Korean BBQ and Hot-Pot

Location: Q Buffet in Rancho Cucamonga.

Info: $14.99 for all you can eat Korean BBQ and Hot Pot.

Korean BBQ is becoming really popular. Nowadays you mention Korean food, usually the first thing people say is kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) or Korean BBQ. Korean BBQ comes in two forms: one in which you get up and get plates of your meat, or where you order a preset combination of meats that the waiter will bring to your table.

Normally Korean BBQ seems to range from $19.95 and up. But lately we’ve been seeing a lot cheaper priced restaurants, even one that was $9.95! And yes, obviously the meat won’t be the best quality but hey sometimes that’s okay! Haha…

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The best known Korean meat is Bulgogi which is basically grilled beef. For those of you who may have never tasted it, Bulgogi tastes like teriyaki but instead of being sweet it’s more garlicky and flavorful. There’s also the popular pork belly = sam-gyeob-sal, beef brisket = cha-deul-bae-gi, spicy pork, and if you go to a higher priced restaurant, there will also be the popular short ribs = kalbi.

Some places also offer seafood items such as shrimp and octopus/squid. And if you can handle it, be sure to grab those raw garlic slices!

There are also some awesome dipping sauces to try. There’s the traditional sesame oil with salt and black pepper, be sure to mix it well and dip the meat in it. Also available are famous Korean paste sauces such as gochujang = spicy pepper paste and dwenjang = a soybean paste. Our personal go to is ssamjang which is a blend of gochujang and dwenjang, garlic, and sesame oil, soooo good! There are some tangy sauce versions as well, often known as house sauce, not sure what’s in that but it’s delicious!

Haven’t had a Korean lettuce wrap? Then you’re missing out. Grab a lettuce piece, your meat of choice, dip in sesame oil sauce, put a bit of paste, a garlic slice, and if available the shredded green onion salad that most Korean BBQ’s offer. In our opinion the ssamjang is the best paste sauce for a lettuce wrap. If you like rice, put a small spoonful in there too, wrap it all together and stuff in your mouth. Like heaven!

Hotpot isn’t always an offering at Korean BBQs, but this one had it so we were happy about it. Sometimes when you eat greasy meat, a hot soup feels good. They had a lot of offerings for the hotpot, like a variety of veggies, seafoods, and other goodies. We chose bokchoy, napa cabbage, vermicelli noodles, mushrooms, fishballs, onions, and beef for our soup.

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If you have the time and one near you, we suggest checking out a Korean BBQ asap. It’s a fun and delicious way to enjoy freshly grilled meat, and to try different sauces and combinations with it.

Though be warned, that grill smell stays with you all day!

Happy Eating!

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