Sunday, May 18, 2008

A New Korean BBQ Favorite in our Hood @ Hwarosarang (Buena Park)

I think Buena Park is essentially the KBBQ capital in both LA and Orange County. Hands down they had some of the best KBBQ restaurants.

The only one I liked in downtown LA area was Park's BBQ and New Seoul for Garden Grove area. Those were the only good ratings I would recommend for each of those so called "Korea town".

Buena Park was one of the city that have seen new restaurants that opened up to strengthen the Korean restaurants destinations. I noticed just like La Habra, there seemed to just spruced up in the same concentrated area.

Brand new Korean BBQ place has one advantage they usually can solved where it would be hard to do for old places was the installation of a new air ventilation. This I have to say was one of the very few time I did not smelled like I just got out of meat fire pit. The only other time was at Park's BBQ.

When I entered the place, it had that new look kind of feel without the fading wood or the greasy feeling in the dining area. The restaurants has ample amount of tables with the ever popular iron pot lid as the grill. They have also have some big air ventilation over the table. Then again I never really seen the smoke pop up to my face which was a huge sigh of relief. (I just didn't want to smell a hour later at a different function).

The combo is pretty straight forward. It starts off at $40, which was one of the cheapest I have seen in a KBBQ place for a combo. It is good enough to feed 2 people. The pricing start going higher at $60 for three and $80 for four people.

The basic combo would include a plate of tender sirloin, beef brisket, and sliced pork. You also get a egg tofu and a choice of either a bottle of soju or two glass of wine. The higher combos get a plate of galbi and other beef dishes.

It get a little tricky because my companion and I don't wished to drink that night so I tried to negotiate out of the alcohol and get a replacement for that. (Please don't PM me to call me a weaksauce because I know!). They wouldn't allowed it citing their policy.
OK, then I tried to finagle my way to a galbi (marinated beef short ribs) and switching it out of one of the three dish. My best hope is to get out of the tenderloin because it was charging the same price for a plate in the menu. Finally with the manager consent, we got our wish in switching off the beef tenderloin in favor of the marinated beef.

Let's just say it was the best trade I had made since my e-trade stocks trades before the Dotcom gloom.

The marinated beef was not too sweet and when cooked on the grill it had that aroma of a simmering kaboob. The galbi melt right in your mouth. The brisket has the most amount of meat and was the easiest to cook. The pork is like a slice of bacon. When cooked, it didn't swivel like most places would have. It tells it was freshly prepared and not frozen before hand.

I liked the service here. Like the old theory goes, does it help to have a SLR camera to influence the staff to be active? I just can't tell because I had the feeling I was being watched. There were three different wait staff that constantly comes by to check on us. It was one of the better experience in terms of service in a KBBQ I ever had. Not once did I pressed the buzzer to ring for them nor do I had to called them out with a shout of :"Yah-gio".
There were also some nice presentations of 10 different banchans (side dishes of bean sprouts, relishes, and kimchis). The egg tofu that came with our dinner was also refilled along with the side dishes. The rice wrappers for the meat and the salad was also included in our feast.

Nicely done with only $42 for two person.Even better was the free coffee machine for the drinks. Yet I felt cheated for some reason...

I was told that there was a Blueberry yogurt that was served here for free after the meal. I didn't get one. Either that or I felt Jiffed, but nonetheless I had a very good experience in dining in this place.

I would say overall, it's almost as posh or the place was as clean as Surrah's in Buena Park. Hwarosarang offered better better combo choices than the other Buena Park KBBQ and the meat was almost as good as Wako Honey Pig. This place will definitely get my choice as a place to go for KBBQ. It's much closer drive than to Park's or New Seoul.

Buena Park may not be as ghetto as I used to thought after all.
8552 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 229-8978

Hwarosarang on Urbanspoon

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