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“Very good server for being such a high demand customer.”
Review of Mapo Korean BBQ

Mapo Korean BBQ
Ranked #1,922 of 5,242 Restaurants in San Diego
Cuisines: Korean
Good for: Large groups
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups
Reviewed 5 May 2017

Nice, friendly servers ready to have customers like me come in. We sat on the outside table as we were a large group. This time I came with 6 of my friends. 4 of us drank beer (I can not comment on the quality of beer because I did not drink), but they said it was good. Perhaps it was too good that they had too much of a good time cracking jokes.
The sides were so good, I was messing around with my friend on eating the whole tray of cucumber. The server did not mind giving us another share of the sides of the cucumber to only have me eat it all. I ate most of the salad, because one of them offered me their bowl. In fact, my other friend was looking for it to only be disappointed by me pigging out the last bits of salad. I put all the kbbq, salad, and the rice together to give it some interesting taste. I should have also eaten the boiled egg, but I decided not as I had more eggs at Denny's earlier in the day. However, they ate it and did not complain so I will say it was a pass.
As for the meat we ordered mainly beef briskets and the ribs. They were all so good I could not stop eating. I almost ate about 3-4 plates worth of meat. We even ordered chicken. In fact we had so much fun that when I was cooking the meat, all I did was serve myself while trolloololol my friends for giving me the tongs. But my table did not have any beef tongue because my friend did not like it so I was disappointed. My friends at the other table did and they had a blast making fun of us.
We ordered so much that they had to change our grills 3 times. Oh yes, talk about high maintenance customers we are. We had 2 jugs of water as we were quite thirsty. When we eat too much, we need water to digest and the server did not disappoint. In fact we had a blast trying to reorder cucumber side that my friend called it pickles. The server did not know what he was talking about. A customer at another table pointed out to the side that I ate and made fun of us by saying that we do know what it was called. But I feel bad for our server who worked so hard to please us 7 people plus several other customers who were not like us.
We spent about a little over 1.5 hours (19:45 to about 21:20ish) so we had a good time catching up on our past. Our bill came out to be about $220, but I do not know the exact total because my friend treated me out. Perhaps because I am such a good friend to be their designated driver so I will not comment on the price other than the price was reasonable. Although we had such a good time being the most difficult customers to please, we sure returned them with generous tips as we all putting in about 25% of the bill. That is how much we love this place or at least one of my friends do to come back every time. For me, I liked it too so I am so kind to give this place a 4 stars mainly for very attentive servers who can accommodate to our needs. The food was good and the bathroom was clean when I used it but I feel for the price that we paid that (in my opinion) Manna would be a better choice. However, I feel the service here is much better than Manna. Anyways, I would definitely come back to eat at Mapo another time with my friends if time calls for us to meet again.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank nnviekie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2 - 6 of 9 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2017 via mobile

It says something when your teenage kids want to come here for their birthday parties. Don't be fooled by the lack of curb appeal witch can be frightening to an unsuspecting date, inside is warm and comforting. Also be prepared as this place is not cheep. Try the finger meats and don't be afraid to ask the friendly staff for advise. Happy hour starts at 9pm so finding a seat can be tough. I've never left here unhappy as it's always a great time.

Thank gregsZ4317BY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 June 2016

My experience here is not so great with my friends. We started coming here few years back and didn't come back after that. The food is great but thats about it. Its a great place for friends and family but due to some bad experiences will not come back here.

Thank lednerg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 June 2014

All along Convoy Street in San Diego, you can easily find at least 4 different Korean BBQ places. That's just from driving on the main street. Go further into the side streets and you'll find a few more. The hardest part (and probably most expensive part) is finding the right one.

Someone suggested Mapo Korean BBQ to me when I said that a friend of mine loved brisket when it comes to Korean BBQ. The best in town, she said, and I believed her because she kind of knows her food.

Parking is tiny. So get there a little early or carpool if going with friends.

It's hard to find it at first, what with it being tucked away by places like Dede's and Pho Convoy and Hanna Bank. Unassuming as it is, it is absolutely worth it.

There's nothing to wow you regarding the design of the place. If you're looking for a pretty place to eat, you may need to move along. It's about as plain as plain can get and as standard as you can be as nothing about the decor will stand out.

But you're not really there to look at the chairs or fans, are you?

Mapo has an All-You-Can-Eat buffet with different tiers for your budget. Their menus lay out specifically in English which tier has which meats. They also have it in Korean. If there is any question, ask your server as they were very friendly when we were there. As we were here for the brisket and it was on the $19.99 tier, we went for that one.

They brought out water, salad, the usual condiments that came with Korean BBQ and a trio of sauces. Not long after we placed our order, our food runner came out with two plates heaping with meats. Suffice to say: even as an all you can eat, the portions per dish are amazing to behold. We got to grilling and with how high they set our grill to, our briskets cooked fairly quickly.

The seasonings on the food at Mapo are slightly different from how meats are seasoned at any other BBQ place because that's just how it works. Not every Pho restaurant is going to have the exact same recipe, not every shepherd's pie is going to taste exactly the same. The change is very subtle and not really noticeable unless your palate is that sensitive. If anything, I appreciated the simpler seasonings. It still gave great flavor but left room to be enhanced with explorations of different side dishes and dipping sauces.

The variety isn't too large like some places but Mapo seems to be more about quality, not variety.

Overall, it is a beautiful hidden gem and definitely somewhere I'm visiting again as soon as the craving hits again. So skip the line at the others and give Mapo a try.

    • Value
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    • Food
1  Thank ahtravelsandeats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 30 April 2013 via mobile

We did the all you can eat bbq n it was delicious. Definitely worth it. The staff is super friendly! For sure i would go here again , one of the best Korean places .

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mdizX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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