We finally went to check out Jeong Won, the all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ on Convoy. Sometimes I just like to remind myself that Buga is my favorite.
I don’t know if it was an off night or what, but I didn’t leave very happy. There was a regular grill table open, but we were seated at a table with a propane burner and iron “grill” pan. I know we were only a party of 2, but there were two other couples at the grill tables and none of the other tables were even occupied. I would have preferred a grill table because I think you get a nice finish on the meat. With the pan we had, sometimes the meat ended up steaming instead of grilling and the scallops (so small!) kept rolling down the sides. This is the first of my complaints.
Next, they ran out of rice. I know! What kind of Korean restaurant runs out of rice?? So, we essentially ate half our meal without rice. Or lettuce wraps, since we had no rice to wrap in the lettuce. It is worth noting that there were no visible Korean folk working in the restaurant. Maybe they were on vacation? In any case, running out of rice is just ridiculous.
The condiments and dipping sauce dishes are small. Ridiculously small if you consider that you are expecting people to eat a lot of food because of the, you know, all-you-can-eat aspect. I want more sesame oil and bean paste, please.
The meats are okay. T liked the bulgogi because it was sweeter and more heavily marinated than Buga. The marinated pork was tender, at least. The shrimp was tasty, but we would have liked it to have been de-shelled. It’s kind of a pain to get all dirty for 4 shrimp in between eating other things with chopsticks.
By now you’re wondering if I liked anything or if I was just feeling grumpy. I like that you can have a lot of variety. We tried their seafood combo (the squid was too thick and crunchy but the scallops were okay, if small), marinated pork, beef sirloin (boring), bulgogi (we got 2 orders of this), shrimp (4 shrimp per order), and brisket (tasty but sometimes had stringy fat). The portions are perfect for tasting all the meats, and if you don’t like it there isn’t much to choke down. You can definitely stuff yourself silly here, and there is soft serve ice cream as a nice dessert.
Even though the place was mostly empty when we went, the service was so spotty. Sometimes we wouldn’t be able to catch anyone’s eye (to ask for the rice, to get more water). Sometimes we would have two people in a row stop by to offer the same thing.
I prefer Buga. We probably spend the same amount of money there and leave just as full, but full of better meat and tasty, tasty ribeye. Plus, every table has a regular grill. I just don’t get that. In a restaurant where the only thing on your menu is all-you-can-eat bbq, why wouldn’t you equip every table with a grill?
So, there you go. If you want to just stuff yourself with Korean bbq, you can go to Jeong Won (4690 Convoy St), but if you want to enjoy your meal, I still recommend Buga.