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New Korean BBQ in Lynnwood is pleased to meat you

Tabletop cooking makes Baekjeong a culinary adventure. #k5evening

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — Baekjeong means butcher in Korean, appropriate for this meat forward restaurant that takes such care with their proteins that they are sliced in-house, by a guy bundled up in a hat and scarf, in a special room that's always kept just above freezing. There's a window so you can watch the slicing artistry.

There's a lot to watch here — they cook your food at your table.

"Really what Korean barbecue is is kind of 'pick your own adventure' because you order your meat and then we send out a bunch of what what we call banchan, little side dishes, and from there, you choose how you want to accompany each bite based on the garnish that you choose," said Baekjeong's culinary director chef Samuel Kim.

Diners cook at their tables at many Korean barbecues but at Baekjeong the tabletop grilling is done by the server. 

"It's kind of an interactive experience because we cook it for you from start to finish, all you have to do is order the meat, and our servers will come to the table and cook each course of meat for you." Kim explained.

The meat ranges from USDA Prime beef to premium pork. There's also a selection of beef offal for more adventuresome diners. And yes, there are vegetarian dishes as well. But Baekjeong earns its name with paper thin slices of brisket, and perfect short ribs (Kim says short ribs are the litmus test for the quality of any Korean barbecue). 

Hodong's Favorite Combo is what Team Evening enjoyed, a combination of beef brisket, boneless short rib, pork belly, and marinated pork steak. It was served with soybean stew, and appetizers included seafood pancakes and fried dumplings called mandu. Hodong's favorite is the perfect order for first-timers, it's a sampler named for Baekjeong's founder, Kang Ho-dong, a South Korean TV host and comedian who first came to fame as a professional wrestler.

Lynnwood's is the 8th Baekjeong in the US, there are six in Southern California, and one in New York. They don't take reservations currently, and sometimes on weekends there can be a wait at this popular restaurant. But it's worth it, and in their own words — they will be pleased to 'meat' you when you take a seat at a Baekjeong table.

Baekjeong Lynnwood serves lunch and dinner and is open 7 days a week. 3000 184th St. S.W. Ste. #922, Lynnwood, WA 98037 425-490-6328

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