Manna Korean BBQ just opened up a second location in Culver City at the Westfield mall (formally known as Fox Hills Mall). West side, rejoice!
I’ve been here twice since it opened and have to say, while the food isn’t any different than the Koreatown location (read my review here), the setting is MUCH better. Instead of sitting in a covered outdoor patio, you’re in a nice space with abstract paper mache art, high ceilings and clubby music. It’s better ventilated so you don’t come out smelling like greasy smoke as much.
They still offer up their all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ for $16.99. It’s a great deal if you have a large party or are hungry and want variety. The only catch is that if one person orders it, the whole table has to as well. I recommend going with the Jumulroc (marinated boneless shortrib, the bulgogi – chicken, beef or pork- and the samgyupsal (pork belly). Marinated meats mean more flavor and pork belly…well…it’s like thick cuts of bacon! It’s not the best-tasting Korean BBQ but it’s decent and for the price, awesome.
They give a nice variety of banchan. Salad, kimchi, japchae, sliced daikon, rice paper and boiled egg seem to be the common fair. I’ve also been served potato salad and seaweed on different occassions. While the flavors aren’t anything to rave about, the variety and abundance is nice.
The menu also offers up some non-bbq items like dumplings, bibimbap and soondubu jigae but I haven’t tried any of this. Based on reviews on Yelp, the soondubu is to be skipped. I did see plates of dumplings go by on the last visit and they are quite large. I’ll have to order up a plate next time to see if the taste is as big.
The space is large and they can easily accommodate big parties. However, call ahead for reservations if you do bring the gang or go early. I think the service here is also better. They seem more attentive though be prepared to use the call button when they are super busy. Also, it can get quite loud during peak dining hours.
The nice thing about being located at a mall is that there is plenty of parking. Also, you can window shop to walk off the full stomach.
This location gets 4NOMS because of the nicer space and better service as well as the cost for the quantity and the okay quality of the food.
P.S. Poor iPhone pics FTW…