16 2016 Oct

Gen Korean BBQ

San JoseTagged all you can eat, bbq, food, korean, korean bbq

Gen, one of LA’s popular Korean BBQ chains, made its way up to Northern California last year. You’d think the lines and hype would have died down by now. Nope. Still hordes of people waiting outside ready to feast on their $20.99 all-you-can-eat dinner. Lucky for us, we made reservations.

We had a party of 14 and were seated in twenty minutes. They were waiting for a small party to clear out. Tables are fixed for groups of four so it’s understandable it will make reservations tricky. But what they did to counter the extra wait was to take our orders ahead of time. And guess what, when we were seated, all the food was already set out for us. All we needed to order at that point were the drinks. Pretty sweet. However, before I give this place major props, the service throughout dinner wasn’t too great. We had to constantly flag people down for refills, even for the salad. There was one moment of light though. A waitress noticed we had nothing grilling and came over to check in and expedite our order. Would love to give her a shout out if I had her name. But it was amazing she had noticed but the other four servers in our area didn’t. Of course, they weren’t standing around doing nothing. They were busy, a bit too busy. So in terms in service it’s inconsistent.

As for the food, it’s pretty damn good. Not high-end but great in terms of bang for your buck, it was amazing. I see why this place was still attracting so many people.

Gen Korean BBQ

1628 Hostetter Rd
San Jose, CA 95131
(408) 477-2773
genkoreanbbq.com

Verdict: Very surprising for an all-you-can-eat establishment in terms of quality and variety. Make a reservation and give this place a try.

Beef Brisket @Gen Korean BBQ

When we came to our table, our first round was already laid out for us. Beef brisket was going to be the first thing on the grill because we were hangry! Not my favorite, but it does cook fast. And as you can see, there's not much in terms of banchan. Five kinds that begged to be refilled every ten minutes.

Ox Impressions: 

Salad @Gen Korean BBQ

The salad was pretty dry and it wasn't due to the lack of dressing. You could taste it in the veggies.

Ox Impressions: 

Spicy Chicken @Gen Korean BBQ

Spicy chicken was thoroughly marinated, if you couldn't tell from the picture.

Ox Impressions: 

Beef Bulgogi @Gen Korean BBQ

The marinaded beef on the other hand wasn't as marinated. But the cuts were a lot thicker than most other places who cut the beef razor thin, where all you can taste was the marinade. I welcomed this.

Ox Impressions: 

Spicy Chicken @Gen Korean BBQ

That stuff cooks up quite nicely right? Oh look at the sear on them. They were juicy with a bit of heat. Don't worry, it's not too spicy.

Ox Impressions: 

Hangjungsal @Gen Korean BBQ

Now on to the good stuff, the pork cheek, a wonderful surprise on the menu and a gamble. Well, it paid off. The texture was firm, almost like cartilage, but still on the meaty side. We should have ordered more of this. But we were heading toward the end of our meal.

Ox Impressions: 

Gen Premium Steak @Gen Korean BBQ

The premium cuts here are pretty phenomenal when it comes to places offering all-you-can-eat. No surprise they try to moderate this with modest servings. Cook this to a medium rare and you got yourself a quality meal.

Ox Impressions: 

Premium Pork Belly @Gen Korean BBQ

Another great cut on the menu was the pork belly. Left in it's purest form, you will want to have this with the salt and pepper sesame oil to appreciate the taste. Be careful not to overcook it. I know it's pork and all, but you'll want to get this just right. Ask the server if you're unsure.

Ox Impressions: 

Squid @Gen Korean BBQ

We went a bit far being adventurous on the menu and ordered squid or was maybe it octopus. There were more seafood options and maybe we should have ordered the shrimp, but we ended up getting this slab. It didn't look too appetizing sizzling on our grill. After some point when we decided it was cooked, we cut it and gave it a try. It had the texture of squid and tasted more like fish cake. Not sure. Next time I'll leave this off our order.

Ox Impressions: 

Premium OB @Gen Korean BBQ

Here's how your bill doubles, a round of beer that kicks off many more rounds. What? It's Korean BBQ. How can you not have some refreshing suds. And this place carries the premium stuff. Funny thing though, was I preferred the normal OB. It cuts through the smokey bbq. Premium beers are more for cocktail hour.

Ox Impressions: 

Cooking @Gen Korean BBQ

Ventilation was good. The smoke, and sometimes burnt smells didn't permeate into our clothes. That's not to say we wouldn't have stray dogs following us home. The BBQ scent still lingers, just not noticeable when you get home and change.

The OxPosted October 16, 2016 By the hungry ox


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