What to Order at a Korean BBQ Restaurant

Hi friend!

How has your autumn been? We haven’t spoken in a while and I hope you have been spending your time doing things you love, with people you love.

Me? I have been enjoying all sorts of adventures and explorations. Plenty of camping trips, sharing life with my love, and trying to dig up the discipline to stay steady at work (when all I want to do is squeeze every last moment out of this year).

But at the end of the adventures, especially on those cold nights after a long day of roaming around, I find myself craving my ultimate comfort food — Korean BBQ. (By the way, what was your favorite comfort food again?)

Unless I’m in LA, I’m not a big fan of the all you can eat places. I find when you order each dish individually, the quality is better and each bite feels special.

If you’re new to the Korean BBQ scene, a few tips:

  • You’ll always get lettuce to wrap the grilled meat, but they may not freely give other wrappers (thin rice wrappers) or sliced green onion. Ask!
  • If you get the grilled pork belly (samgyupsal), try it without the lettuce first. And take that initial bite with the pork belly dipped in sesame oil, salt, and pepper. It will melt in your mouth.
  • Get a spicy side or a rich soup. The point of the Korean BBQ experience is to revel in the comfort-food aspect. Not to get stuffed with meats. My love and I usually order ddukbokki — Korean spicy rice cakes that comes with a soft boiled egg, perfect for sharing.
  • And grab a drink. Get soju if you feel like it. The tiny little glasses are perfect for making wonderful toast after toast — to this experience, to the friends you are with, to new adventures, and to cozy comfort food.

Tip on what to eat first: Start with the non-marinated meats (like the pork belly), then marinated, and then the spicy stuff. This will help you enjoy the full taste of the non-marinated stuff before you explode your taste buds with kalbi (marinated short ribs) and bulgogi (marinated thinly sliced rib eye).

I’m always too busy enjoying the experience to remember to take pictures. But here are a few that I did capture which will hopefully show you how much we love the shared experience of Korean BBQ.


Bon appetit!