You should have seen it coming. What makes it a trip to Los Angeles for us was finding a Korean BBQ joint to kick off the night. This time around it was Magal BBQ. A place full of energy that’s powered by its young and sometimes inebriated patrons. What that really means was that this was a place friends come to eat and drink. Because that’s exactly what we did.
There was a modest wait, although we had a seat if every happened to be there. Too bad this happened to be one of those rare cold as hell LA nights. We were really hating our unorganized selves. But within 30 minutes the host came out and let us know our table was ready. Needless to say we rushed in and got our menus.
We opted for two large Beef Combos, priced at $98.99 and meant to serve 3-4 people per combo, that included:
There were 9 of us so of course, we we ordered more a la carte. I did miss a couple things in my photos, such as the pork belly, assorted grilled items, and the sides. Well, there weren’t too many sides to begin with. There was a cold soup which left us scratching our heads, a small plate of pretty good kimchi for the four of us, a couple bowls of salad to share, pickled celery, and some sauces and condiments. That was pretty much our banchan. Yikes. I think that’s why we left a bit hungry. Or maybe it was the fact that we were planning to end the meal with the Volcano Fried Rice only to find out that they ran out. Double yikes. How could they run out of their signature, yet gimmicky, dish? Oh the horrors of an amateur foodie.
Overall though, the meat quality was good. They focus on unadulterated meats, as in, not too much seasoning. We were fine with that. There were a couple of stand out cuts that made us look to one another with that “Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.” And the service, even for a hectic Saturday night, was attentitive. They made sure to come by and check on the grill, which was changed at least six times. Pretty good.
3460 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
+1 (213) 383-1909
Verdict: Although it’s good in terms of quality of meats and service, I’d only go here to change up my Korean BBQ fix. I blame competition.
The grill was an interesting setup. The middle, grill itself, was interchangeable (you'll notice in the other photos) and housed a gas burner underneath. Starting from the top and going clockwise, you have the resting area where they'll place your cook meats so you won't overcook them. Next was a little area filled with mixed vegetables that will cook alongside your meal. Then it's an area filled with an egg mixture that'll become a omelet followed by another helping of mixed vegetables.
One thing you don't have to worry about here was cooking your own things. The servers come by to cook for you. Don't be shy letting them know if you like things on the rare side.
When we noticed they had melted cheese as a side dish, we had to order it. I believe it was meant for the pork, but we had it with the beef anyways. So good!
Take a juicy cut of marinated beef and wrap it in melted cheese. What do you get? Well, happiness of course. So glad someone spotted this option on the back wall.
As with most Korean BBQ places, the thinly sliced brisket was first to hit the grill. Cooks fast and an easy crowd pleaser.
When they say skirt meat, I generally think skirt steak. Excuse me if I got that wrong. However, do believe me that this cooked up quite juicy. And the sliced king mushrooms weren't bad either. Checkout that egg mix on the side. It's about ready for us to dive in.
A good ratio of meat to fat made this a succulent piece of beef after it was cooked. I'm surprised we didn't order more of this stuff.
Here's a classic cut for Korean BBQ, marinated short rib. It even has bone in pieces. Who doesn't love this. And look how that cooked up.
This cut was for sure our favorite cut of the night, because we ordered another duo off the menu for both grills. It doesn't come seasoned, but it was wonderful with the sea salt and cheese.
We added the pork cheek to try out and it was one unique cut of pork. It's kinda like the toughest part of the fat melded with the meat of the cheek giving it a firmer texture to say, pork belly.
Each one of us got one of these to try. It tasted okay but it's just not something you'd actually go out of your way to order. They were very small bite sized pieces. About a third the size of normal nigiri at a Japanese restaurant.