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Buga Korean BBQ resturant in San Diego: overpriced

CK | Aug 22, 200403:34 AM

A group of us ate at Buga in Claremont Mesa Blvd, San Diego a week ago. Here are our feedbacks:

1.Newly renovated interior.
2.Despite its location off of a busy street, attempts at masking the street traffic scene was evident. Plant shrubs and rocks adorned the restaurant exterior.

1. This restaurant serves the SMALLEST portions of all Korean restaurants we've been to, including ones in DC, San Francisco, Boston, NYC and Korea. Buga serves half the usual portion we are used to seeing.

We ordered a Sang Galbi(steak like rib meat on bone ~$22), Galbi(marinated rib meat on bone ~$21), and Hwae Nang Myun(sashimi buckwheat noodle~$13). They were thin, and short.

In retrospect, I wish we had recovered from our initial disbelief to send back the dish. Amist the confusion, we rationalized that we were being served one of the two BBQ orders first, when in fact what seemed like one serving portion was actually 2 servings.

2. Everything tasted sweet! Marinated Galbi was too sweet. I often notice this at other lesser quality Korean restaurants too. What made it worse at Buga was that the usual side dishes accompanying the Galbi(usually raw lettuce leaves, julliened raw scallion salad, garlic) were missing, and were replaced by round radish slices seasoned in sugary liquid, and sweet rice wrap slices instead.

3. Extra charges. Long after our meat had grilled at the table, we had to ask for rice(we are used to rice accompanying all approporiate meals at the same time as the main dish). When our final bill arrived, we inquired about an extra $2 charge, and were told that we had asked for rice, and therefore they served each of us a bowl of rice, but that the hwae Nang Myun does not come with rice.

While it is true that rice does not accompany most noodle dishes in Korean restaurants, we felt that the waitress should have confirmed with us wether or not the person who had ordered the noodle also wanted rice as an extra, instead of assuming so when we requested 'rice' for the Galbi.

All in all, our total damage, excluding drinks and tips, was about $59 with tax. But we were all hungry still!

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