Gyu-Kaku’s Japanese barbecue sticks with you

Get ready for a meat-fest at Gyu-Kaku.
Photo: Steve Marcus
Jason Harris

We made s’mores. We took the marshmallows they gave us, put them on the sticks, roasted them over our built-into-the-table hibachi and had a full-on campfire dessert. At a Japanese barbecue joint.

Gyu-Kaku, which translates to “horn of the bull,” specializes in yakiniku, which roughly equates to grilled meat. You cook most of the food tableside, some delightful dishes and some a little underwhelming, but those s’mores are symbolic of why you should eat here—it’s so much fun.

The best bang for your buck are the “course menu” options, which feed two and feature an assortment of meats, appetizers and sides for one price. The Gyu-Kaku course is priced fairly at $66 and is a steal at happy hour, when it’s 20 percent off.

Among seven starters, deep-fried tofu nuggets stand out, better than the usual chicken counterparts at most places. Sukiyaki bibimbap, the Korean dish of rice, vegetables and sauce in a hot stone bowl, is missing the traditional egg that ties it all together, but it breaks up the rest of the courses nicely. The best meats are kalbi (Korean-style short ribs in a sweet tare sauce), harami skirt steak marinated in miso, and juicy garlic shrimp. Chicken-cheese fondue sounds intriguing but falls short due to a bland basil sauce and Velveeta-ish base.

But for every fondue, there’s a s’mores. The dishes you’ll remember at Gyu-Kaku will keep you coming back.

Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ 3550 S. Decatur Blvd., 702-816-5988. Daily, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

Tags: Dining, Food
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