Cooking Up the Best KBBQ in Irvine


Farhad Taraporevala

In addition to a beef brisket, we ordered this wonderful beef belly at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong.

Annie Qiao and Farhad Taraporevala

Boasting multiple restaurants across the city, it is clear that Korean barbeque is one of Irvine’s most beloved cuisines. We took on the challenge to find some of the best KBBQ in Irvine, focusing on cost, service and quality of the food. We visited three locations nearby, ordering brisket, which is cut from the chest of beef.


First Stop: Kang Ho-dong Baekjeong: 14160 Culver Dr.

Cost: One serving of brisket: $24.99, a little expensive considering it was not an all-you-can-eat restaurant.

Service: Although Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong is quickly becoming renowned for its long lines, we managed to escape the line by arriving early at 11:30 a.m. One aspect of this restaurant is that the servers will cook the meat for you. Although great for inexperienced cooks, the meat will not always be cooked to your exact preference.

Quality: True to its reviews, the meat at Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong was high quality, with the meat cut thick and not too fatty. The appetizing sizzle of the cooking meat had us eagerly anticipating our meal, and the meat was flavorful and paired well with the side dishes provided.


Second Stop: Shik Do Rak: 14805 Jeffrey Rd

Cost: The 15-meat all-you-can-eat meal: $17.99, a fair price for the number of meats available.

Service: For lunch, there was little-to-no wait, and the servers were friendly. However, drawing from past experience, Shik Do Rak is infamous for its long wait and poor service for dinner, which can be bothersome and is the restaurant’s main drawback.

Quality: The brisket was well-marbled and delicious, but thinly sliced. Overall, the meat at Shik Do Rak was slightly dry, but thankfully was enhanced by the delicious sauces and sides, and we left the restaurant full and satisfied.


Third Stop: I Can Barbecue: 5781 Alton Pkwy

Cost: The dinner menu for 26 meats: $24.99, which is around the average price for a dinner.

Service: You can reserve a table here, so we were served in a timely fashion, and the servers frequently stopped by our table. There was no line throughout the lunch hours, which is a great benefit.

Quality: The meat tasted flavorful and was well portioned. Though a bit fatty, the meat was fine once cooked, giving a burst of flavor with each bite. Additionally, the wide selection of meats available gave us more freedom for our meal.


All three restaurants were excellent, and it is hard to choose a winner. Ultimately, while we found that the juicy, seasoned and savory meat at Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong stood out the most, we felt the winner was I Can Barbeque because of its all-around superior service and reasonable price.