I went to Gochi in Encino with my family for the first time last night. I'm not that big a fan of yakiniku or Korean barbecue, but I was extremely surprised and pleased by the food. Compared to Gyu Kaku, which I find ridiculously overpriced, Gochi was a good deal.
There were four of us and, my one regret, is that my family did not really get into the communal dining idea and vary the dishes that much. My brother and stepfather each had the short rib/skirt steak dinner only. My mother and I shared the same dinner and also had an order of asparagus and duck breast.
The dinners were a great deal. For $16.50, they came with about 8 slices of kalbi (short rib), an equal number of slices of skirt steak (harami), and a few slices of vegetables (carrot, green pepper, and squash). That was a lot of beef. Dinners also came with miso soup (a pretty basic version), salad, a large bowl of steamed rice, and either a california roll or spicy tuna roll. We also received two bowls of cucumber sunomono to share between the four of us, which I think was separate from the dinner combination.
As for the food, the beef was wonderfully marbled and flavorful. The menu has a bunch of kobe-style beef options and even a "premium" version of the same short rib/skirt steak combination, but this was excellent meat for grilling.
Even though the combination probably was enough to have shared, I really was glad to get the duck and asparagus. They came in smaller portions that what we got with the beef. I think there were six slices of duck for $9.50 and four pieces of asparagus for $3-5 (I forget the exact price). The duck was a bit fatty, but the flavor was excellent after grilling. The asparagus came in foil with some butter and a hint of garlic. It was very tasty, and I would have liked to order more. And compared to the portions and prices at Gyu Kaku, this was a real bargain. Dinner for 4 (no alcohol, but two hot teas and two iced green teas) was just a little over $70 before tax and tip.
I look forward to going back. They had a number of soups and noodles that we did not try. The people at the table next to us either had soba that looked excellent, but we were not eating noodles because of Passover. I also would like to try some of the other dishes, including some of the Korabatu pork items, and maybe try the shabu shabu bar.
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