Originally Posted by gladhands
I fully agree with you on the unmarinated meats part. Since my wife (Korean) wife and I moved to Boston, we've stopped doing samgyubsal in restaurants because we can do it just as well, if not better at home, at a fraction of the price.
I agree with that as well, samgyubsal can be done anywhere you can do bacon, basically. Beef, with less fat to render off, I feel deserves charcoal grilling. Also, this is complete sacrilege to my mother race and not related to food in Chicago so much as Korean food in general, but I think Japanese-style yakiniku in more Korean interpretations is better than real Korean food, and obviously better than Korean-American food. If it is available, I seek that style out. You're gonna get better ingredients, particularly the meat, you can get some of the higher grades of wagyu in there. Prices are a bargain in Japan, less good in Korea: This place is a chain in Tokyo, the galbi full-size (about one serving, so 200-250g) is 3500Y, sides are additional (even kimchi) but not too expensive. I've eaten there once and it is really good. Tokyo food will jade you, but for something as commercialized and adapted as this, it's still really good because of the beef. It's a cheap, good steak, really. http://www.ebisu-toraji.com/shop/honten_diner.html
I ate this here in Seoul last week, and one piece is about $70 (you have to order two or more to get them to even bring you the coals without bitching) - lots of free sides that are admittedly very good (even the lettuce has no rusted stems, common with sangchu), but the meat is sparse. It's also a small chain store, and the meat is top-notch for over here, but not as good as Japanese beef. This is definitely not typical Korean BBQ, this is $150-200 K-BBQ, these are either setup for tourists or as side places for the best butchers:
This is a cheap samgyubsal spread, which you can get for about $20 for 2 out the door here in Korea:
Lots of price differential for what looks and tastes the same, basically. =\\ Korean food doesn't have versatility.