Good Eats / Korean / Orange County

This Ain’t Your Tiger Mom’s BBQ Joint

When you casually stroll by, the windows provide a glimpse of what appears to be a nightclub. But wait, there’s a grill, some bottled soju, and plates of meat. Now we’re talking. Housing florescent lights and booth style seating, Tustin’s Gen is the attractive way to get your meat and Hite beer fix. This ain’t your tiger mom’s average barbeque joint. I’m talking about zealous servers, extremely attentive hostesses, and a high quality of meats and “banchan.” Let’s be realistic here. When you’re enjoying all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, your only thought is “damn I should have worn a bigger size.” Don’t be cautious, all-you-can-eat unleashes the beast in all of us, leaving you to question if you’ll finish that plate of rib eye you courageously ordered. Well-received and highly recommended, Gen keeps the Korean tradition alive with savory side dishes that are constantly refilled. Potato salad, check. Fish cake, check. Kimchi, check. So what makes this hostess bar meets nightclub meets meat house different from the rest. Besides the insanely short skirts that the host seemed to flaunt, the service was superb. Attracting the youth from all neighborhoods of Asia, I mean Southern California, this eatery prides itself in modernity. Granite counters, leather booths, pristine white plates, and stainless steel decor would more likely embellish a pretentious lounge with overpriced cocktails rather than a Korean BBQ restaurant. Eliminating dollar wooden chopsticks and the typical peacock designed plate, Gen has assimilated gracefully. Setting the precedent for others to follow, this Korean BBQ house will no longer ask customers to snap fingers or press the service alarm. The side dishes are filled at every request, grill plate is changed frequently, and glasses never are empty.

So prepare your station as a true professional would (such as myself). You have a full plate of salad with your choice of dippings. Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, be the first to grab that sucker and use some radish paper to wrap them together. I enjoy my meat with a serving of Hite beer and Soju. It is the perfect combination like teal to Tiffany’s, Juicy Couture jumpsuits to sexy soccer moms, and Ray Ban to hipsters. So cheers to great food and even better company.

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