QUARTERS KOREAN BBQ
ADDRESS: 3465 W 6th Street #C-130, Los Angeles, CA 90020
When my friend Nate and I first arrived to Quarters Korean BBQ, we were told that it’d be a 75-minute wait before we’d be able to get seated. Mind you, this was also at 8PM on a Thursday night, so the fact that it was still that long of a wait probably meant that it’d be worth it, if it was that popular. The restaurant itself was located in Chapman Plaza in Koreatown, which also housed several other restaurants and drink shops as well. Nate and I decided to go check out KazuNori while we waited, which was only a short walk away. But once we got the text that our table was ready, we headed on back.
For the Korean BBQ restaurants that I’ve been to before, I was accustomed to them being AYCE (all you can eat). Quarters, however, operates differently, where you can pick individual types of meats and seafood, ordering them by either 1/4 lb. or 1/2 lb. increments. It took us a little bit of time looking over the menu to figure out what we wanted, especially since there were quite a few options that sounded really good.
The beef options dominated the menu, with 14 different types to choose from. Pork options came next, with 4 different types, and then seafood and chicken, with 2 different types a piece. The menu also spotlighted the fact that the restaurant was now offering wagyu options as well. (I’m pretty sure that it was American wagyu, as if it was from Japan, I’d expect to see the A5 indicator in front of the name.) There were a number of different pre-set combinations available, but none of them jumped out at us, so we decided to build our own experience instead. We decided to go for the 1/2 lb. of grilled beef bulgogi, 1/4 lb. of pork belly, and 1/2 lb. of wagyu brisket.
The dining area itself is pretty spacious, which is really brightly lit and had an industrial décor feel to it with the brick walls and exposed HVAC systems. The tables were also sized to accommodate typically groups of four to eight; the particular table that we sat at was one long table with two grills on it, so another group occupied the one next to us. But it was nice that the table was long enough that it didn’t feel like our two parties were overlapping with each other.
Nate and I had considered whether we also wanted to order some additional appetizer dishes to supplement the meats, but after the Japanese handrolls we ate previously as well as all the banchan (such as kimchi, salad, tofu block, mashed potatoes, and broccoli, to name a few), we decided to play it safe with just the meats. Our waiter brought out the three plates of the meats to the table before starting us off by putting the American wagyu brisket slices onto our grill.
This also marked the first time I had been to a Korean BBQ restaurant where the waitstaff helped to cook the food for you. I’d heard of that before, but hadn’t yet experienced it. We found out that our waiter was managing four tables of food cooking at once, and I thought that he did a pretty good job overall. I never felt like our food was getting overcooked and the pacing of each meat dish was spaced out pretty evenly. Once one meat was done cooking, our waiter would put the next one on to keep the process going.
The wagyu brisket lived up to the anticipation, as each piece of meat was pretty tender and not chewy at all. There was a trio of dipping condiments that were available as well to complement the meats: an herb & chili oil mixture, a peppery sauce blend, and a sesame oil & Himalayan sea salt mixture. I thought the wagyu paired best with either the sesame oil mixture or the peppery sauce to help give each bite an additional depth of flavor.
The pork belly was up next, each strip cut into one inch pieces. The waiter was also able to get some nice char on both sides of the pieces as well. The pork belly had a pretty robust umami flavor, and I thought paired the best with the herb & chili oil mixture. I liked the aromatic notes as well as the bit of heat with the red pepper flakes. Last up was the marinated beef bulgogi, which actually saw the grill plate changed out for a wire metal grate instead to cook. This helped allow for more direct heat spread out across all of the meat instead of the heat locally applied to what was touching the cooking surface. The sweet flavor of the marinade helped the bulgogi stand out on its own, no dipping sauce required.
For all the food that we ended up eating that night (including the Japanese handrolls prior to the KBBQ), I was actually pretty surprised that I wasn’t rolling back to my car. All of the banchan, the three plates of meat, and then some additional side dishes of kimchi soup, steamed egg, and rice on top of that as well. The damage: $51 per person, which seemed very reasonable and something I’d gladly pay again. For being KBBQ in Koreatown along with the quality and quantity of food provided, it was definitely well worth the 75-minute wait for sure.
Let’s now take a look at the Quarters Korean BBQ Restaurant Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Wagyu Brisket **
Thinly sliced American wagyu beef brisket (1/2 lb. pictured).
** Pork Belly **
Sliced strips of pork belly, cut into one inch pieces (1/4 lb. pictured).
** Grilled Bulgogi **
Marinated beef bulgogi (1/2 lb. pictured).
And finally, here are my rankings for Quarters Korean BBQ:
Food: 4.75 / 5
22 different total options that are available on the menu, from a meat or seafood standpoint. That’s not counting the other appetizer dishes or side dishes that you can also order as well. From a meat quality standpoint, everything tasted pretty top-notch, and surprisingly didn’t give me the meat sweats (which I typically get at other KBBQ places).
Atmosphere: 4.5 / 5
I was definitely a fan of the industrial décor theme that the dining room had, coupled with the bright lighting. The tables were also nicely spread out so that each group had a good amount of space to enjoy their meal.
Service: 4.5 / 5
Given that the waitstaff help to cook your food on the grill, they definitely have a more active role during the entire meal. Our waiter did a nice job to stop by at regular intervals to help cook all of the meat dishes that we ordered, with none of them feeling like they were overcooked at all.
Price: 4.75 / 5
For all of the food that we got, $51 per person seemed like a really good deal. I compared that with going to a steakhouse and dropping that same amount for just one plate of food. Here, it was definitely spread out across multiple different types of dishes, not to mention it also included getting American wagyu.
18.5 / 20
Categories: California, Restaurants
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