Recommended Korean BBQ Restaurant in Los Angeles – Dong Il Jang
This review is a little overdue, however I wanted to take my time with this one. A lot of people ask me for recommendations for a nice Korean BBQ restaurant. This past week while in LA, I went to numerous restaurants that I liked from before, and to some that I have never been to. A lot has changed in Koreatown, and it wasn’t easy choosing 1 out of the many great restaurants. I chose Dong Il Jang, as my recommended go to place, and I will explain why below. I made this decision based on a lot of different factors, however the key factors as someone who used to own a restaurant, were quality, taste, service, value.
Dong Il Jang is known for their “Roast Gui”. The Roast Gui which is a thin cut Rib Eye, ranges from about $30 – $45 per serving, based on which one you choose. For review purposes, I went with the $30 Roast Gui. Although it was the lowest out of the selection they offer, the quality and taste were above expectation. Your server will melt some butter on the iron pan, put a onion in the middle, and start cooking the Roast Gui.
Once the meat is ready to eat, you can enjoy with one of the many sides that are put on your table, with some spicy salad, or as a lot of meat lovers like to do, slightly cook the roast and eat it while it is still red. Traditionally, a lot of Korean BBQ restaurants will give you a small plate with salt, pepper, and sesame oil to dip your meat into before eating. Personally, I normally ask for just salt, and some sliced green onions on the side to eat with my meat.
Pictured above is 3 servings of the $30 Roast Gui. The 3 servings of Roast Gui, a order of Kimchi JJigae (Stew), and fried rice (Which is included) that they make for you after you are done with your meat was a good amount of food for 4 adults. Open since 1945, Dong Il Jang has a certain quality that you can’t experience at other Korean BBQ restaurants. They have their own parking lot, and you don’t have to pay $10 for Valet which is also a big plus. Dong Il jang has booths and tables, but also they have a separate section for larger groups, and private parties, with traditional Korean tables, where you sit on the floor.
As mentioned earlier, the “Kimchee Fried Rice” which is included with your order of Roast Gui, is probably one of the best you will ever taste. I actually don’t even eat Kimchee fried rice at home or from other restaurants. I have tried Kimchee Fried Rice from other restaurants before, but wasn’t really my type of taste, however I always eat it at Dong Il Jang.
Before I conclude my review of Dong Il Jang, I just want to put a couple things out there. Hands down, I still think Park’s BBQ has the best quality meat and taste, however a few people that went there after I recommended it to them almost had a heart attack after seeing their bill, so definitely not for everyone. If you want to try Duck, I would tell you to go to Sun Ha Jang. If you want Gopchang, I would tell you to go to Byul. I can go on and on, however this posting is for my recommendation of best traditional Korean BBQ Restaurant. Also, there are some VERY VERY good AYCE (All you can eat) BBQ restaurants, contrary to what some people believe. Choosing Dong Il Jang over some of the other Korean BBQ restaurants in Koreatown definitely was not easy, but when you look at the overall package, especially the service from the servers here, it made choosing a little easier. I totally understand that minimum wage and the cost of living in this area keeps rising, but some of the other restaurants had price hikes that in my opinion were a little too much. Some restaurants had really good food, but the horrible service made me think twice about going back. Like any other good restaurant, be prepared to wait in line a little at peak times =) D.I
Dong Il Jang | 3455 W 8th St Los Angeles, CA 90005 | 213.383.5757
They have a small but beautiful Koi pond at their entrance too.