Husband is a big fan of Mongolian BBQ. When we discovered an all-you-can-eat place in Manhattan Beach during one of our exploratory drives, he was ecstatic. Big Wok has now become one of our “go to” places for when we don’t feel like cooking and want something inexpensive and filling to eat.
This place is pretty popular, especially during the dinner hours. We usually try to get there earlier so that we don’t have to wait in lines to get our food and have it cooked. We’ve never had to wait to be seated and are always greeted quickly by a smiling waitress. Service here has always been great. Parking on the other hand…
Big Wok operates like any other AYCE Mongolian BBQ. You grab a bowl, fill it with semi-frozen slices of meat, vegetables and noodles. Then you top it off with various sauces and hand the dish to a cook who gives you back a plate of steaming hot yummy eats. The selection at Big Wok isn’t as big as other places I’ve been to but it has enough variety to make for interesting combinations.
The meat section offers turkey, chicken, pork, beef and lamb. I usually do a combo of chicken, beef and lamb, sometimes pork. There’s also tofu for the vegetarians.
As for veggies, there’s your usual culprits – zucchini, green onions, celery, mushrooms, chopped green and red cabbage. There’s also spinach, tomato, water chestnuts, baby corn…well, you get the idea.
There’s a good variety of sauces. Regular BBQ oil, spicy BBQ oil, garlic water, ginger water, curry sauce, lemon water, chili oil… There’s a card with a few combinations but, like all other Mongolian BBQ places I’ve ate at, I find it best if you at least double the number of spoonfuls. Otherwise, you end up with a bland dish. I like to use the spicy BBQ oil, garlic water (be sure to add in the garlic chips), a little ginger water and a spoonful of chili oil. I think I may have to add in more chili as it never comes out as spicy as I want.
I don’t usually do noodles as I prefer rice. I’m not sure why. I do like noodles but I never get them at Mongolian BBQ places. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to fill up on them when I know I’m also going to get “mana biscuits”. Husband, on the other hand, is the opposite. He loads up on meat and noodles. Completely skips the veggie section…*sigh*
Back to the “mana biscuits”. What I’m talking about are those Chinese flat sesame-crusted bread thingies. Husband and I used to play a lot of WoW and talked about having a guild party at our place and doing a WoW themed menu. We decided that these bread items would be perfect “mana biscuits”. I know, we’re dorks… I love these things, though. Husband doesn’t eat them since he’s got oodles of noodles on his plate so I always gobble them up. There’s a nice crispness on the outside; the inside is warm and a little chewy. I like to wipe the plate with them…so good!
Our total bill, tip included, ranges from $25-30 depending on if we get drinks or not. Big Wok also offers some sides like fried shrimp, kimchee, soup and wontons but I’ve never ordered them and never seen anyone else with those dishes on their table.
I give Big Wok 3 1/2 NOMs!
Filed under: 3 NOMs, buffet, Los Angeles, mongolian bbq Tagged: | 3 NOMs, all-you-can-eat, asian, beef, Big Wok, buffet, cheap, chicken, cooking, dinner, inexpensive, korean bbq, lamb, Los Angeles, lunch, Manhattan Beach, mongolian bbq, noodles, pork, restaurant review, rice, sauce, stir fry, turkey, vegetables, wok