Thursday, January 2, 2014

Restaurant Review: Beque Korean Grill

Beque Korean Grill - dinner on December 22, 2013
Still wrapping up posts from 2013. Right before Christmas, I met my cousin, her husband and their son Vanilla King for dinner at a new place for Korean Barbecue that we had been meaning to try. I first found out about the place by searching on yelp and was lured in by 2 things: the first being their All You Can Eat option (AYCE) and the second being their claim that although you cook at your table, you won't walk out of the restaurant smelling like BBQ.
Their special grill that ventilates the smoke away from the diners 
That seemed like a grandiose claim given my experience with other BBQ places but it was worth a shot. The AYCE option came with 4 meats: pork belly, spicy pork, bul go gi (marinated beef) and marinated chicken. Adults are $19.99 and kids under 12 are half price. If you wanted to order an entrée that wasn't one of the 4 included in the AYCE option, you're charged the cost of that entrée but whoever ordered it could also partake in the all you can eat without being charged for it. At first it seemed confusing but then it made sense when we realized the additional entrees all cost more than the $19.99 AYCE option. Vanilla King wanted the marinated short ribs so my cousin and I got the AYCE option for full price, Vanilla King got it for half price and my cousin's husband ordered the $29 short ribs but could also partake of AYCE.
The helpful waiter also explained that whatever we wanted after we finished what they brought out could easily be replenished, i.e. if we liked mostly the bul go gi, they'd bring out more of it rather than the other 3 items. The meal also included all you can eat rice and all the side dishes that accompany a typical Korean meal, most of which I don't recognize except for kim chee.

The marinated short ribs
The waitress cooked the short ribs for us but after that, armed with the tongs and scissors, we were on our own to cook the rest of the meal. They brought out pretty generous servings of the 4 meats included in the AYCE which was good because you felt like you were getting your money's worth but it also meant it took a little longer for everything to cook. But that also wasn't bad since it allowed us to pace ourselves better.
Bul Go Gi

I have to say the short ribs and the bul go gi were excellent. Whatever marinade they used was very tasty and I could probably have lived on those two dishes quite handily. I'm not sure I thought the short ribs were worth $29 and we were a little unclear if we could get more of it beyond what they initially brought out but we played it safe and didn't ask for more because we had plenty of other meats to cook. The marinated chicken was also good. The spicy pork was a little too spicy for me and we ended up not cooking all of it. The pork belly looked just like fatty bacon and we cooked a few pieces long enough for the fat to crisp up but that was the most disappointing of the 4 AYCE options and had no comparison to the short ribs. While everything else was marinated so spectacularly, the pork belly wasn't even seasoned with salt or pepper and was just chewy blandness. Not worth the calories.
Pork Belly to be cooked
Spicy Pork, Bul Go Gi, Chicken
True to their billing, the way the bbq grill was set up with the ventilation at the table meant we emerged not smelling like Korean BBQ, a first for me at any place where I've cooked at the table. So that was a nice perk. For $20, this was a much better value than Jang Su Jang and the bul go gi alone was worth it. I'd go again and would recommend this place easily. The wait staff was very nice and service was quick. Come hungry - this place is a good deal.
Spicy soup that comes with the meal

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