Jun 28

Star BBQ – Garden Grove

8295 Garden Grove Blvd

Garden Grove, CA 92844

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

My preconceptions of the Anaheim area got me to believe that there were only a couple Korean BBQ restaurants in the vicinity. Surprisingly, I found an entire Korean district in Garden Grove. Finding a Korean BBQ restaurant now became a chore to select from the many popular establishments. Today, we decided on Star BBQ because it did not seem as popular as some other nearby restaurants, but still seemed like a good choice.

Upon arrival on a busy Saturday evening, we found multiple groups of people waiting outside. We were told by staff that there was a 20 minute wait, which made sense, so we decided to stay. After what seemed to be a 30 minute wait and after seeing even more groups arrive for dinner, we were finally called in.

We were guided to a table in the back of the packed restaurant and were greeted to a table full of various side dishes. The variety of side dishes were OK, but the type seemed lower quality. We were able to review the menu, which essentially consists of two different sub-menus: the “A” menu for $20.99 per person and the “B” menu for $16.99 per person. The A menu has a few items that the B menu does not such as beef rib, short rib, and beef tongue. We decided to opt for the B menu since there were already plenty of choices on that menu.

Throughout the session, we ordered the beef brisket, bulgogi, spicy pork belly, steamed egg, fried rice, and chicken teriyaki. The beef brisket was very tender, but was extremely greasy and fatty. The bulgogi was flavorful and was well marinaded, but the meat fell apart really easily on the cook top. The spicy pork belly came with a good amount of heat, but the pieces had a fairly large chunk of fat on each one. The steamed egg was a delightful change from the rest of the meat since it came in its own bowl of fluffy goodness. The fried rice was interesting because our server pretty much took over the grill and cooked a variant of bi bim bap at the table. The server did cook way too much, and it was hard for us to finish. The chicken teriyaki was marinated well, but was pretty basic. Every time we ordered, the server brought a fairly large amount of meat. I would have preferred smaller portions so that we could have tried more varieties, but we got too full too fast.

Overall, the food at Star BBQ tasted of good quality and were marinated OK, but the portion sizes were too big and the side dishes were disappointing. Service was pretty good considering the number of tables each server is serving. Our server actually cleaned our cook top 4 times during the session by spraying water on the metal and then scraping the burnt stuff into a hole on the pan. Star BBQ may have good food, but I wonder if other restaurants can offer speedier service with smaller portions or self-service meat.

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