Dancing bull, SF

Went to dancing bull on Geary between 6th and 7th. They specialize in all you can eat bulgogi and shabu shabu, though they sell other Korean BBQ items a la carte along with other side dishes.

They serve the AYCE bulgogi (beef or pork) on a copper dome grill with a trough around the edges which they fill with beef broth and veggies. The meat is grilled, the fat and juices drip into the soup. You can specify spice level. We did spicy beef, spicy pork, then two extra spicy beef.

The meat was very tender. I find bulgogi to be too sweet usually, and often gristly. This had neither flaw. It was good. I preferred the pork but my friends preferred the beef. When the meat is done grilling it’s slid off the dome into the soup, which after four orders of meat is fatty and in our case, spicy in the best way.

Thing about bulgogi is that it tends to steam rather than sear due to the marinade and the thinness of the meat. I prefer marinated galbi short ribs or unseasoned pork belly. But this style worked for me and with the broth it was a compromise for one of my friends that wanted shabu shabu instead.

We asked for ssam sauces and greens and they gave us steamed cabbage leaves and thinly sliced soy seasoned daikon to wrap the meat along with the raw garlic, jalapeño, and ssamjang. You get a soy and a sambal like chile sauce dip.

Six panchan: besides kimchi I remember a wakame one, a tamago yaki-like rolled egg, fish cakes. We had ddeokbokki, or spicy rice cake cylinders, corn cheese (a mystifying dish that I’m warming up to) and a bare bones soft tofu soup. They were all pretty decent.

I want to go back for the shabu shabu, and I thought that the grilling method and the soup worked to make bulgogi’s weaknesses (in my opinion) a strength. Flavorful, tender meat in a broth of increasing deliciousness. A fair trade for char and smoke.

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I forgot to mention the kimchi fried rice cooked on the dome grill at the end as an option. It was a bit mushy but comforting.

Thanks for the review- Is AYCE bulgogi a good/ bad thing in general when it comes to taste and meat quality?

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold