roadem bbq / kearny mesa

Jake is actually the one who discovered this place and tried it before me – an all you can eat Korean BBQ spot over off Convoy called Roadem BBQ. He’s visited a few times and I suggested we go one recent Saturday for lunch. Korean BBQ sounded like a mighty fine idea to me.

For lunch they have three different priced menus.


Menu A is only $11.99 (click to enlarge).


Menu B is $15.99. You get two extra beefy items with this one (the baby back ribs and marinated beef).


Menu C is the high rollers menu at $19.99 with even more beefy items plus shrimp and octopus.

We were low rollin’ it that day with Jake, S and myself in tow for lunch. Before we came over here, I asked S, “Do you like meat?” thinking this was a pretty simple question. He said, “I don’t know!” which baffled me. I asked him if he had suddenly become a vegetarian and he said that “sometimes he likes meat and sometimes he doesn’t”. Obviously this poor child was overthinking it and considering if perhaps we were trying to trick him into eating liver and beef tongue or something.


We started out with some of the thinly sliced brisket which our waitress dumped onto the grill for us.


Here’s our whole little setup. We started out with the thin beef, plus pork belly, and chicken.


Pork bellllllllly! Doesn’t it look A LOT like bacon here? Bacon is basically made from pork belly so that’s quite understandable. These pork belly slices are maybe a bit on the thin side, if you press me for more information. They could use a bit of seasoning as well.


The marinated chicken was quite tasty and was our other “starter” meat.

You also get a bunch of little dishes of banchan.


Daikon, which I didn’t try because I don’t really care for daikon.


Bean sprouts.


Something that looked like kimchee, but wasn’t quite kimchee.


And then actual kimchee (sorry, I don’t like this either. I can barely stand cabbage as it is).


Some Korean pancakes which were cold but had lots of nice veggies in it and a nice outer grill (yummies).


Potato salad! It was quite creamy and a little bit sweet.


Seaweed salad that I kept thinking was green bean salad for some reason.


Sliced cold potato, which incidentally I also liked (though I liked the potato salad more).


Plus a hot and steamy egg that kind of looks like an egg jacuzzi to me right now.


I love the bowls they have for the rice and egg jacuzzi, er, steamed egg. The steamed egg was a little bit runny for my liking and didn’t taste like a whole lot to me.


I know, plates of raw meat and seafood seem kind gross… but oh well. This time I believe there is the sweet marinated pork and the spicy marinated pork. And squid!


I’m 100% certain we overcooked the squid because it tasted super rubbery and kind of fishy to me. I could barely chew it. I’ve never cooked squid on my own so too bad there wasn’t a recommendation on how long to cook it.


We got our grill nice and dirty with all of the meats we cooked. I believe on the bottom is the spicy pork (which was like, way too spicy for my poor little tastebuds).

We had one more plate (a small plate) after this – another round of brisket and more of the marinated sweet pork. We made sure to not overdo since if you don’t eat all that you order, you can get charged another $11 per person – yikes! I was a little worried about it since I didn’t really eat the squid, but they didn’t ding us for that (phew).

My favorite of the meats were the thin sliced brisket and probably the chicken. The pork belly isn’t seasoned or marinated so it’s kind of bland and the chili pork/chicken was a bit too much for me. I’d come back and just fill up on brisket though, haha. I wish they also had veggies for you to grill since I missed that a little bit, but I can’t complain too much since the price was pretty on point. Next time we come back here I’d like to bump up to Menu B and try some of those other beef dishes and the other marinated pork!

There’s a Manna BBQ set to open in Mira Mesa someday (there’s no coming soon sign but their Facebook page says sometime in September) so I’ll get to try that soon to compare to this one! S had a ton of fun grilling his own meat and being in charge of the tongs. I liked the reasonable price for all you can eat – this about the only kind of “all you can eat” joint I’d want to go to these days since I abhor buffets. Are there any other decent AYCE places I should check out? Let me know!

Roadem BBQ
4344 Convoy St.
San Diego, CA 92111

Roadem BBQ on Urbanspoon

16 thoughts on “roadem bbq / kearny mesa

  1. Whoa – that is the cheapest I’ve ever seen for AYCE korean bbq lunch!

    Did they give you any dipping sauces for your meats? Usually you get something like a sweet soy sauce and salt+sesame oil for dipping. The pork belly is usually not marinated, which is why dipping sauces help. Or you could wrap it around some kimchi (unless you don’t like cabbage and stuff).

    Have you been to Jeong Won? It’s in the same shopping center as China Max and Infinitea. I like them because you go up to get your own meats, which means you can get ONE piece of squid or beef tongue or whatever weird thing you think you might want to try without getting stuck with a whole plate of it. And you pick out your own banchan and pickles. Plus, they have, like, 12 different sauces you can try. But I think it’s somewhere around $25 and I’m not sure they have a cheaper lunch price.

    1. Hi Leanne – They gave us one sauce – I believe it was a sweet soy sauce – but that was it. I have been to Jeong Won – that was my very first AYCE Korean BBQ! I liked that place because of the multitude of sauces and that you can pick what you want. This was my first time where we had a server bring us the meats (I’m guessing that’s the norm, haha). I know it cost more than Roadem, but man, for $11.99 it’s cheap and pretty good. Maybe not the greatest, but the price point is quite nice.

  2. I hate when they do the AYCE but then charge for what you don’t eat even though I completely am for it in terms of food waste and all that. Once at a Japanese AYCE place we went to me and my sisters completely over ordered so we just hid the extra food underneath all the edamame shells O_O

    I still need to try Manna as well. Everyone raves about it but I feel like I have to be starving to go and get my moneys worth!

    P.S. ‘Egg jaccuzzi’ is the best.

    1. Hi J.S. – Hahah, I’m imagining you guys hiding the food and it makes me giggle. I have Jake with me to “bat clean up” and he’ll totally eat whatever leftovers we have to make sure we don’t get charged. I don’t know how much Manna costs but I’m quite curious to try it out. Egg Jacuzzis for the win! 🙂

  3. I was eyeing this place when I stopped by It’s Boba Time… the prices are quite cheap even for dinner but I wonder if you’ll get charged for not eating stuff that tasted bad.. i don’t like wasting food but if it tastes awful, then what do you do?

    1. Hi Lynn – The squid was pretty bad… I ended up not eating it and they didn’t charge us. Maybe just ask for a little bit of everything to try it out first! I almost went to It’s Boba Time but I was too full! I couldn’t fit anything else into my stomach.

  4. Ooh S and I have been wanting to try this for a long time! We are now obsessed with KBBQ haha. The price point of Roadem is the most attractive part for me right now – both lunch and dinner are way cheaper than the other competitors!

    1. Hi Jinxi – I have only been to one other KBBQ place so I don’t know how it stacks up to the pricier places yet (hoping to visit another one sometime) but I thought it was pretty good! And heck, the price is really good so I didn’t feel I could complain too much about anything (except for the squid, haha).

  5. I used to come here when it was called like Seoul BBQ or something? I also heart AYCE but I heard the cheapest option here wasn’t all that great. But your posts seems positive (well, at least I feel I can get my $11.99 worth right) so I’ll try to visit this place soon. I still think Jeong is the best even though it’s pricey. But the sauces – can’t eat that pork belly without some sort of sauce IMO. I like how they give you the egg jacuzzi ! Jeong doesn’t do that so this place has that over JW. How was the service on your visit?

    1. I wish they had more sauces here – I didn’t like the one sauce they had for the pork belly, but it tasted fine with the other meats. Can’t a girl get a least two sauces? I guess not. But for $11.99… I mean…. that’s a hella good price. Maybe I’m not picky enough yet about KBBQ! But I did like the sauce options better at Jeong.

      The service was okay. Had to flag the waitress down a couple of times since she didn’t want to always come to our table. But we had S with us so we’d just send him off to go get her. OH I forgot to mention this in my post… but when I got my change, they jipped me $4 bucks. I was irritated by that and so I didn’t leave a tip because I figured they took out their own tip. Jake asked if he should say something but I didn’t want to deal with it. So… on that note…. that part sucked, too. Make sure to count your change when you get it back!

  6. I really like the salt/sesame oil dipping sauce. they have it at Buga and also Jeong Won. We havne’t had AYCE KBBQ since last year for Bert’s bday. He’s trying to lay off on red meat though. Good price point, but i don’t like having to be vigilant about my leftovers. gosh, that makes me sound bad, haha.

    1. I don’t remember which sauce I loved at Jeong Won, it might have been that one! AYCE KBBQ is kind of a treat, I wouldn’t want to go to all of the time since I get so stuffed after going! You feel like you have to “get your money’s worth”. I know they just have that leftover sign so you don’t go all super crazy and don’t eat all of your food! But it did make me a tiny bit frantic and worried, haha.

  7. Taegukgi next to Zion is not bad. I’ve been there a few times and for their Tuesday special $13 AYCE, you can’t complain too much. But $11.99! Next time the craving comes on strong we’re there. Just read Taegukgi is raising their price to $14.99 on Tuesdays (normally $18.99 for lunch). I like Manna too but the wait sucks.

    1. Hi Darren – Ohh… $13 special is pretty good, too! I have been there but didn’t get KBBQ, I just ordered something prepared. I still want to try Manna since I never have, but I’ll wait for it to open in Mira Mesa since that’s closer (and the parking will be easier, haha).

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