Respecting tradition doesn't mean you have to stay mired in the past, depriving Bar Mitzvahs of a little pop-'n-lock in your Hora. For new-style old-school Korean, check out Gyenari. Culver City's Gyenari's a sleek, date-friendly Korean BBQ house that ably fuses the modern (exposed air ducts/matrixed wine wall) with the classic (relaxing water sculpture/mural of blossoming flowers/suspicious feeling that everyone around you reads Manga). The grub also straddles two worlds, with traditionals like bibimbap w/fried egg and jeon jeon pancakes w/shrimp or calamari facing off against Cajunish steez like blackened ahi tuna sandwiches and andouille/chicken/kimchee "Korean Gumbo"; most of the menu's been vetted by the owners' parents, who provided some original recipes, and apparently once paid for spring break in New Orleans. BBQ fodder (including prime-rib bulgoki and fire scallops in cajun butter sauce) is DIY on custom-made mid-table grills that suck the smoke down -- so if you want to smell like meat, better bring your vial of Eau de Bulgoki. Drink-wise, beyond soju and sake there're also funked-up creations like the Gyenari Martini: plum vodka, sake, and pineapple juice, topped with an edible orchid -- just because it's traditional to look at flowers, doesn't mean you can't respectfully try to get wasted off them.
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