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Gen Korean BBQ House, A Local All-You-Can-Eat Korean BBQ Chain with Numerous Area Locations


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Oxnard

Gen Korean BBQ House is another California mini-chain that serves more-than-decent AYCE Korean BBQ. The whole restaurant is AYCE and grill-your-own at night, which makes service and eating in groups easy.  There are a few interesting meat choices (intestines and tongue), though we usually stick with the kalbi, marinated pork belly, and spicy chicken. Cooked food includes a very plain jap chae, fried chicken, and fried rice sticks. It comes with a dressed salad, 5 panchan (mostly pickles), rice paper, and dipping sauces.  This location, because it is so new, is still very clean and nightclubby, and the servers are good about coming back for additional orders and changing out grills (though they don't tend the grill for you).  There's usually a line on weekend nights (no reservations) but it's been worth the wait.

I've been back to the Oxnard location a bunch of times, and also to the location in Cerritos. The menu has changed slightly in Oxnard, adding several options (octopus, Korean fried chicken, addition of Cajun sauce options etc.). It's quite a steal, value wise, since the price has remained the same ($20 for dinner and $15 for lunch), the meat quality is decent, and the menu has grown a bit. The Cerritos location was a little eye-opening. There's a much larger Asian population down there so we tried a bunch of things we don't get up here - Hawaiian flap steak, miso-marinated hanging tender, soon du boo, more premium cuts in general. All were good to very good (and I felt that the meat was slightly higher quality than at Oxnard), and great for an AYCE concept. Both locations have quick and able service and long lines during peak times. I tried a macaron ice cream sandwich at the Oxnard location (didn't see whether they had them in Cerritos) and it was surprisingly good for coming out of a freezer case (displayed in the restaurant - I hadn't tried them before due to turnover concerns) - I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't stale and not crazily sweet. The dessert and drinks are the only things not included in the base price. We took our large, picky, mixed-age family group there (Cerritos) over the holidays and it was a terrific choice.

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I've been back to the Oxnard location a bunch of times, and also to location in Cerritos. The menu has changed slightly in Oxnard, adding several options (octopus, Korean fried chicken, addition of Cajun sauce options etc.). It's quite a steal, value wise, since the price has remained the same ($20 for dinner and $15 for lunch), the meat quality is decent, and the menu has grown a bit. The Cerritos location was a little eye-opening. There's a much larger Asian population down there so we tried a bunch of things we don't get up here - Hawaiian flap steak, miso-marinated hanging tender, soon du boo, more premium cuts in general. All were good to very good (and I felt that the meat was slightly higher quality than at Oxnard), and great for an AYCE concept. Both locations have quick and able service and long lines during peak times. I tried a macaron ice cream sandwich at the Oxnard location (didn't see whether they had them in Cerritos) and it was surprisingly good for coming out of a freezer case (displayed in the restaurant - I hadn't tried them before due to turnover concerns) - I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't stale and not crazily sweet. The dessert and drinks are the only things not included in the base price. We took our large, picky, mixed-age family group there (Cerritos) over the holidays and it was a terrific choice.

Christine, I suspect I already know the answer to this, but does Gen use gas grills? That would make sense given its history and expansion. By any chance, did you notice the type (brand name and model) of grills they have? Almost surely not, so would you make a mental note, and let us know the next time you go?

Thank you as always, O Ye Los Angeles Goddess Of The Culinary.

And to our Los Angeles Korean friends - please feel free to write (either me directly, or better still, on the Washington, DC Help Needed Forum) when you come to the Washington, DC area in search of Korean cuisine. We have a pretty terrific selection for an east-coast city, and it's growing. We can also help you find a hotel, or at least give you some advice in terms of neighborhood, nearby restaurants, etc - you'll find our members to be a wonderful group of kind, helpful people.

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Oh, they are definitely gas grills - I can't think of any cook-yourself place I've been to that hasn't (are there really places that will let you cook over a real fire??!!). I'll look next time and see what they have.

In terms of dirty grill management, they have roving staff (not your wait person, though they will ask if they happen to be near as well) that look for charred grill tops and ask if you want a change. We've never had to cook on a dirty grill pan for very long at all.

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Oh, they are definitely gas grills - I can't think of any cook-yourself place I've been to that hasn't (are there really places that will let you cook over a real fire??!!). I'll look next time and see what they have.

In terms of dirty grill management, they have roving staff (not your wait person, though they will ask if they happen to be near as well) that look for charred grill tops and ask if you want a change. We've never had to cook on a dirty grill pan for very long at all.

There was one place in Annandale (Chung Dai Kam) that let you cook over charcoal, and it was the best Korean BBQ I've ever had by far (you can see the grill in the first picture in the first post of that thread).

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