Friday, December 12, 2008

All You Can Eat Korean BBQ @ Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 (Koreatown)

Once upon a time, Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 was my favorite All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ place in Koreatown. In a nice way of putting it, the "old" cheap price of $14.99 per person and the matter of convenience was the big reason for me to come here.

I'm guessing you are wondering about the #2 will probably meant it's a sequel to an original place. Indeed, there is a big brother place up in 6th Street and Western Ave that originally took the same name without the numeral (it had now changed to simply "Gui Rim").

According to a friend, Soot Bul meant "Fire House" where there is a difference on the way the meat is cook. Most places uses electric or gas burner to fire up the grill for cooking the meat. The Korean BBQ die-hards do not like this only because of the smell of the gasoline on the meat. Also by using the coal, majority of the time a thin rail grill will be use. This is a way to let the juice of the meat flow through the grill and not encapsulated the fat on the meat. (George Foreman is not the only one who thought of that). It would be impossible to use the the thin rail grill if using the gas grill as the juice will hit the gas.

Notice the picture below where it is using a thin rail grill to cook the meat and the juice will naturally flow out to the bottom of the grill rather than having the meat trap the oil and grease.

I am bummed to report the price went up to $16.99 to match the similar prices of other All-You-Can-Eat places in Koreatown. I used to love the old price as I was willing to put up with the so-so service that can be experienced here at times and the lousy parking lot just to come here to fill my stomach up.

Inside, there is a big banner menu on the south side of the wall where you can pick out majority of the meat in the all you can eat menu order. It's customary where you will need to start off with a plate of brisket, then you may proceed to order other meat. You can choose from assortments of galbi (short beef ribs), bulgogi (cut of seasoned marinated beef), bacon, pork belly, beef heart, chicken, and squid. There were also other types of meat, but the ones that was listed are the most popular or the most ordered in the restaurant.

The service can be a hit or a miss depending on how busy the evening is. My imagination got to me as I swore the plates of the meat get smaller with each additional requests for refills for our grill. A few of my colleagues love to tell the story on how they would be still eating and the waitress would bring the bill as though my friends would be cut off from ordering more meat.

Sad story, but it is what it is in these type of places. In terms of service, the original Gui Rim have them beat. The other place was much smaller and the staff are more personable. However, the meat's quality here are much more excellent. If you are willing to endure the casual spotty service and willing to overlook the shortcomings, you will enjoy an excellent feast here.

Soot Bul Gui Rim 2
233 S Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 365-9992


Soot Bul Gui Rim 2 Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon


Wandering Chopsticks said...

Ah, I still have to blog about this place. Funny. I went to Scoops afterward too.

I thought the beef and pork quality were good but didn't like the squid or tripe. I didn't like that thin grill either. Made it hard to flip the brisket.

Right Way to Eat said...

Hi Wandering Chopsticks,

Awww, i can't wait to see your review about the place. It's definitely a real hit and miss. I was almost tempted to give them a lower score, but I did prefer them over Gui Rim in terms of the quality of the meat.

Wow, you went to Scoops after? That is a great meal plus the dessert!

me said...

hehe...this was where my friends and i enjoyed my birthday dinner last year!

Right Way to Eat said...

Hey ILikeJane,

Where is my invitation to your party? I would have totally closed that place down with the $14.95 AYCE (last year's price).