otafuku has been on my Yelp bookmark list for a few years, but with so many Japanese restaurants in the South Bay area, there’s simply too many choices that I didn’t have the chance to try it out until recently.  Boy, I didn’t know what I was missing!!!

First of all, it’s a little tricky to find the restaurant.  It’s very unassuming if you’re just driving on Western – it’s very easy to miss.  Trust your GPS.  There is a small parking lot in the back of the restaurant – by small, I mean, it’d be hard for full-size cars to get in and out of the spaces.  Street parking also seems pretty easy.  Also, the entrance to the restaurant is through the BACK!  Now once you’re in the restaurant, it’s actually pretty spacious inside… and looks like a modern Japanese diner, with an open kitchen.  Portions are generous, food is great and service is pretty fast.

The lunch menu is simple but really good value.  The dinner menu encompasses the lunch menu (although $3+ more per entree than the lunch price), and also has sushi and yakitori items.

 

 

The lunch menu is a good deal – on the front page, choose between cold or hot noodles.  If going with the cold noodle option, you get to choose between 4 different noodles.  Then, you choose between the type of ingredients in your noodle.  There’s also the option to add a mini shrimp tempura bowl for $3.50 or horse mackerel bowl for $4.

 

Flip over the menu, and you’ll see that Otafuku also offers rice dishes, sides and dessert.

 

The only condiments at the table are Chinese spices (left) and mountain peppers (right).

 

The horse mackerel bowl wasn’t at all what I had expected.  It’s slivers of raw horse mackerel with fresh sprouts, on a bed of warm rice.  The mackerel had a great al dente texture to it.  It was actually really fresh and refreshing.  $4

 

Cold seiru noodles (made from the heart of the buckwheat seed) with sea eel and vegetable tempura — mix the scallions and wasabi into the sauce, for dipping the cold noodles.  Sea eel seems to be the trendy tempura item of late – it actually tastes more like fish than the eel (unagi) that many of you have eaten.  The piece of sea eel was huge and perfectly fried; it was more than enough for 2 people.  The other tempura was good too.  I’ve never had seiru noodles before and had expected it to taste like soba noodles.  However, the texture more resembles rice vermicelli.  I’m not a big fan of rice vermicelli, so I will opt for the regular soba noodles next time.  $13.50

 

From the waitress’ recommendation, we also ordered the hot udon with fish cake tempura.  Do not let the name mislead you – it’s actually a large piece of fried shrimp and scallop goodness!!!  So yummy… and the hot udon with the broth was great too.  I think I’ve found my new favorite comfort food.  $10