Hey folks, Highwayman’s back with a new find. Yeah, its been a while since I’ve sent anything in, but I’ve been having some writers block, and since I’ve been put on a regular route; new places are getting harder to find (but mostly I’ve been lazy).
But every now and then they screw up and I find places like this. After my usual pick up in Cypress, CA got cancelled, I had to find somewheres to park till they found me another load. Now anyone who lives around LA knows there ain’t many/any places fer trucks to park inside the city. Matter of fact, its about the most truck unfriendly area I’ve been in outside of the north east.
So I wind up having to chance parking behind the Walmart in Chino and hope they don’t mind. Now I usually prefer parking at Walmart’s cause there’s usually a lot of places within walking distance to check out. After all, I discovered the Claim Jumper while I was parked at a Walmart, and this time around I found another gem, the Wang Cho Korean BBQ restaurant in Chino, CA.
Now there’s no shortage of Asian quazeen, cuazine… food in Stillaintgonnatellya, AL. The Chinese takeouts and buffets are a dime a dozen, we even got a couple them Japanese places that don’t cook the food, sushi, I think. Anyway, I was pretty sure I’d never had Korean before, and after seeing it was all you can eat, I figured why not.
Now, like most people, when I saw AYCE, I automatically thought buffet with a bunch of big pans of meats and vegetables marinated and cooked different ways, (insert Kevin Spacey from Superman Returns clip here) WRONG! Apparently you order as much of whatever you want off the menu and cook it yerself on a gas grill in the middle of the table. Now ol’ Highway Man ain’t no stranger to a grill, and I’ve seen these places on the tv box before, but I was still a little nervous.
First of all the grill top looks like a hubcap, solid and humped up in the center to concentrate the heat in the middle and slopes down around the sides to let the juices and fat run down into the vents along the edges as it cooks. Second, as soon as I sit down, there’s already a huge bowl of salad and about 9 little square plates all with a bunch of different side dishes on them. Found out later they’re called banchan, and according to the wiki it basically means side dish (insert nbc the more you know clip here). Huh? clips aren’t as funny on written reviews for some reason.
Anyway, among them was seaweed salad (off to a good start), rice paper, spicy radish noodles (not bad actually), and something called kimchi. I used to think the only way to make vegetables (in this case cabbage) taste better was to batter and deep fry them, but apparently fermenting them and coating them in spicy chilies helps too, cause this stuff is gooooood.
Now let’s get to the menu, actually menus. There are three, each with more selections than the other and each with a different price, lunch/$14.99, regular/$19.99, and premium/$24.99. Yeah, a little pricey considering I’m doing all the cookin’, but then again this is California. You basically pay for the menu you want to order off of and get as much off that menu as you want (I’m really liking this concept). This time around I ordered off the lunch menu cause even off the smallest one there was no shortage of new stuff to try. First round I got the marinated boneless beef and spicy marinated pork belly.
The beef, like most of the meats, was thin sliced so it could cook quickly and evenly. It was good and I liked that I could cook it rare to my liking.
The pork belly was phenomenal, a big pile of pork cut super thin and red with that sweet spicy flavor cooked to lightly charred perfection. Wish I’d ordered more but there was more I wanted to try before I got full.
I decided to go all out and ordered the marinated beef abomasum (a cows forth stomach) and marinated large intestine. I made sure to check the intestine fer corn before I started cooking it (think about it, you’ll get it). After cooking it thoroughly to a light char, I found had kind of a crispy sausage taste and went great with the kimchi. The stomach… sigh… ok, this ain’t the first time I’ve had it.
I’ve tried it boiled Mexican style in menudo. Had it battered, deep fried, and smothered in hot sauce on a sandwich at a bbq joint in Memphis. And now marinated and grilled with some chili sauce and tea salt they had set out on the side. I can now safely say I’m done with stomach because there is NO taste to it, only texture, a tough rubbery texture.
I was glad my waiter suggested I try a small portion first to try it out. Apparently its not a very popular item, even among the Korean crowd and I can see why. Fortunately I had some of that pork belly left and got to finish off on a good note.
Back to the waiters, they were very helpful in informing me about the menu and how everything was done. There’s a call button on the ends of each table to let them know you want something but it hardly seems necessary cause they keep checking on you making sure everything’s good, if you want to order something else, or even if you want the grill changed out. Then again, when I went it was a Monday afternoon so not a big crowd. Still, I can’t wait to get a chance to go back and try the premium menu. You can check the menu out yerself at wangchobbq.com.
I highly recommend this place and any place like it if y’all are ever in that area and want to really try something new, but not something cheap.
Well folks, its about time fer me to turn off the lights, put up my “no lot lizards” sign and turn in.
This is the Highwayman signin off, yall be safe out there.
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