Saturday, August 23, 2008
Korean BBQ at Gyenari in Culver City
Downtown Culver City has grown into the place to go to eat. I remember a few years ago when it was a sleepy little community where I only ventured to go to the Trader Joes, Surfas or the Mann movie theatre. Now the streets are bustling with people, the outdoor patios of restaurants are filled, the parking lots are full with only parking on the roof levels, valet parking umbrellas in front of many restaurants and the air of this is the place to be.
Last night G wanted a whole fried snapper and thought about going to Pacificos for their Huanchinango. Why with all the new choices would we go to an old Culver City standby? We didn't get the memo that it is now closed (thank goodness, I didn't want to eat there anyway). We walked down the street looking for alternatives. Lots of good choices, some requiring reservations and others with long waits but Gyenari caught my eye.
We were told there was a 30 minute wait for indoors but we could be immediately seated on the patio. I ask, why would I go to a Korean BBQ restaurant to sit on the patio with tables minus the BBQ grill. They tried to convince me that that's ok as the kitchen would prepare the food. Obviously she misunderstood the reason I would choose to eat Korean BBQ. I want to cook it myself. We chose to wait. The wait turned out to be only 5 minutes. We were directed to a booth and sat down to experience Gyenari.
We ordered Shoju to drink and from the menu decided to go with the Prix Fixe G1 which accomodates 2. This includes gyenari galbee (beef short ribs), bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated prime rib), aged pork belly (thick cut Kurobuta pork marinated 2 days), flower chicken (free range in citrus marinade), japchae and the usual panchan.
I enjoyed myself and the food was good and of good quality. I didn't particularly like the feeling that we were being rushed to finish. A constant pick up of empty plates and cleaning of the table top may have been intended to be good customer service but gave me a sense of urgency to complete the meal. I would probably return though G may take some nudging. He thought it was quite noisy and not a very relaxing eating environment.
gyenari galbee, bulgogi, aged pork belly, flower chicken
Table Top Grilling