I had been here several years ago, and it hasn’t changed much at all. This is a Korean bar type restaurant in Union Square with a myriad of different Korean foods including noodles, rice, buns, etc. The last time I was here, I had ordered a bunch of side dishes and had wrote down
typical Korean American bar food. This time around, we decided to try out Korean BBQ. The staff led us up the stairs where there were many tables with BBQ grills in them.
This restaurant is quite noisy and loud sitting on the top floor. It was a little uncomfortable for my partner, so if you’re not looking for a rather rowdy environment, then this might be a hard pass. The decor has a lot of wood accents to it to play off the barn motif.
The service itself was pretty fast for the BBQ meats, but the timing for some dishes were just completely off. We ordered a dozen oysters, and those came during our meal. We originally thought they had lost the order.
The price was definitely on the expensive side for the BBQ even though there was happy hour from 4 PM to 7 PM.
The Dr Pepper was always my preferred soda.
The Beeline ($12 happy hour / $15 normal - right) came with butterfly lavender vodka, honey, and lemon. This sounded better than it tasted. The vodka wasn’t as smooth as I was hoping.
The dozen daily oysters ($1.75 per piece) came with tabasco pipette, lemon wedges, and cocktail sauce. I don’t remember what was the black pipette, but I remembered not caring for it much since it wasn’t that complementary to the flavors of the oyster. The oysters could be from Big Rock, MA or Blue Point oysters. They were not briny at all and were pretty fresh.
They gave us lettuce wraps and scallion salad. The scallion salad was pretty good. The lettuce wraps were my preferred way of wrapping the meats.
The dips came with a soy like sauce, ssamjang, and salt. You have to ask the staff for sesame oil. The ssamjang tasted pretty good, but I didn’t care for the soy like sauce.
The banchan was pretty sparse but came with pickled radish wrap, soy sauce pickled radish, and kimchi. These all tasted comparable to other Korean BBQ restaurant banchans. The kimchi was my least favorite.
With the BBQ, they gave us a steamed egg. The steamed egg came out pretty hot, but unfortunately, the egg was overcooked such that pieces of it stuck to the sides of the clay pot. Flavor wise, it was comparable to Korean BBQ restaurants, but definitely not as good since it was cooked a bit more than usual.
On top of the grill, they place this little side of corn cheese which slowly cooks throughout your BBQ dinner. It takes about 10-15 minutes for the cheese to melt, and then you can scoop the cheesy, creamed corn up.
The large beef combo ($139) came with prime short rib, prime skirt steak, prime ribeye, and prime marinated short ribs. There was a raw mushroom cap and shishito peppers to grill. All the meat here was surprisingly great quality and tasted very good. Our least favorite was the marinated short ribs simply because it had a sweet marinade on. We typically prefer non-marinated meats. For 2 people, it’s easy to finish this large combo. The difference between the large and the small are 5 slices of meat compared to 4 slices. After our dinner, we did not feel full, and we weren’t hungry. The price point for this was a little on the high side compared to other Korean BBQ restaurants. It would’ve been nice to have seen more options for banchans. I think this might be a good choice for a large party of folks that opt for several other shareable dishes.
Barn Joo has decent Korean bar food for this area. However if you’re desiring for Korean BBQ and can travel, definitely try other places over this. If you are in Union Square and really need Korean BBQ promptly, this one isn’t that bad albeit it’s a little on the pricey side.
Really nice spot! On the pricier side, but the bbq was def worth it.
I definitely think the BBQ was far from being worth it. Then again, this Yelper comes from New Jersey, so maybe haven’t tried enough Korean BBQ places in their life.
If you’re not used to cooking tabletop, you might rethink dining here for Korean bbq because you do it yourself.
Cooking it yourself was perfectly fine and can be fun. Coming from Los Angeles and being ambidextrous, it was normal for me to cook and eat at the same time. Occasionally the staff comes around to help cook, but most don’t mind cooking. It is nice sometimes to have the staff cook for you, but sometimes their timing is off.