Bud Namu’s menu highlight is the $17 AYCE with a huge caveat. 2 people get 1 slab of sirloin and 1 serving of premium prime LA kalbi. This locatin used to house Ham Hung, but they’ve since moved, and 809 S. Ardmore Ave’s focus is once again on grilled meat, not cold naeng myun.
The panchan here is much ado about nothing. Total absolute filler. At $17 for all you can eat, I never considered it fair to judge the panchan. For those who absolutely demand side dishes, stick to Byeol Dae Po. Bud Namu is so stingy with the sides they don’t carry dduk (rice) wraps nor mu ssam (sliced radish wrap).
Just like all the latest and greatest (and that other fancy KBBQ AYCE across the street, OO-Kook), the hook at Bud Namu is the prime cuts of meat. Also just like the other shops, there are limits. 2 people get an 8 oz cut of sirloin, and 2 cuts of prime kalbi. These are the best cuts, and they like to serve them first. I like to end on a high note, so ask them to HOLD OFF. And here’s the key tip: do NOT let them cook your sirloin. The Koreans absolutely lack finesse when it comes to beef. It took a dozen years for them to figure out how to properly marinade kalbi, and they still cook these steaks well done. Take the tongue, remove the steak ASAP if the server insists on throwing a slab of beef onto a lukewarm grill, and make SURE they don’t cut your sirloin into little strips. That’s just downright offensive. Just like grilling at home, time the cooking. If done right, you will end up with medium rare cuts after resting:
Once upon a time, OO-Kook and Byeol Dae Po both served combos. I miss those. $45 usually yielded more than enough food for 2 and a bottle of soju. Bud Namu brings that back with the $39.99 combo of chadol baegi, sam gyup ssal, steamed seafood, and a bottle of soju. Bekseju is also offered, but soju will of course get you effed up faster. The best choices here, for 2, are the $17 AYCE and the $39.99 combo optionis. Also of note, under the $17/pp option, daegi kalbi (marinaded pork rib) and spicy sam gyp ssal (pork belly) are both available. This offering essentially eliminates any future trips to Ham Ji Pak, Toad House, and Honey Pig, 3 of the most over-rated pork restaurants in LA. Menu as below, click to enlarge:
Go, now, before the novelty and high quality erodes.
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