2D1N Soju Bang

The concept of Korean BBQ is perhaps a little passé and Koreatown itself is no longer a novelty. If it wasn’t for our love of meat and kimchi, we’d have let all the hype about this Korean BBQ joint fly over our heads. But the temptation proved too strong.

Whenever we passed 2D1N Soju Bang— named after a variety show—the queue for the buffet always snaked down the staircase and spilled onto the pavement. Don’t expect Seoul Garden type of variety—the emphasis here is on the meat.

For $20, you get an array of pork, chicken and beef cuts like short ribs and thin-sliced bulgogi. While the marinade is delicious (they use the same one for all but the bulgogi) and the meat well-tenderized, we would have enjoyed some variety in terms of flavor.

Also on offer were cold prawns, a standard affair for Korean BBQ, and those were fresh (as fresh as possible after being left out in the open for awhile).

Stuff a lettuce wrap (“sangchu” in Korean) with freshly-cooked meat, kimchi and condiments like fermented chili paste, garlic and sesame oil, and you probably won’t even need to order rice.

There is also an all-you-can-eat display of banchan (side dishes) such as raw vegetables, creamed corn and glass noodles—all complimentary. Add into the mix a group of close pals with hearty appetites, a couple of bottles of soju and Hite beer, attentive service and a festive atmosphere and you’ve got yourself the perfect equation for a great meal.

They don’t take reservations for the buffet, so it’s better to come before 6pm on a weekday, especially if you’re hoping to cop one of the private rooms. If it’s impossible for you to knock off work early, be sure to write your name at the front of the queue when you get there.

Oh, and don’t make posh plans for after, because your clothes will reek of smoke.