I have never personally been to a restaurant where I was asked to cook my own food. Frankly, the idea is ludicrous. However, after visiting the Cham Gardens Korean BBQ restaurant, I may have to change my outlook on that! Nestled in a mini-mall on South Tacoma Way near the I-5 & 512 interchange, this small, Asian eatery offers a plethora of uncooked Korean delights (and some cooked) just waiting for your gourmand cooking affectations. Once we were seated at our table, the host introduced himself and offered to teach us how to begin our Korean BBQ odyssey. I HIGHLY recommend the tutorial. The differences between western and Korean cuisines are manifold. His instruction helped us thoroughly enjoy our evening.
Of particular delight was the kimchee. I am not a big fan of kimchee, but theirs was fresh and tasty. The marinated meats (and particularly, the bulgogi) were just outstanding.
I have neglected to mention the most important part of our dining adventure. You choose your own food at the bar, then, after you bring it back to your table, you are to cook it on an open brazier AT YOUR TABLE! The brazier is adequately vented by an overhead fan so the smoke does not sting your eyes (but you will leave there smelling liked you slaved over a stove for a few hours). I never thought cooking my own food at a restaurant would be this much fun. I especially enjoyed roasting the fresh garlic cloves. YUMMY!
The hosts were awesome, the food was plenty (all you can eat) and the experience was a blast. Be sure to get there early as seating is limited and the line forms early. They also offer an impressive assortment of Asian beer – to wash down the tasty food with! Bring some friends (they only seat 2+ people, never any singles).