Foodie Dan Grade: B
Michelin Stars: None
Yelp Stars: 3.5/5 (review)
Foodie Dan Visit: 6/2010
9540 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Gyenari represents the next generation of Korean restaurants in LA. I don’t classify them as fusion because they are Korean and they stay true to their Korean roots. However, they do have a few non-Korean dishes such as Korean nachos, green tea donuts, seared ahi tuna salad, etc. But the bulk of their menu are Korean staples such as galbee, bulgogi, spicy pork, etc. They also offer the standard Korean grill at your table.
However, what makes Gyenari stand apart from other Korean restaurants is that it really is a great place for groups (friends, co-workers, etc.) to get together. You can have dinner here or you can simply come here for drinks and get a little bit of food as side dishes. The decor and ambience really work well for a young and hip crowd.
The walls are decorated with street scene pictures of Korea. It was actually very nostalgic for me to see these pictures of the streets in downtown Seoul, people standing around at food stands (pojang macha), etc.
Gyenari is a type of flower so they also had a lot of pictures of this flower all over the restaurants which also looked good.
In terms of the food, we ordered braised short ribs, Korean dumpling soup, Kimchee fried rice, kid’s bulgogi meal, and the green tea donuts. Braised short ribs is my favorite Korean food. Their short ribs were good but not quite the level of my mom or wife’s cooking. It was decent for restaurant food though. The dumpling soup had very good sized dumplings and had a lot of flavor. The kimchee fried rice was very well made. The really spread out the kimchee throughout the rice and there was a fried egg on top. The kid’s meal was pretty good and there was a good amount of food for a child. My 4 year old did not finish his food. The green tea donuts were very good. They came steaming hot (so you had to be careful not to burn yourself). They also came with a chocolate dipping sauce.
Overall, the food was good. I wouldn’t give them an A because it didn’t completely impress me but I think it’s more me than anything else. I’m a Korean guy who eats Korean food a lot and grew up eating Korean food. This isn’t a down home, feel goodShare