I can thank my brother’s half-Korean wife for introducing me to Korean BBQ. For someone who is unfamiliar with this style of dining, the bounty of spicy, pickled side dishes brought to your table within seconds of ordering can confuse anyone into thinking the server brought the food to the wrong table. And the grill placed in the center will inform you there’s food to be cooked, sometimes by you. Since my first Korean BBQ experience, I’ve ventured out and tried several places and without fail, the pace is always steady. Perfect for someone who tends to eat out just when her appetite reaches starving.
Enter Genwa, a Korean BBQ place not in the heart of Koreatown. This place is not to be deducted of authenticity points, and my credibility is not to be discounted. Of all Korean BBQ places The Husband and I have tried, Genwa, located in the Mid-Wilshire area, is the place we most often frequent. The service is exceptional, with servers frequently checking in on your table to refill any side dishes and check on your meat. The pork belly, prime brisket and short ribs are a party in the mouth – all tastebuds invited – when wrapped in rice or radish paper and topped with a few sauces. Side dishes are aplenty. The sesame vinaigrette seasoned salad always makes me ask for seconds. The soup is hearty, soju flows like (rice) wine, bibim-bap is prepared at your table, and this is only ten minutes in.
For someone with design sense, the overall sleek decor isn’t bad on the eyes either. The green moss hanging on the left wall upon entering stimulates some serenity. If you happen to sit on the side where books are present, take notice. The dim lighting is ideal for those searching for a date spot. And if you’re looking to dine with a group, well then this is the right location too.
It took me about four Korean BBQ experiences to really get me hooked. And after Genwa, I’m like an addict needing her fix.