LA's HOT "Do it yourself" restaurant

Ready, Set, Go!

What would you think if I told you about a new restaurant, where no complaints about the cooking were allowed? Or… if I said that upon being seated, your server handed you a pair of tongs? Or…you might find celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore, Bridget Fonda, Cyprus Hill, Mike Tyson actually cooking their own meals?  How about if I said that all your food was served raw?

If you say that it sounds like I'm talking about Gyu-Kaku, then you would be absolutely correct. In a fusion of Korean charcoal barbeque and Japanese-style meat grilling, Gyu-Kaku (meaning "horn of the bull" in Japanese) has taken Los Angeles by the horns. This is no typical restaurant where a server and chef work together to create a dining experience; instead, each group of restaurant patrons are given tongs upon their arrival and viola! The group around the table cooks the morsels over a charcoal brazier to their liking.

Rare, Medium, Well? Its up to you!

From steak and chicken to seafood, to a wide array of vegetables and even desert there is something to tempt the taste buds of everyone. A variety of sauces are available for marinades and bastes for the meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables over the state-of-the-art charcoal roaster systems. No complaints about the cooking are accepted at Gyu-Kaku - because each customer is his or her own chef!

I had the pleasure of dining at the flagship location on La Cienega in Beverly Hills next to the Le Meridian Hotel. A true culinary adventure awaited my date and I as we entered the warm, young hip setting. The most remarkable feature of this restaurant is that the centers of all the tables have a sunken barbeque for customers to grill their own food.    


Kobe Beef

We were seated at a cozy table and the waiter handed us tongs, explained the drill and offered menu suggestions. The couple seated at a table next to us gushed about how wonderful their meal was and enthusiastically offered their menu picks to us.

The portions are only around 4 ounces which allowed us to sample a variety of different taste sensations. We ordered Harami Miso - skirt steak (my dates favorite), garlic shrimp, basil chicken, sweet potatoes, shitake mushrooms, Kalbi - short ribs, Bibima - rice in a sizzling stone pot and Kobe beef. I've always wanted to try Kobe beef and the menu had it for only $15,  for me, it was not as amazing as I had hoped it would be. I actually preferred the Kalbi - short ribs which I thought were amazingly flavorful, they really know how to season their beef. As good as the shrimp and the chicken were I would suggest sticking with the beef.

Noodles before

A few pointers for first timers we'd like to suggest are: Let your date do the cooking, that way you can eat more while they are busy turning over the food. Don't worry about trying to clean off the stuck on pieces of food off the grill they come along and change the grill top often. Careful the soup is hot no use burning your taste buds off before you get to the barbeque. Remember camping and roasting marshmallows and making S'mores? well you can re-live it here. Along with your check they give you an unusually flavored stick of gum.

Mmmm S'mores!

You gotta try this place. Great place for a first date you'll have lots of fun cooking for each other as you gaze into each others eyes and hope you don't burn your meal.

The restaurant was unique the food was terrific and the service was excellent they will definitely be seeing me again.

With over 800 locations in Japan, Gyu-Kaku has several Los Angeles area locations including Beverly Hills, West L.A. and Torrance.

Beverly Hills
163 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Tel: 310.659.5760

West Los Angeles
10925 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: 310.234.8641

24631 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Tel. 310.325.1437

Beautifully decorated

For more information go to their website at

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