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Korean barbecue to replace Lebanese food in Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain News reports bb.q Chicken is moving into the Centre Street space where Cafe Beirut used to be.



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at least BB.Q Chicken does a very nice version of Korean fried chicken, which to my taste is the best fried chicken. Twice-fried!

Voting closed 35

to my taste is the best fried chicken

It is, but not when the chicken is underdone (which, yes, is still possible when double-frying, especially when you insist on using giant mutant chicken wings). Ugh.

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Despite the name, this is not Korean barbecue.

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But you do you, anon. I’m sure you know better.

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despite the name, this Korean chain does not serve what is known in English as "Korean barbecue," an extremely popular restaurant format that serves plates of marinated raw meat, seafood and/or vegetables that diners cook on grills (traditionally charcoal, usually gas here) set right into each tabletop. It's generally a group thing for two or more diners.

Koreana in Cambridge is the longest-running local exponent of the style. (You sometimes see it offered at places without grill tables, where it is cooked in the kitchen, which is kinda lame.) Many such places have it right in the name, like Burlington's New Jang Su Korean BBQ and Allston's Naksan Korean BBQ.

It's a worthwhile distinction: bb.q Chicken only serves Korean-style twice-fried chicken wings plus a few appetizers and sides, with none of the grill-table or kitchen-cooked KBBQ that its name might lead you to expect.

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MC Slim JB beat me to it with a longer and better post, so I will delete mine. However this gives me the opportunity to ask him his opinion of the local options, especially Koreana, which is near me, and which I’ve been intending to try for years. I have very fond memories of Korean barbecue, which I first encountered in Taipei when I was about 12. Actually I think it’s those fond memories that have kept me away, for fear that they would be diminished.

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likely to top your nostalgia. My main issue with most KBBQ joints here (and our local Korean restaurants in general) is their small, dull banchan selections. Nevertheless, Koreana, Korean Garden in Allston, and New Jang Su are all solid for grill-table BBQ.

I have yet to try Naksan, though it looks very good (more protein choices with more deluxe upgrade options than most, but no seafood) and is on my to-try list. I would avoid fixed-price all-you-can-eat options like Sura in Malden, where the price looks right but they use painfully slow service to trim their costs.

Anywhere you go post-covid, you will likely find the prices a bit shocking. Every restaurant these days feels twice as expensive as it used to, including KBBQ.

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This was very helpful. I'm going to give Koreana a try.

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...Koreana came along after New Jang Su, but I could be wrong about that. But New Jang Su outclassed Koreana in every way IMO.

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definitely recall dining at both at least 25 years ago, and have been back to both recently, each still very good.

Koreana opened in 1993, and New Jang Su had been open for at least ten years when I reviewed it for the Boston Phoenix back in 2008: https://thephoenix.com/Boston/Food/58763-NEW-JANG-SU-KOREAN-BBQ/ I am told it was a Friendly's way back in the day, which makes sense from the layout.

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