Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Kudos for Kaya Korean BBQ!

It's hard to find some authentic Asian restaurant in Columbus because I was food spoiled when I lived in LA, so to find any good Asian restaurant was a very exciting thing for me. And when I went to Kaya yesterday, it was a pleasant surprise.

The restaurant was clean and very business appropriate, and the waiting staff was friendly and helpful. The restaurant also served sushi, but I've decided to stick with Korean so I can rate just the Korean food part. My boyfriend and I chose the Korean BBQ and I was glad I did because I've been missing Korean BBQ for a while.

In Korean BBQ restaurant, the gas grill was set in the middle of the table and you could grill and serve right there on the spot. And regardless of what you ordered, the restaurant would bring assorted veggies and kimchi as appetizer, so you would be guaranteed a full meal. I liked the assortment of the veggies, however, the kimchi served there was a little blah, as in not a lot of flavor. So that was a little set back for the restaurant because it's freaking Korean food, and what's more Korean food than kimchi?! Anyways, I ordered the bulgogi (marinated beef) and my boyfriend a thinly sliced beef. The bulgogi was marinated in a sweet soy marinade and when it hit the grill, the beef would caramelize very quickly, which I equated the caramelized flavor with BBQ. The thinly sliced beef was without marinade and all the flavor came from the beef itself, so the marbling of the beef was extremely important because the fat was where the hidden flavor was. After grilling, you could wrap it in lettuce along with their soy based dipping sauce, or you could just eat it as is with white rice. Both BBQ were very good. It's just too bad that we only had two people there, or else we could sample more BBQ items. One thing for certain though, when you go to a Korean BBQ place, definitely wear your old and dirty clothe because your clothes and your hair would be very smoky. The side effect might be people smelling you up and down as you were a piece of meat. And actually, you would be smelling like a piece of cooked meat. (Must...resist...licking myself...)

The overall experience was very good, and the food ranked 3.5 out of 5 on my yummy scale. If you haven't tried Korean BBQ yet, definitely make a trip for that because the flavor and the experience is just great. And definitely bring all your friends to come along too so it would be a guaranteed great food adventure and some fun time!

Kaya restaurant is located at 4710 Reed Rd. Columbus, OH 43220-3016.

11 comments:

stimuli said...

They also have some nice private rooms for loud, boisterous group parties as well......

Tim J. said...

Are the rooms private enough to allow you to lick yourself, or do you have to wait until you get home?

stimuli said...

I believe they are private enough, though personal flexibility will determine how much you can lick yourself....?

stimuli said...

BTW, we also tried the grilled calamari appetizer - pretty tough, not much flavor, nor sauce...

Anonymous said...

I like their Kalbi the best... although it does take longer to cook Kalbi
-Amy S.

Tim J. said...

So far, my opinion of Korean calamari in general is pretty low, especially compared to the Turkish Treatment.

I've beeb to Kaya and liked it, but heard that up Reed past Henderson there's a place called Silla that's also quite good. Any thoughts on that one?

Tim J. said...

"Beeb" to Kaya? Been, sorry.

Angry Asian Food Critic said...

Silla will be on my "restaurants to try before I die" list. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between Korean bbq and Mongolian bbq or a Japanese steakhouse? Is it just the type of food, or do they prepare it differently as well?

~Questioning in Quebec

Angry Asian Food Critic said...

The Mongolian BBQ (as in BD's) are technically made up food with Asian influence while still give anti-Asian food people a chance to get what they want. It is really a "stir fry" more than a BBQ. Korean BBQ, however, is coming from their traditional food and are thinly sliced marinaded meat on a open grill, charcoal or gas. So, in term it is more of a true BBQ because it has the grill flavor. But you do have to grill for yourself. Japanese steak house, on the other hand, is also a type of stir fry and nothing is marinaded. So all the seasonings are from how the chef cooked it. The service style in Japanese steak house, as you might know, is prepared by a chef coming to your table, so it is also different from the previous two.

Anonymous said...

So if you're a bad cook, or griller in this case, the Korean bbq is not for you? That stinks.

~Bummed in Boston