Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Normally I tend to avoid all you can eat restaurants as they favor quantity over quality, which is not a compromise worth making. However Gui Rim in Koreatown is a rare establishment where you can have quality and quantity, all for a low price which equals an excellent value. Gui Rim is an All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ restaurant that has three price levels, the middle one is $17.99 and includes 21 different meats customers can grill.
You choose three meats at a time, and when you finish one, you can replace it with more of the same or try something different. Consider it like the Netflix 3 DVD plan of Korean BBQs. Above are several of the raw meat options including the sliced brisket. On a recent visit with Christine of Choisauce we sampled many of the different meats including brisket, bulgogi, beef short ribs, thin sliced tongue and ribeye steak among others.
The quality of the meat was high and when we had the ribeye towards the end of the meal, it was literally a large ribeye steak, which we grilled and somehow ate entirely in a few short minutes despite being full. The beef short rib aka Galbi was my favorite of the meats we tried, but I was happy with everything I tried. Christine tried the Mountain Chaintripe and that was the only one that was not a favorite.
In addition to the meats, expect a full assortment of panchan, my favorite of which was the kimchi, which was aggressively spiced. They were prompt at refilling the panchan and the dduk (rice cake) wrappers that a certain member of the Los Angeles food community is known to enjoy. Also included in the price is a bowl of Den Jang soup AND a small bowl of neng myun (cold noodles)in either spicy or cold broth.
The service was good and our grill was changed several times. There is a call button on the wall to summon a waiter if you prefer as well. We ordered plate after plate of meat and they did not balk at bringing us enough korean bbq to fill our bellies. There is a $29.99 option, but I see no need to order that when the $17.99 is so good. It is less than $20 + tip, an excellent value, even in Koreatown, which is home to many great deals. Note that there used to be a one size fits all price, but now they have the three tiered option.
Gui Rim accepts reservations, although they are not always necessary.
Gui Rim: 3977 West 6th Street (@ Western), Koreatown. Phone: (213) 387-5459