After reading all the 5 star reviews on Yelp, I was stoked to try Genwa. My friend and I went for a late lunch and got stuffed to the gills with food. Was I satisfied? Well, I was stuffed.. but something seemed amiss.
We ordered the Combo A+ which came with house salad, soon tofu, chap chae (glass nooodles), galbi, and bulgogi for $50.
I was looking forward to the 20+ banchans that people were raving about, but when they arrived, they were TINY. Like, about half the size of regular banchan. Nothing in particular stood out to me. It's definitely more for presentation, rather than taste. The few that I do remember being good were the pancakes, fish cake and some kind of pickled veggie.
close up on banchans
Other than that, banchans were disappointing.
Galbi was good and came with this big bone that had meat and cartilage on it. Our waitress cooked for us most of the time and cut the meat up. I wasn't too keen on the grill since our veggies got scorched and it seemed like the meat was cooking really slow. Kinda weird if you ask me. Yeah, you don't reek of meat afterwards, but it just didn't seem authentic.
Galbi and Banchans
Bulgogi tasted a bit sweeter than galbi, and I liked it the same. By the time we got to the bulgogi, I was so stuffed from the galbi it was pretty hard to force myself to eat the rest of the meat.
We both ordered brown rice which cost $2 each. Personally, I think rice should be included in the meal. I thought everything was pretty damn salty and needed the rice to quell that taste. The brown rice was interesting, not your typical brown rice, more of a mixed wild rice. I'm thinking the white rice would have been a better option.
As far as the soon tofu, it was pretty average. Not spicy at all, and pretty forgettable.
House salad was lettuce and green onions mixed with dressing. It was good with the beef. Glass noodles were okay as well, and I didn't really like that she portioned it out for us. I would have much rather picked at it, but whatevs. I know this place is all about service.
The service was good for the most part. She forgot my friend's water, and took away her soju drink before she was done. Other than that, they refilled our water and banchan when we asked.
Oh, the lychee soju cocktail we got were pretty weak and $5.50 each. It was pretty though and came with an umbrella.
Our bill was $71 before tax and tip. Even though we were stuffed, I still feel Chosun is a better value. Better quality and more authentic.
Oh, just remembered we didn't get any lollipops after our meal. Hmmm, but, I did notice she gave it to other tables. Maybe she forgot. Oh wells.
Last thing, the restaurant is super clean and modern. That's definitely a plus, but I still think Chosun is better overall.
Genwa Korean BBQ
5115 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036