Korean ‘Cue is Having a Moment


Korean BBQ is having a moment in Las Vegas right now.

What’s happening to it is similar to what sushi went through four years ago.

If you recall, shitty sushi was the rule, not the exception, until around 2012. That’s when Kabuto opened and made everyone sit up and take notice. Suddenly, serious sushi hounds had a place to call their own, and soon enough places like Yonaka, Fish N Bowl, Izakaya Go, Other Mama, Yui and others opened and upped everyone’s game. (Make no mistake, shitty sushi is still everywhere, but at least purists have other options these days.)

Now, the same thing is happening with these bastion of Korean beef eating. For years, decades really, we’ve been saddled with the usual suspects — Korean Garden BBQ, Mother’s Korean — and a few AYCE joints that didn’t exactly break a sweat when tossing the same old same old kalbi and bulgogi your way. As with AYCE sushi, these places stressed quantity over quality, and the cheapest ingredients were their profit path to the promised land. (Which, if you think about for a second, is behind every all-you-can-eat operation.)

But boy have things taken a turn for the better. In less than three months, this popular form of  group dining has gone from standardized cheap eats to one with serious, big city cred. Three new Korean ‘cue restaurants have opened recently, and each of them leaves previous Korean ‘cue in their dust. “It’s very much in the LA-style,” one of ELV’s Korean friends remarked. And so they are.

And since Eating Las Vegas considers it its civic duty to test drive these joints for our loyal readers, we thought we’d share some preliminary impressions of the three newest contenders in the Las Vegas samgyeopsal sweepstakes.

Continue reading “Korean ‘Cue is Having a Moment”


[nggallery id=1154]

We at ELV have decided Korean is our favorite Asian food.

Of course, they do kimchi you to death, and everything is either a crudely cut stir-fry or a giant bowl with 94 ingredients in it, but the spices always seem right, the heat is always gently warming, and nothing is ever as salty as the Chinese make it. Best of all, they are inordinately fond of placing huge color pictures of everything everywhere so fat white boys can simply point and eat.

Remarkably, no matter what the restaurant, the food always comes out looking exactly like those pictures. Imagine any American restaurant — from a greasy spoon to the Cheesecake Factory to Spago — trying to do that.

Plus, Koreans are friendly, the women are beautiful, they like to take a drink now and then, and they are seriously in love with meat in all its forms.

Our staff has also fallen in love with Korean food because they discovered a good one — called E-Jo — withing walking distance of our office. It is also located within an old Taco Bell, making us feel morally superior every time we give these owners our hard-earned won instead of fattening the coffers of a large, impersonal, multi-national company.

E-Jo is small, impeccably clean, welcoming, reasonable and easy to navigate. The owners/waitrons may look a little shocked when you (a non-Korean) first walk in, but they are all smiles after that. Everything is cooked to order, and the tasty snaps on the wall are so big even David Paterson could read them. What this means is, you can study them while you wait for your food and plan your next Korean foray even as you’re eating. Just as important, English translations come with every picture, saving you the embarrassment of trying to pronounce such tricky Korean phrases as “bulgogi” and “fried chicken.” How cool is that?

ELV’s lunch for two pictured above came to $31 + $7 tip.


3429 South Jones Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89146