Boo Cho is in a tough location. Only a block off of Convoy in the back of a little strip mall on Engineer. But a block is a block and drive by traffic is not the same.
When I lived in SD, it was a Korean place with a different name. They now have a new owner - the third ownership of Boo Cho.
What has always distinguished the place was its use of real charcoal for the table top grilling. Can't beat that.
But some dishes were strange, service was often indifferent, the quality of the meat had gone down, and the ban chan had always been below SD standard in quantity, quality, and variety (imho).
But on two recent visits, I could notice a real change. Service was attentive and friendly. The first evening, a 3 item meat combo for 2 (49.95) had good quality beef including properly cut kalbi - not cross cut. After our grill became soiled from cooking, a server replaced it with a new one (!). The combo also came with a bottle of soju, a large pot of soup and first-rate, well prepared ban chan including kim chee exactly to my taste.
That meal was so good that I was back by myself Saturday night. After sweltering on the beach all afternoon, I was in the mood for Korean cold noodle soup, The version I was served was perfect for my taste. There were plenty of noodles, sliced Asian pear, and thin slices of radish (?) adding contrastive crunch. Very refreshing.
The ban chan was impressive again: dried radish in dark chili sauce, excellent kim chee, spinach with garlic and fermented soy (tofu?)- very like a cold version of Cantonese foo-yee, a type of fritter, small pieces of thin pancake, some soft dark green cooked leaves and chive, dried tofu, and apple slices with broccoli in mayo. No meaty ban chan, but a great variety. Total cost was $9.95 plus tax and tip. Again the service was first rate.
In my opinion, Buga still serves better quality beef - I believe only Coleman's. But price and service are better at Boo-cho - and the meat at Boo cho was not shabby at all. Also, charcoal adds a nice flavor to the table grilled foods. If you like Korean food, Boo cho is definitely worth a try.
ed (old handle: e.d.)