Tag Archives: ramen

Gyu-Kaku Burbank Opens To Eager Diners

Gyu-Kaku Burbank has only been open for a few weeks in Downtown Burbank, but already the popular Japanese BBQ chain has a steady stream of customers any night of the week.

Currently only open after 4:00 p.m. for dinner, the restaurant offers large selection of Korean and Japanese favorites prepared and served Japanese style.

Gyu-Kaku grill (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Gyu-Kaku grill (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

On a recent weekday evening, we didn’t have a reservation, so we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table. The interior of Gyu-Kaku is stylish and sleek, with popular music piped in for a club-like atmosphere.

We ordered a wide selection of small plates, including Spicy Addicting Cucumber, Steamed Pork Dumplings, Wakame Seaweed Salad, Cabbage Kimchee, Spicy Tuna Volcano and a side of steamed rice. With the exception of the Kimchee, which was moderately spicy, we found the items marked spicy to have just a mild heat.

Spicy Addicting Cucumber (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Spicy Addicting Cucumber (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The Miso Pork Ramen, while maybe not as perfect as Daikokuya in Downtown L.A. or tasty as Kopan Ramen down the street, was still hearty and delicious.

The stars of the evening’s meal were the Bimbimbap (steak and onion fried rice) and plates to grill – the Primi Kalbi and the Scallops. Prices are not expensive, but there’s not a lot of meat or seafood on the plate, either.

Those used to Korean BBQ style, with plates loaded high with meat, fish and vegetables to grill, will note this difference. However, what Gyu-Kaku lacks in abundance, they make up for in high quality products for the grill.

Miso Pork Ramen (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Miso Pork Ramen (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Everyone in our group remarked on the tender and juicy qualities of our table-grilled Kalbi and scallops. There’s nothing quite like taking a seared scallop right off the grill, letting it cool for a few seconds, and popping it in your mouth.

The Kalbi, cooked to medium, was nicely charred on the outside and absolute perfection in every bite.

The Bimbimbap, served in an extremely hot stone bowl, was mixed by our server and pressed against the sides of the bowl, to carmelize and crisp the rice over several minutes. Truly delicious.

Bimbimbap at Gyu-Kaku (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Bimbimbap at Gyu-Kaku (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, suggesting the excellent Bimbimbap and explaining how Gyu-Kaku does barbecue.  Empty plates were cleared away promptly and water glasses refilled regularly. Bathrooms were clean.

Gyu-Kaku Burbank also has a nice Japanese beer and sake list, along with cocktails and wine available.

For excellent food, service and ambiance, Gyu-Kaku Burbank receives a Tops In Town.

Restaurant Info: Gyu-Kaku Burbank is located at 116 S. San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA 91502. 818-846-0779. Gyu-Kaku Burbank is open Sunday through Thursday 4:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Gyu-Kaku Burbank receives: Tops In Town

myBurbank Ratings:
Tops In Town (Outstanding)
On The Marquee (Really Good)
Could Use A Rewrite (Average or Slightly Below)
Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Poor)

Get Out Of Town!: Daikokuya Ramen Warms The Soul On A Rainy Day

Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.

On these windy, chilly and rainy winter days in Southern California, hearty and flavorful ramen soup is a siren call cutting through blustery weather. Burbank’s own Kopan Ramen 2 does a fantastic job of sating the cold and hungry, but what to do if one is marooned in Downtown L.A.? We recommend Daikokuya Ramen at 327 E. First Street in Little Tokyo.

Time after time, hot weather to cold weather, Daikokuya Ramen satiates and satifies. On any given day, about five hundred other people know this fact, so we recommend arriving early or being prepared to wait an hour or two. You will not regret it.

The venerable standard, Daikoku Ramen, at Little Tokyo's Daikokuya Ramen noodle shop. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The venerable standard, Daikoku Ramen, at Little Tokyo’s Daikokuya Ramen noodle shop. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Luckily, there are some great bars nearby to wait in, if that’s your thing. We like the Far Bar, at 347 E. First Street. Japanese Village across the street and sweet shop Fugetso-Do, on the same block at 315 E. First Street, are fun ways to wait out the time after you’ve put your name on the list.

Now to the ramen. Daikokuya’s menu is very accessible. Choose from three styles: Daikokuya special combo with tonkatsu broth base, Spicy Miso base or Tsukemen – cooled noodles to dip in broth on the side. Add in extras like shiitake mushrooms, more pork or egg, seaweed, sesame seed, bean sprouts and more.

One of the very best flavors on this earth is a soft-boiled egg broken open in ramen broth. Try it. The complexity of flavors and heartiness in a simple bowl of well-made ramen noodle soup is compelling.

Delicious and hot Takoyaki, fried balls of breaded octopus. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Delicious and hot Takoyaki, fried balls of breaded octopus. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Additional favorite offerings on the menu include freshly house-made gyoza or takoyaki (fried balls of breaded octopus) and tsukemono (pickled veggie salad.)

Sure, there are lots of rice-based bowls available too, including pork cutlet, chicken teriyaki, tempura, tuna sashimi and teriyaki eel, in addition to typical fried rice and chow mein. California roll, spicy tuna roll and avocado roll complement the standard fare.

Wash it all down with teas, sodas, coffee, beer and sake.

Freshly made gyoza at Daikokuya, a little crispy this time. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Freshly made gyoza at Daikokuya, a little crispy this time. (Photo By Lisa Paredes)

Service is fast, friendly and efficient. Bathrooms are decent. Daikokuya is a cash-only noodle shop, with an ATM on the premises. Parking is your own call unless you’ve taken the Metro.

Daikouya Ramen is our very favorite noodle shop in Los Angeles, along with everyone else in the city, and an excellent antidote to our coming season of El Niño.