Sunday, March 7, 2010

manna at the mall

i really don't have the double stomache that i claim i have. i might eat a lot, my belly might hurt sometimes because i do stretch it a bit, but i do have an eating limit which makes me weak sauce when it comes to all you can eat. that's why i don't do it much and that's why i can still fit into my pants....albeit larger pants than what you probably wear.

but once in a while, i get invited to situations that calls forth a large bottomless belly and although my heart is willing, my belly is unable to deliver which makes it a bad deal economically. take a few days ago when my friend wanted to go get some korean bbq for lunch. i suggested manna at the fox hills mall (now known as the westfield mall) because it's new, modern, super clean, AND has lots of parking. besides, he's a boy so i assumed he can probably heif down a cow or two so i thought the all you can eat option at a fixed price point was the smarter choice.

when we were seated inside, i surveyed the other diners and noticed a lot of people wearing sweats or clothes that can stretch alot...probably to accomodate the inevitable expansion of the waistline once they were done eating. hahaha! at least we were in no danger of getting our eyes put out because of popping buttons since everything was cinched with an elastic waistband.

we proceeded to order the all you can eat option for $16.99. you get three orders per person and you ask for a refill when you're done. we picked one of everything cuz that's how you do it.

before the meat came out, our table was laid with their banchan which is always my favorite part of any korean meal. i love to be suprised by any interesting condiments as well as snack on my old favorites. the manna version was alright, nothing that screamed special to me. however, the kimchee was extremely limp and lacked the bold burn of kimchee...almost as if the concoction it was marinated in was watered down. what a travesty!

when the meats came out, our grill was completely covered. the smell was rather delicious, but upon closer inspection of the meat, i noticed they were comprised of mostly cheaper cuts with a lot of fat or were the odds and ends of better cuts. well, you get what you pay for right? so basically, you get all you can eat mediocre meat. don't get me wrong, it tasted aight...but if you've been spoiled by better cuts of meat at other kbbqs, then this one may disappoint.

the one thing i did like about manna was the rice wrap they had which reminds me of vietnamese banh cuon. i totally skipped my bowl of rice and wrapped most of my meats in these. i LOVE korean bbq joints that serve these!

so my friend stuffed face, but i stopped eating way before my three orders of meat came out. seriously, there's only so much dead animal i can eat at one sitting. although the space was new and modern and the ventilation system was great, the actual meal itself was ok at best. so you decide, would you rather get an all you can eat meal for $16.99 that comes with spotty service and ok quality meat OR pay a little more to have your tastebuds sing? you decide.

Manna Korean BBQ
6000 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 397-9901

price: $$
verdict: it's aight
Manna Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon
Manna Korean BBQ in Los Angeles


  1. I want my tastebuds to sing and my jeans to button at the top!

  2. It's been WAY TOO LONG since I've had a proper AYCE Korean bbq affair! Kung Food Panda says Road to Seoul is best. Say you'll come with us? It will most definitely fall under the "LOVE IT" category.

  3. diana- i always strive to button my jeans, though the muffin top spilleth over.

    gastronomer- yes! i'm in desperate need of proper AYCE korean bbq. :) i already want to "love it."

  4. I agree that RtS is better than Manna, at least based on my experiences at the older one. Never really liked their meat.
    Oh, but it must be nice that you can go get stuff at Target right after you kbbq.

  5. afro- yeah, the meat is odd at manna. sounds like road to seoul is where it's at! i tried rolling around the mall after the ayce fest, but the belly was too heavy :(


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