356 Korean BBQ & Bar (Update)

Since attending 356 Korean BBQ & Bar‘s soft opening, I’ve been back four more times, but still had complaints. My friend, Tennessee, suggested I do an updated post. Ready?

The single, most significant change since last August is the addition of AYCE KBBQ that began in January 2017 with three options: 355, 356, and 357 costing $25.99, 29.99, and 36.99, respectively, with a $21.99 weekday lunch special.

There was a random beef tongue shortage (read: price hike) that caused a shift in some KBBQ menus, placing it in the more premium options. Manna BBQ had the worst response, in my opinion: they stopped serving it without changing their menus, but later re-introduced it with a limit of two orders per sitting.

I got my monthly fix this past Monday with JP, his co-worker, Tenk, and my friends Maple, Vegas, Boi, and Beyunce. We opt for the mid-range option (yes, it has beef tongue) because seafood at KBBQ isn’t a priority for us.

Now, the ultimate pro for coming here: the quality of meat is one of the best for AYCE options. Order thier galbi, one of our favorites, and don’t order the green tea pork belly.

Oddly enough, I didn’t take any pictures during any of the visits, so the one below is courtesy of TripAdvisor, my favorite travel resource.

green-tea-pork-belly

The single, most significant stagnation since the beginning is the pace of their service. For some reason, they’re just slow and inconsistent. In the beginning, it was permissible as new restaurants are still working out kinks, but nearly a year later, and they’re still sluggish.

On the one hand, their business has increased, so maybe they’re faster, but cannot keep up with increased patronage. On the other, they’re not providing quality service to make up for it. Orders are missed, menus aren’t given upon seating, water glasses stay empty, the list goes on.

The neutral observations:

  1. Their order limit per round increased from three to four.
  2. The banchan is no longer given out automatically; they must be ordered individually. The only items you start with are kim chi and green salad.
  3. They do their last call at the 100-minute mark.

Next, the complaints (from just this visit):

  1. We were standing by the front door, and they didn’t come outside to call our name before crossing us off the list.
  2. We were sat without menus or service for several minutes.
  3. They said they’d give us a five-order limit as we were a large group, but it quickly became irrelevant when, each time, our orders came out incomplete.
  4. Not only did we not get our last call announcement, our last order was forgotten completely. The server did us a “favor” and put in an order for us.

Overall, I think it’s disappointing their service does not match the quality of their product. For now, the taste is good enough to suffer the imperfect service, but if they don’t improve within the next six months, there are slightly cheaper options that offer great quality meat with consistently better service, like Kogi BBQ.

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