My relationship with Eight Korean BBQ is so pure. Whenever I’m entertaining friends or trying to impress new business partners, or trying to simply throw down solo on lean and savory meats, Eight is there to make sure all parties leave happy.
I’ve been coming to this place for almost four years – longer than any relationship I’ve had – because their food is delicious, but also because their service is impeccable: timely and friendly, approachable and kind.
As I arrived I was greeted by Daniel, the first server I had four years ago. That was already nostalgic enough, but when we’re all mired in a global pandemic, seeing a friendly face after a long time is extra special. Bing bang bong!
I started with old faithful, aka Combo A, which is 8 flavors of pork belly with kim chi fried rice, kim chi, salad and assorted banchan. Lemme gon head and list the flavors for you: Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, and Red Pepper Paste. Had to list them in camel case, because in my heart they are proper nouns, baby.
As always, my favorite of the evening was herb, a succulent, spicy, peppery, powerful mix of flavors that’s both complicated and very simple. It almost tastes cajun on account of the bold application of complementary herbs and spices. I truly could eat this every day.
My second fave is garlic, another powerful flavor combination that you feel not only on your palate but in your face, generally, an aromatic and fantastic treat for those who like bold choices.
Rounding out the holy trinity of faves is wine, but this was a very tough choice! I would love to write about each flavor, but it adds tension and stakes when I only single out a few, you know? But wine absolutely deserves it.
In contrast to my first two picks, wine is subtle and takes a second to make its presence known; a delayed detonation. But when it hits, you taste the richness, the light acidity, the finish. So divine.
Before moving on to my next meaty, thick and cheeky dish, I had their hearty, seafood stew, which features shrimp, oysters and an absolutely gobsmacking broth. The flavors here are so satisfying, the textures so varied that you can’t help but sort of get lost in the journey. Mercy.
The delicious denouement was US prime beef short rib, an offering as hearty as it sounds. This one is no-frills, just great meat well-seasoned and served in portions that’ll make you go night night with a smile on your face.
Can’t stress enough how happy I am to see this place up and running in tough times. They’re a favorite of so many, and that trust is well-earned. Can’t wait till my next go-round.
I should also note they were fully covid compliant. There were temp checks and we all ate outdoors, fully distanced. All servers wore masks and shields. Even with safety measures in place, the warmth from the staff was palpable. Long live 8KBBQ.