The best part of the weekend is when I can spend time outside of the home with the people I love, over a terrific meal, sharing great conversation. It’s particularly special when the people I love are actually doing the cooking. For me! (Insert cheesy grin here). This is why I enjoy yakiniku, and Karubi-Ya is my preferred local restaurant for Japanese grilled barbeque also known as Korean BBQ. Karubi-ya is one of four restaurants that make up the Bayside Village Yokosuka center, sometimes referred to as American Row. From Yokosuka Naval Base, it’s an easy drive south along seaside Route 16 or a few minutes walk from a couple of local train stations nearby.
The name “Karubi” is also known as kalbi (or galbi), which is a Korean dish for marinated beef short ribs. “Yakiniku” is a Japanese term used for grilling bite-sized meat and vegetables over a charcoal or gas grill. What immediately sets Karubi-Ya apart from other yakiniku restaurants in the area is the quality of meat, the ample table space for your food & guests, and the smokeless gas grills installed so you can leave the restaurant yakiniku odor-free!
Our party of three usually ends up spending ¥10,000 or less. I admit it’s a little pricey, but very close to what you would pay at a yakiniku buffet dinner for a subpar meat selection. We share just about everything, so we typically order family style. Ordering is foreigner-friendly here. You just have to be patient and scroll slowly through the electronic Japanese/English menu. It’s just like placing your order on an iPad (my teenager son enjoys this feature so much he handles all of the ordering…and as a previously mentioned…cooking!). If you’re still having trouble, just hit the button to call for service and you’ll be taken care of within seconds.
Here are our favorites: Karubiya-King (feeds 4~5 people) ¥5,480 on the Ozar Yakiniku page, Vegetable Set ¥700 that comes with lettuce, cabbage salad, kimchi, peppered bean sprouts & pickled vegetable, Miso Hot Noodle soup ¥780, Large Steamed Rice ¥250/ea. Sometimes we'll add in a small plate of marinated beef ribs, Kuroge-Wagyu-Karubi ¥790. Of course, dinner is not complete without ordering dessert. We normally select Soft Cream ¥300/ea for dessert and for easy handling, the cones are delivered in stands that I find so charming.
It appears that Karubi-Ya recently completed remodeling the interior, transforming a good number of Westernized tables into traditional Japanese zashiki type rooms. With shoes removed, you are seated on zabuton (Japanese cushion) in the horigotatsu setting, which allows you to dangle your legs in the pit instead of sitting cross-legged. On that note, plan ahead and be sure to wear clean socks without any holes! Or, just request a standard table. Enjoy!