taegukgi korean bbq / kearny mesa – san diego, ca
Let me admit right away that I don’t know a lot about Korean food. But that doesn’t deter me from trying new things. I picked Taegukgi Korean BBQ House as a lunch outing for my co-workers and I. Funny thing though, we didn’t get the all you can eat bbq! We just ordered off the lunch menu.
I saw this place next to the new Zion market on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. This used to be the Sears Auto Center and I could totally see the garage in this large, open space since I had my old car serviced here before.
When you walk up, there’s a big open space and then there’s a little seating area away from the entrance and they play loud club music. When you get inside, it’s a wide open space with lights and lasers pointed at the ceiling.
I think maybe this place really wanted to be a nightclub and instead decided to do half nightclub/half Korean food. I think it was kind of having an identity crisis.
A few things aren’t available yet – but that was fine as we were mostly interested in the BBQ’d items.
This is the salad that was included with our meal. Simply dressed lettuce with a light dressing.
Banchan. I don’t know what all of this stuff was, but I tried all of it.
This was one of my favorites. It was cold zucchini and it had a sweet kind of marinade/sauce lingering over it with sesame seeds. David teased me saying this was sort of like eating pickles, but I relented saying they weren’t sour – which is the thing I don’t like about pickles! These were very non-pickly and were zucchini anyway. So my non-pickle love still stands quite strong.
I thought this was potato salad – and there are potatoes in it and it has a creamy like texture like potatoes – but it also has apples and other veggies in it. I was surprised to eat something sweet (apple) on my first try. It kind of weirded me out but then I got over it. It was pretty tasty!
This is the steamed egg. One per table folks.
It arrived steaming and almost bubbling hot. It reminded me of a witch’s cauldron, but instead it had hot steamy egg instead of hot steamy potions.
The egg was very soft but it didn’t really have a lot of flavor to me. Just tasted like hot, soft, unseasoned egg.
Lauren ordered the Beef Ribs Soup ($8.99). This totally reminds me of a dish that my mom makes and looks almost exactly like it… except, well, less green onion stalks and more veggies.
David and Matt both ordered the Beef Bulgogi ($10.99). This dish I have had before! It was a sweet and pretty tasty dish from the little bit that I tried, though David and Matt both lamented that it was a bit of a small serving for the price.
As for me, I ordered the Beef Short Ribs ($13.99). They had a really excellent marinade and seasoning on them and were grilled just right. They were a little hard to pull off the bone, but very flavorful. There was a mess of onions at the bottom of my dish and I liked to eat the beef, onions and rice all together for a nice bite of food. I would agree this is kind of on the smaller side portion wise when you consider the price. It seemed a little expensive, but I still really liked it.
Overall I thought it was just okay. It’s probably more worth it to come and actually have the all you can eat bbq since it’s just a few dollars more than the dish that I had for lunch. We just weren’t sure if we’d be able to swing this on our lunch hour and may revisit for dinner sometime.
Got any Korean BBQ tips for me? Places to try? I’m totally a novice with Korean food but I would really like to try the DIY bbq one of these days!
Taegukgi Korean BBQ House
7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111