Mapo Korean BBQ Review

Mapo Korean BBQ Review

Posted 08-17-2012 in Reviews by Findmegoodfood Staff

Every week our staff of writers visit a local restaurant in the San Diego area and review them, trying to find you good food. Our restaurant of choice this week was the table top grilling Korean Barbecue restaurant Mapo Koreean BBQ. 

Neil -  Take a walk down Convoy in Kearny Mesa, and you're likely to find some form of Asian cuisine about every five feet: sushi, yakitori, chinese, korean bbq. If you are in the mood for the latter, Mapo Korean BBQ won't disappoint. Presentation, taste, and service are all top-notch. The meal starts out with traditional Korean side dishes, including kimchee, seasoned seaweed, broccoli, and my favorite, Korean style potatoes. Every item we sampled at Mapo Korean BBQ was rich in flavor. The bulgogi selection is a must, namely the spicy pork bulgogi that sits on a bed of jalapenos for a spicy kick. The beef and egg stone bowl was a delicious blend of rice, vegetables, and meat topped off with a fried egg. All of it sits in a hot stone bowl that adds a little crunchiness to the rice and gives the dish a unique smokey flavor. With a grill at the center of each table, you also have the option to order marinated meat raw and cook it just the way you want it. This place does offer beer and shoji, which opens the opportunity for you to have a jolly good time grilling and toasting to good times. When venturing out to Convoy for tasty Asian cuisine, you can put Mapo Korean BBQ at the top of the list.

Dan - Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa is flooded with tons of great restaurants; every shopping center is a traffic jam because so many of the restaurants share the same parking lots. In the very back of one of the aforementioned shopping centers sits Mapo Korean Barbecue. Mapo's atomsphere is very modern: two 46 inch flat screens are the prevelent on the back wall, dark modern designed wall decor, and high quality tables with the Korean Barbecue grills. The customer service was quick and polite and was a great start to our delicious experience. The menu at Mapo has more than jsut "cook it yourself" Korean Barbecue entrees, but include a great selection of tofu dishes, noodle bowls, chef made barbecue, stone bowl egg and meat combinations, and many other dishes. I chose to select from the bulgogi chef barbecue section and decided on the spicy prok bulgogi. Our boiled pot stickers appetizer came out relatively quickly with all the side dishes ranging from kimchee to seaweed to season brocoli and cucumbers. The flavors in all the side dishes matched the pot stickers well and was a great opening to the main course. Sizzling, the spicy pork bulgogi is placed in fron of me and the smells are intoxicating. The first bite did not disappoint: full of the standard Korean sweetness and perfect grill mixed with the spice of grilled jalapeno was astounding. The pork was moist and full of flavor; adding some of the sides and rice with the pork was a delightful experience. The flavors at Mapo are matched by the quality and resulted in a great lunch. With all the choices in the neighborhood and all of the competition, Mapo Korean BBQ sets itself apart as a gem and a must go.

Angela -  Tucked into the corner of one of the innumerable small and busy plazas located on Convoy, a street with an Asian eatery packed into every available inch, Mapo Korean BBQ is not a restaurant that stands out. Inside, the décor is simple, with plain rectangular tables and wooden chairs. The menu offers Korean barbecue, bulgogi (marinated meat), different varieties of bibimbap (a special mixed-rice dish served in a hot stone bowl), tofu stews, and my personal favorite, many different noodles. Although Korean cuisine is famous more for the meat and barbecue than for its noodles, I have always liked Korean noodles, and this time opted for a spicy cold noodle with arrowroot. The spicy cold noodles are not very spicy, but they do have more flavor to them than ordinary noodles do. Although I tried the noodles with arrowroot noodles, the restaurant also offers buckwheat noodles, which may have tasted better—I found the arrowroot noodles to be a bit too thin for my taste. Other than that, however, the spicy cold noodles were perfect for such a hot day, refreshing and very satisfying. I was also impressed with the side dishes. The Korean side dishes here are varied, delicious, and plentiful, with potatoes, kimchi, seaweed, cucumbers and small dishes of cold noodles. Traditionally in Korean restaurants, the side dishes are unlimited, and customers can ask for more whenever they run out. That didn't happen in this instance, and though normally I have no problem cleaning off several plates of kimchi, the cold noodles I ordered were so filling that I barely touched the kimchi except to taste it. The price was also reasonable, and I received a very large bowl of noodles for under ten dollars. Mapo Korean BBQ remains one of my favorite Korean restaurants to eat at to date, and with its extensive menu and seasonal offerings, will always have something good to try. In the past, I have made this restaurant my go-to Korean restaurant whenever I'm in the mood for noodles or just want somewhere reliably good to eat at, and I see no reason to change my opinion for the future.

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