Korean BBQ a local favorite for 20 years

Korean BBQ Restaurant in Kinipopo Plaza is now in its 20th year.

Owners Ms. Hyun Kim and Mr. Chi Lee took over from a relative who ran the family business for a few years, who in turn took over from the original owner of more than 10 years.

“My husband is the cook,” Kim said. “I cook for him.”

As new owners, they added the BBQ Special — sliced kalbi short ribs by themselves or with shrimp tempura, chicken katsu, meat jun, or BBQ chicken. The special is a thinner cut, so the price range is $11.50 to $15.75.

The thick strip kalbi is the main entree of the restaurant and rangers from $16.75 to $24.50 with shrimp tempura.

Kim said their soups are also meals by themselves. The man doo kook is a beef broth with somen noodles and vegetables.

“It is like a saimin but the noodles are softer,” Kim said.

There is also spicy stew kimchi soup, and the chicken or beef tofu soup.

The most popular item is the sliced kalbi short ribs, Kim said. It is a boneless ribeye that is marinated overnight.

The most popular of the stir fry items is the shoyu seasoned fried squid with vegetables, Kim said. They also have a chop chad long rice noodle stir fry.

The kalbi dinner special also includes meat jun, shrimp tempura, fried mandoo, vegetable and rice for $19. It could probably feed two, the portions are so generous.

The menu includes 50 items. Options run from hamburger steak to bi bim bap steamed vegetables and rice; to breaded fish katsu, a seasoned Korean pollock; to fried or steamed madoo Korean-style beef and vegetable dumplings.

The restaurant is popular with the locals, she said. They have plans to expand the menu but business is good and they do all they can to keep up at the moment.

The lunch, dinner and family specials offer good prices, and a lot of the business is takeout, party trays and catering.

It is easy to see why the locals support Korean BBQ so much with such friendly owners, a modest but inviting dining room.

The visitors also chime in on Korean BBQ with posts online praising the food and service at travel websites.

Korean BBQ is at 4-356 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa. It’s open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and closed Tuesdays.

For takeout orders call 823-6744.

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