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Jeong Won Korean BBQ Buffet ($21.95 AYCE)- San Diego, CA

Jeong Won Korean BBQ Buffet

This place is my go-to AYCE Korean BBQ here in San Diego. I believe they are the only KBBQ, here in San Diego, that offers ‘serve yourself’ meats/vegetables/banchan. I, personally, prefer that as it gives you a wealth of variety to choose from. Besides, I like LOOKING at what I can choose from at the buffet set up (versus looking at grainy photos on a menu). That’s just me though.

I’ve been very sketch on vegetables since my food poisoning incident. Well, specifically arugula and perhaps mushrooms. Just anything green and leafy. My stomach seems to only want meats and soups recently. I wasn’t really feeling an AYCE at 2:30p for a late lunch last week (especially right before the 4th of July long weekend). But CDJ convinced me to go.

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FRONT ENTRANCE

CDJ was asking if the lunch price was still being offered at $16.95 (he actually remembered my last post on this place – shocker). I told him I heard they no longer offer a discounted lunch price. So I called (because he’s lazy) and the restaurant confirmed that it’s now $21.95 for lunch AND dinner.

There was no wait that weekday afternoon. I’m assuming it’s because it was late and not a lot of people want to pay $21.95 for lunch. It had been a while since we visited this place though so we thought a lunch meal here would be worth it.

This was the first time I didn’t see a Korean staff member anywhere in the front of the restaurant. The restaurant wasn’t busy at all and a nice girl sat us at a table.

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GAS GRILLE AT EACH TABLE

She quickly lit the grill and let us go to the buffet to start our foraging :)

My routine is always the same: get the utensils, then sauces, then head back to table.

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JEONG WON SAUCES

spicy mayo, wasabi, smokey sauce, sesame sauce, spicy sauce, vegi sauce, mustard, pepper, sesame oil, ssam jang sauce, salt, fish sauce

I love their selection. I usually get the sesame sauce. I’ve never seen another establishment offer as many sauces as Jeong Won.

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JEONG WON MISO SOUP AND KOREAN PANCAKE

The soup and Korean pancake is usually waiting at the table by the time I return with my utensils and sauce(s). They gave BOTH of us our own order of Korean pancakes this time too! I usually LOVE the Korean pancakes here but the version that day was cold and dry.

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 SELF SERVE BUFFET SECTION

The photo makes this area look incredibly small (which it kinda is but that’s ok). There are 3 components to this self serve area:

 

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JEONG WON BANCHAN

yuchae, bean sprout, cucumber, daikon pickle, fresh seaweed, napa kimchi, daikon kimchi, steamed egg, potato salad, sour napa kimchi, spicy pickle, tofu

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I usually get the seaweed, cucumber, and the yuchae (I think that’s what it is but when I googled it nothing came up for yuchae).

The seaweed is the best as it’s tart and refreshing which tastes even better when you’re taking a breather in between sampling different bbq meats.

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JEONG WON VEGETABLES AND SIDES

garlic, carrot, onion, green onion, potato, squash, jalapeno, corn, yam, beef intestine & tripe, tomato, mushroom

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I always get the squash (zucchini), garlic, and jalapenos. CDJ usually likes the button mushrooms here.

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 JEONG WON MEAT & SEAFOOD SELECTION

lamb leg, fruity beef, spicy chicken, beef short rib, beef short rib (unmarinated), spicy pork, top sirloin, shrimp, cooked mussels, beef tongue, spicy squid, sole swai filet fish (I’m missing a section I think: pork belly, smoked honey bacon, and maybe a few others)

And what is Fruity Beef ? They had Fruity Chicken on my last post.

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SELF SERVE RICE

The rice is now self serve in the buffet area. They used to serve it to each person at the table.

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I always get the marinated chicken, pork belly, and marinated beef short ribs. They use dark meat for the chicken.

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I like to grill my items with some order to them (no commingling meats and trying not to have items touching each other too much).

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I always study the grill to find out what areas are the hottest for the best sear.

The chicken is one of my favorite items here. I’m not sure how they marinade it but it grills nicely and has a nice flavor to it.

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The pork belly is great and the fat crisps up nicely when you leave it long enough on the hot portion of the grill. I took this picture of the lone pork belly piece to showcase how the nice waitress asked, at this point, if we wanted a new grill. So that was cool of her.

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CDJ also got the mussels but I forgot to take pics of that. I added a shrimp and spicy squid to the second grill.

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SPICY SQUID

I usually enjoy this but the squid tasted off-puttingly-fishy that afternoon.

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We were getting full at this point so the chicken was kinda being ignored on the grill. Another great thing about the buffet style serving is that you can portion control what you’d like to try out.

Service was attentive and our drinks were always refilled. A fountain soda costs $2.95 but has free refills (that’s why I always stick with water or in this case soda water which was free of charge).

Sure $21.95 is an expensive lunch but we easily ate our fair share. Would this be a weekly lunch outting. Probably not. I’ve been trying to find another AYCE that offers as many sauces, banchan, vegetables as Jeong Won but nothing seems to compare. I recommend this AYCE KBBQ if you have yet to visit.

You can read about This Tasty’s life visit from earlier this year.

Jeong Won Korean BBQ Buffet
4690 Convoy Street #104
San Diego, CA 92111
858-292-4670

 

16 thoughts on “Jeong Won Korean BBQ Buffet ($21.95 AYCE)- San Diego, CA”

  1. Jeong Won is my favorite AYCE kbbq! I also love that you get your meat yourself so you can portion out what you want. No one else ever wants squid, so I like that I can get 2 pieces and not be stuck with a whole plate.

    I think the fruity beef is like bulgogi – the sweet marinated beef.

    The one thing I’m sad about is that the soft serve machine isn’t there anymore. I love ending a meal with something sweet and soft serve was the best!

    If we have a large group, we often go to the one by the new Zion market because they have tons of space. It’s not bad and I feel like the portions they bring out on each plate is very manageable.

    1. Hi Leanne,

      Yesss – totally forgot to write about the now-gone soft serve :( Thanks for mentioning. The soft serve was a cool part of this AYCE place too!

      I like how you get the 2 pieces of the squid to try out. I usually dig through the squid container to find the non-suction squid parts that I prefer :)

      Yeah maybe the fruity beef is just the marinade! I forgot some Korean marinades use fruit in their base.

      I have yet to try out Taegukgi – I actually called them yesterday to inquire about their lunch specials. It’s only $17.99 for their AYCE lunch BUT they only offer like 6 meat items. So I’ll probably try them out for dinner.

  2. This place sounds neat, I like the idea of it being buffet style but you serving yourself from stations. That way you can get what you want / as much as you want. True 21.95 is a little pricey for lunch but you can definitely get your money’s worth. Wonder how much it is at Manna, I’ve been wanting to try that place….on a day I am particularly ravenous.

    Are Korean pancakes like scallion pancakes? Don’t believe I’ve ever had them.

    That chicken looks good :) Once we went to Korean BBQ and we were grilling up what we thought was chicken (my sister only eats chicken) and it was actually cow intestine. Haha. Serves her right ;)

    1. Hi JS,

      I prefer this place over Manna (even though Manna has that egg custard souffle I like so much). Manna has two different price brackets for their AYCE. I think the cheaper one was $19.99 or something when I visited. I liked the feel, sauces, service at JW more than Manna. So hope you get to try out both places.

      Korean pancakes aren’t like the scallion pancakes. The pancakes here are thicker, a bit doughier. I think they douse them with a bit of sweet soy or something too. You should try an appetizer/entree Kpancake the next time you’re at a Korean restaurant. I’ve tried a few seafood versions in the past and liked them. But now I’m craving a scallion pancake :( Dang you…

      You’re such a mean sister! I love it. I wish I could bust my sister like that :)

  3. Mmm… All you can eat meats. :-) So tempting… I tried one of those places on Convoy once where you order off a menu the meats you want and they bring the plate out. Tasted really good but I miss the smoky flavor from the charcoal on my grill.

    Do you prefer your meats grilled over gas or on charcoal?

    I notice you are mastering the indoor lights in your photos. :-)

    1. Hi Soo,

      I am definitely a charcoal lovin’ blogger. I would choose charcoal over propane ANY day. Have you tried Dae Jang Keum? They aren’t AYCE but they DO use charcoal for their bbq (that you grill at your table!). It’s kinda scary at times b/c the charcoals come out lava red hot and I always get nervous that they’ll drop one in my lap or something.

      Yes. FayesFork is learning about lighting so thank you :)

  4. Welcome! I gotta start practicing using the flashlight with one hand and camera with the other hand technique. The new camera is much better in dark places but I’m still not getting Kirbie type photos. *sigh

    Thanks for the tip! I’ve only been to one Korean BBQ place which happened to be all you can eat with the gas grill. It was pretty good but I prefer to grill my own meat due to my preference for charcoal and I don’t like any side dishes. I’m pretty much just a kalbi and rice guy…

    1. I have faith that you’re going to be taking amazing photos pretty soon. You should try Dae Jang Keum if you like the way bbq tastes over charcoal (well, who wouldn’t prefer bbq cooked over charcoal vs gas!). If you like galbi, you should definitely take advantage of the Korean BBQ AYCE options as galbi is usually on the list of items you can choose from (usually it’s the most expensive too!). Manna has a rib eye steak option I believe (on their premium AYCE menu) so I think you’d like that one too (and get the most for your moo too!).

      1. Thanks for the tips! Hopefully I can use them next month. All my funds are gonna be spent at comic con in a few weeks

    2. I wonder what kind of camera yours is? You can’t really get kirbie photos unless there’s enough light to begin with. When my hubby takes photos in low light using his SLR, the background is still on the darker side. If he uses his special camera flash attachment, they are better but DAYLIGHT shots always turn out the best. Just try to sit on the table with the most light and keep practicing! :)

      1. I just got a Fuji xe-2. Using the on camera flash has been working ok. If the place isn’t busy I do go for the table by the window! I’m gonna try different flashlights for those dark places… I’ve tried setting the ISO to 6400 but the noise is noticeable. Wish I could watch Kirbie at work in a really dark eatery.

  5. To date this is still the only AYCE buffet I have been to where you gotta grill it yo-self! Jake told me about one he tried called Roadem BBQ which was cheaper than here. But I haven’t been yet. He said he would take me soon :) Pork belly makes me happy! Maybe I will try Dae Jang Keum for the charcoal goodness! I got a new mini little charcoal grill at Target for the summer (it was on sale for $15 I think now it costs $18 but it is DARLING – we haven’t used it yet though). Now I want to eat BBQ’d meats but I don’t think I can taste anything right now because my nose is all stuffed up. :(

    1. Hi Mary

      I CANNOT believe this is the only KBBQ AYCE you’ve been to! I’ve driven by Roadem but it always looks so sad & empty. I think you’d be scared if you went to DJK and saw how each table gets the ‘live’ charcoals. It’s seriously almost too close for comfort but man, the bbq tastes pretty darn good.

      I was looking for a charcoal grill few weekends ago! The cheapest one I found was at Home Depot for like $29 :( I want to return it though so maybe I’ll check out the one you got at Target. I hope you do a post about it. Never seen a ‘darling’ mini charcoal grill. Makes me imagine preparing a king and queen’s feast for Lifu and Mochi or something.

      I hope you don’t have a cold :( Feel better ok ?

      1. I do have a cold. It is super lame. :(

        I will do a post about my darling mini grill after we finally use it. Summer is already going by too fast if you ask me.

        Live charcoal me up! I wanna try it! :D

        1. I hope you feel better soon. Colds are definitely super lame and just plain ol’ stupid. Dumb cold…

          I can’t believe how quickly this summer is flying by too. Sniff sniff (from crying, not from being sick)…

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