Old Favorite Brings New FlavorsA La Carte
March 11, 2018
Story By: Yu Shing Ting | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
A longtime neighborhood favorite, Yakiniku Camellia Buffet, recently changed ownership, renovated its restaurant and updated its popular all-youcan-eat menu.
Shawna Kim was a regular customer of the landmark yakiniku eatery on McCully Street that has been in business for about 35 years. So, when she learned the owner was retiring, she decided to take over the restaurant.
Five months ago, she reopened the restaurant after closing it for a couple to update the interior, and among the changes are new flooring, lighting, chairs, paint and more.
She also brought on a new chef, who is Korean and has 18 years of experience in the kitchen, ensuring quality and authenticity. The restaurant still has its private room in the back as well that can seat about 24 people.
Known for its Korean-style yakiniku, the restaurant lets customers select items from the buffet line and bring it back to their tabletop grill to cook to their liking. It’s all-you-can-eat, so Kim advises to take as you go, so that you’re not wasting food.
There are a variety of meat options, including pork steak, beef steak, pork kalbi, pork belly, beef brisket, spicy barbecue pork, barbecue pork, chicken and bulgogi (marinated barbecue beef). Plus, there’s shrimp, mussels, vegetable tempura, kimchee fried rice, spring rolls, fried calamari and chicken wings.
There further is a great selection of traditional Korean side dishes, such as fresh homemade kimchee and japchae, along with tofu and assorted vegetables; as well as Korean sweet rice soup, seaweed soup, miso soup, kimchee stew and red bean porridge.
For dinner, the menu expands with additional food items, such as sushi, squid, short ribs and flap meat, and by request, beef tongue and beef intestine.
Buffet prices are $15.99 for lunch, Monday-Thursday ($7.99 children ages 10 and under) and $26.99 for dinner, Monday-Thursday ($13.99 children ages 10 and under). On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, lunch is $18.95 and dinner is $27.95.
“Everybody compliments our pork kalbi which we marinate in an original sauce,” notes Kim. “We put our own seasonings and it makes it really tasty. We’re always listening to our customers on what they like.”