The tables at Shilla Restaurant can get really hot, at least as hot enough to sear a slice of meat. Each tabletop grill allows diners to become the masters of their fate, flipping over slices of bulgogi beef, calamari, pork belly at their own discretion. The chefs do quite a bit of work, as well, rolling more than 30 varietals of maki and cooking up an expansive menu of Korean cuisine. After they assemble bowls of bibimbap and sautéed spicy kimchee, waiters take out dishes to salivating guests seated in a in a sleek, monochromatic dining room. Beneath geometric paper lamps, these guests can counteract bites of spicy Korean entrees with sips of house sake and wipes from their furrowed brows.
Featured in Seattle magazine and The Seattle Times, Kaya Korean Barbecue prides itself on its attentive service, posh presentation, massive portions, and a second-story location safe from dinner-interrupting tiger stampedes. Platoons of food soldiers can arm themselves with massive appetizers such as the marinated raw beef ($15.99) before focusing their attention on the feast as it arrives in steaming hot rock bowls. Choose from a variety of dishes ranging from the Angus marinated short ribs ($27.99) to soft tofu soup ($10.99), or go for an authentic barbecue experience by searing enormous platters of sizzling meats on the minigrill located in the center of your table, with selections such as the Kaya combo for four (Angus rib eye, marinated short ribs, marinated sirloin, beef brisket, beef tongue, bean paste stew, and your choice of beverages) ($96.99). Overhanging vents inhale the mouthwatering barbecue odors that would otherwise cling to clothes for days, ensuring that diners are not tempted to try out new recipes at home such as blouse jerky and deep-fried pants. In addition to grilluminating guests, Kaya pours copious cupfuls of Korean rice wine and beer.
Soybeans that make the journey to Hosoonyi Korean Restaurant have a tasty future ahead of them. The young beans, once matured and fermented, are infused with hot pepper, pulverized into paste, or strained and aged to make soy sauce. Not many restaurants make their own soy sauces in-house, but Hosoonyi’s team prefers to individually monitor the flavors to ensure that they retain their beneficial nutrients and pair perfectly with the eatery's specialty Korean cuisine. The flames of a Korean-style barbecue fire pork, rib-eye steak, and chicken, and a cushion of steamy rice supports the vegetables, beef, and egg that comprise classic bibimbap. Pancakes veer from their traditional breakfast role by incorporating stalks of green onion, slices of squid, and refusing to get out of bed until lunchtime. The restaurant's authentic selection has caught the eye of media outlets such as Sunset Magazine, the Seattle Times and Seattle Met, which lauded the popular sundubu jjigae—a soft-tofu soup brimming with seafood and kimchi—as "pungent, filling, and satisfying."
It's no surprise that Akasaka Restaurant, named after a neighborhood in Tokyo, offers traditional Japanese specialties. Diners tuck into freshly sliced sashimi, seasonal imports of Kobe beef, and shabu shabu hot pots of seaweed-infused broth in which diners can simmer morsels of beef or seafood. But according to The Seattle Times, there's another showstopper: "It's hard to get past the great Korean food at this longtime Federal Way favorite."
On tabletop grills, guests can broil hand-cut short ribs, slices of scarlet bulgogi beef, and other korean meats to their liking. Servers present more than a dozen types of housemade kimchi and other korean banchan to accompany savory meals, along with glasses of sake, whiskey, and Asian beer.