Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ

1998 18th St, Denver
(720) 726-4068

Recent Reviews

William Daniels

I went here for lunch, expecting it to be good, and I was not disappointed! They have an incredible lunch selection that is setup to make it really easy to order as a single diner, and the quality was top notch! This is now definitely in my top 5 'walk to lunch' spots for this area. Side note: the upgraded rice sides(garlic, etc) are quite large, so come hungry if you do that!

Duangkamon R.

everything is delicious. i'm impressive so much. i'm lucky for short time waiting. Recommend reserve before arrival . i'm order for 2people i think it too much. i'm very full.

Madie J.

Stopped here during lunch with my friend and it was great! I've seen it while it was under construction and was excited, I'd heard great things about this chain. Was expecting to shell out a lot of money but the lunch menu was very good. Forgot exactly what I got but it had a variety of meats. I was just expecting that, rice, and soup but also got salad and edamame which made for a very filling meal for a great price. The meat, delicious. I liked that they had a variety of sauces on the table, makes mine and the servers' lived easier. The only thing that I didn't like was the cocktail I got which tasted just like sake that made a juice mixed in.. was also kinda pricy but learned my lesson... Everybody super nice, kind of hard to get server sometimes but they were busy so it's fine.

Phing Yang

Lunch special was great. Got the signature combo and the food was tasty. Lots of food so be ready to eat.

Tam P.

One employee and a customer locked themselves in the bathroom for almost 15' doing cocaine. The employee came out first and then the other guy locked himself in there for another 5'. The other bathroom was being used for cleaning. Other than that, the food and service re always good there

Lindsey G.

I wish there was a 6 star option because we LOVE this place. My fiancé is seriously obsessed and asks to go here every other night (luckily we live just upstairs!) The food is always delicious and consistent with so much variety! my top picks are garlic fried rice (they serve it in a sizzling pot table side with a runny yoke mixed in) and the Harami in secret pot (basically skirt steak but awesome) Service is always stellar but we especially love Emily. Highly recommend!

Kanger H.

I really like this chain and have been to many other Gyu-Kaku locations in California. This particular location had great service and the quality of food was great. If I am being nit picky, this place is on the pricer side for the portion quantity and know that you are playing for the cool atmosphere as well. The kalbi short rib was my personal favorite cut and the options you can order are plentiful. Great date spot IMHO.

Colleen L.

Their location can't be beat - close to Coors Field and other downtown happenings, I love grabbing a bite of Asian fusion before heading out to a concert in Rino or out on the town. I've never had to wait for a table here, but if you have a large party, they are on Open Table. I believe happy hour is from 3-5 pm, but don't quote me, I was immediately handed a happy hour menu upon sitting down at 4:45. Happy hour food options are about $1-2 less than the regular price but the portion size remains the same. My favorites are the toro beef (fatty beef), beef tongue with scallion sauce, and Harami Secret Pot. The toro is part of the happy hour menu and has a great marinade. I saw some other reviewers complain that the beef tongue came frozen -- yes, it has to be frozen for it to be sliced so thinly, other barbecue houses do this too. Harami Secret Pot is a nice treat, but can be a little salty sometimes. The house salad is also great with a Japanese miso dressing. Skip the cold tofu, not flavorful at all and last time I had it, scallions were old and dry. Definitely load up on the zucchini with miso, it's a great serving size for only $3. The garlic chicken noodles and garlic fried rice are solid options for carbohydrates -- ask for the garlic fried rice extra crispy. Service could be better - waters are often left underfilled and food come out slowly and without real sense of staging courses. However, the food is tasty and solves a craving for Asian barbecue without a drive to Aurora. They also change your grill pretty regularly! Make sure to sign up for the rewards/points system and download the app - very worth it! I've already redeemed two separate $25 credits!

Katie S.

A little pricey, and all of our proteins for the grill didn't come out at the same time(like a good 25 minutes between items showing up), but it was a very fun experience!

Jimmy Nguyen

Japanese BBQ! Amazing staff and very good quality of marinated meats ready to grill at your table. The atmosphere is very fun and laid back. Highly recommended!!!

Timea Ryan

Absolutely love this resteraunt. So happy it came to Denver. Always a blast. Good food and good prices. Nice atmosphere.

Adam Hancock

Slam dunk! Amazing! I'm raving about it! I fell in love at the Burbank location with my brother years ago. So happy to see you guys in Denver welcome and I'm telling everyone. Thanks to my server Lauren who killed it!

Chris M.

I always walk by here and it smelt so good I had to drop by . My friends and I showed up without a reservation and were told it was a two hour wait , but then then the host went to check the floor out and sat us in 10 minutes . I ordered the spicy Ramen with a side a beef and hot Sake. I loved the ramen and though it was very good . The beef I grilled made it even better . The Sake was good as well . My group was super happy . My girlfriend who is vegetarian was able to eat here .

Chelsea F.

Overall the food was pretty freaking good! I loved the garlic noodles and the bimbop was amazing as well. We ordered the group combo I believe the samurai and all the meats that came with it were delicious. We also had the dumplings and we smashed those every thing was good as far as the food. The only issue was the time it took to bring the meat out we practically ordered our food right when we were CD seated but it took them over 20 minutes to bring out raw meat I find that a bit ridiculous but once it came out it was great from there

Spencer H.

Very good Japanese BBQ place. The restaurant vibe's / ambiance is plain; service is fine; location is great; food is very good. I came here for a lunch and got the meat lovers combo. Full meal and very tasty beef cuts for only $12.95. I will absolutely come back here.

Natasha Fish

Incredible food, hip atmosphere. Such a fun experience, and our waitress Emily was the best!! They're new and working out the kinks of restaurant service, but I highly recommend this place for a fun date night or group party.

Stewart L.

I love food places like this, Where you can kick back with no rush and literally share conversation and food, And it helps if you get a bomb server like Emily, fantastic and funny, my wife and I saw this place from the bus and then later on we were roaming around downtown so we went to it I loved it it was fun making your own meals the quality of me is fantastic The Rice and noodles are quality made, and the ambience is fantastic

Erin Markham

What a fun experience. Great service even with a 9:30 reservation and the food was excellent. We came for our daughters 16th birthday and are so happy we did. Thank you

d b.

OK let me start out with 100% transparency. I'm not a big fan of paying to cook my own food. That being said, this place is pretty OK. Not my favorite and I don't hate it either. I'd go back if a bunch of people wanted to go for the "experience", but I know better places in Denver for yummy Japanese grilled food. I ordered the beef tongue, the kalbi short rib, and the mixed veggies. Washed it down with a sparkling water. Big plus for the full size San Peligrino in the bottle. That was dope. Yuki(?) was my server. She was fine. She did her job, was attentive, but not overly so, which I hate. She just did what she was supposed to do, and left me to enjoy my meal, checking in periodically. Kudos for her. The pros, I imagine it's it's fun if you go with a group and eat family style. The flavors were good, no complaint there... the sauces tasted good but pretty similar. I'll touch on this more later... The veggies seemed fresh. They cooked up well. It was good but it wasn't stand out. It wasn't "great". Yuki not getting in my face every 2 minutes was a big plus. The Cons: You have to cook your own food, and you are going to pay for it. I mean come on... if I have to cook it, I shouldn't have to pay what I normally pay in a typical izakaya for the same cut of meat.. Have I mentioned that I really hate this restaurant concept? Here is why I docked their score... What was shown on the menu was not what arrived table side. I'd have given them a much better rating but this is a big deal to me. The portions were much smaller than what was shown on the menu, and the cuts didn't look as appealing. Especially the kalbi beef short ribs. The butchering was not done well, they were stringier, and roughly trimmed. The Beef tongue was frozen and much smaller and thinner than they were pictured. It was like 5 Steakumz.. (showing my age there), it even tasted like steakumz kinda. Wasn't bad, but it wasn't stand out, either. The sauces were "good" but there wasn't much difference in them at all. The spicy sauce was anything but spicy.. it was overly sweet and didn't have any kick to it. Zero. They lost some live there as well. If I have a plate with 3 places for for dipping sauce in the porcelain, I expect 3 distinctive sauces. Even their "special sauce" wasn't all that special. They had house music on the PA... I love house and techno... except when I'm eating. I know that's personal preference, but I feel it's like a subliminal message to hurry up and eat, and get the fuck out. Lots of Japanese places in Denver play this kind of music, so whatever... not loss of points, but it still sucks to me. This place would be great for a large party eating family style before you go hit the club. It would be fun if you like eating tiny bites of food and having to wait your turn to eat more.. (I'm not into that style of eating personally) so maybe I'm biased a little right out of the gate. Final verdict, The food tasted fine, but the portions, presentation, and cut quality were lacking compared to what was shown on the menu. Nothing knocked me out of the park. I ordered 3 items and my bill was around $40.00, not bad, but I cooked the food myself.. so whatever. Yuki was a perfectly satisfactory waitress. If if you are looking for a robatayaki style place then this might be your jam. I'm more of a regular izakaya guy myself. Maybe I'm just lazy or maybe I know where the super dank grinds are...

Solomon K.

Tucked away in downtown Denver, this is a great spot for those who want a korean/Japanese type bbq experience! They have a separate lunch and dinner menu, and we came in for lunch. We opted for the pick 2 meat combo, which came with rice, salad, soup and two cuts of meat that are available on the lunch menu. I generally prefer to eat marinated meats, so we chose the Kalbi chuck rib tare sweet soy, bistro hanger steak miso, garlic shoyu ribeye and angus beef ribs. The restaurant has at least 10 options to choose from from the lunch barbecue menu and is more than enough to satisfy any carnivores cravings. The portions are generally about 3-4oz servings so by the end of the meal, we were very satisfied but not overly full (my friends and I do eat a lot though). Overall, the restaurant serves good quality cuts of meats. You do cook your own meat but I think you can have the servers help you. The different marinades in my opinion seem to blend in and not really stand out, but overall the marinade is a sweet and soy based sauce, so it's delicious! If you don't feel like driving out to aurora, this is a great choice.

Samuel Granado

Great little restaurant nestled behind Union Station. Service was great and the food was just as good. Everything was seasoned perfectly. Will definitely come back for more.

Emily T.

I can't get enough of Gyu-Kaku! They are a chain but it doesn't make you feel like they're a chain. We walked in for lunch on a weekday and my boyfriend and I had a great experience. They are located on the corner of a block. Parking was easy to find. Just had to keep track of the meter time. We were traveling and visiting Denver for just a few days. Had to hit up the foodie spots and Gyu-Kaku is one of them. I wasn't able to eat at the other locations when visiting those cities but I'm glad my first one was in Denver. I find it hilarious because both Instagram and Snapchat has this location as Guy-Kaku. The quality of the meats were amazing. You could also BBQ it the way you want. My boyfriend likes it well done and crispy. I thought they had great lunch specials. For a very decent price, you get a salad, soup, white rice, and choice of meats. I was pretty full after eating about 2.5 servings of different meats I ordered. Not to mention the ban-chan that comes with it. I loved the potato salad. My boyfriend did some ala carte orders too to make sure there were enough food. Plus he likes to try the variety of cuts. Our waitress was really kind. She also went out her way to make conversation about when she visited Miami (where we are from). Didn't want our meal to end. It was so good! I would definitely come back to Gyu-Kaku if we are back in the city.

Mike Barbalacci

All is excellent. Everything is delicious. Been there a number of times. Except.....hard to get in and out in a reasonable amount of time at lunch. Fun and lots of food. Reasonably priced. Parking is jacked up and hit or miss.

Amanda K.

I really loved this place and was a regular, going multiple times a week. It's convenient to Union Station and reasonably priced, and the food is usually good. The service, however, has scared me away. This location can't keep servers or hosts and has gone through tons since opening. A couple are competent, but most really struggle. Getting a fresh grill grate or drink can be a frustrating experience, as servers rarely come by tables. I don't go out to dinner to be ignored by waitstaff and forced to wait 15 minutes for water, 40 minutes for raw meat or almost 50 minutes (!!!) for fried rice. This has started happening regularly enough that I won't return.

Ving T.

We had a very nice girl's dinner at Gyu. The atmosphere, food and drinks were really good. We just ate too much.

Aly H.

Far exceeded expectations and we had high ones! Quinny did a great job of explaining the menu and the happy hour menu for 2 was the perfect amount of food for 2 people. Pair it with a beer and your tummy will be content. Fun atmosphere and attentive service. You can't go wrong here!

Emily G.

Came here late one night after arriving back in Denver and had a great meal. I've been to the Tustin CA location many times. Denver location has a clean modern feel with waaaay better exhaust fans! Went with the meat lovers meal for 2 people and likes everything. The table grils work really well - even hot heat. Good cooks perfectly. I'm a big yakiniku fan and this place delivers.

Penny J.

had sucky yaki vegetable bibimbap which shouldnt be called bibimbap because it does the native korean dish a total disservice. just as you could never call a pepperoni pizza with one pepperoni and a dollop of sauce with a few sprinkles of cheese a pizza -the same logic would be applicable to the bibimbap served at denver's gyu-kaku. 98%rice 2%'vegetables'- which was literally a few super thinly chopped mushrooms and some strands of wilted spinach. good flavor but did not taste like a bibimbap- though they did 'mix' the rice, which covers the bibim and as mentioned the 98% of rice covers the 'bap' it was only $8.50 but again not a bibimbap. much more like a fried rice

Citah Y.

This was my first time having Japanese bbq and will NOT be my last! Honestly I think I prefer this over Korean bbq. This is not all you can eat. They have meal sets depending on how many people you have or they have al a carte. I recommend the meal set if you want a full experience and try a few more things. But if you don't care for all the extras ordering al a carte might be the way to go for you. The meal sets are pretty similar to each other. Comes with soup, salad, an appetizer, and meats and veggies for grilling. A few items differ depending on the meal sets you get which is determined by how many people you have. It's not all bbq and grilling items on the menu. They have rice bowls, noodles, ramen, etc. We did add a couple more meats that were not apart of the meal set. Also, added an order of the garlic noodles which I recommend if you are a garlic lover. The noodles were think and soft and so garlicy. One of my favorites that was in the meal set was the beef sukiyaki rice bowl that come in one of those stone bowl that are heated so the rice gets crispy. Other additional things we ordered were some pickled veggies and peppers which were delish! Not one bad thing we ate! Experience and food were great. Staff was very friendly and explained everything. This is not a quick bite type place so do set aside some time to grill and enjoy everything. Definitely be back. Already drooling by just writing this review.

Nikki J.

My friend and I made a reservation for this place because the place was going to be full. When we walked in, there was no one at the front desk and we waited at least 10 minutes before someone could seat us even though multiple waiter/waitresses passed by us. There was no one else standing by the door except for us so it was not that busy during that time. My friend and me it was rude of them to do that. When we were finally seated, nobody came to serve us until 15 minutes later and then took our order. The food tasted good but the service was really bad. Overall, the place did not feel welcoming and the food takes a long time.

Alex Borton

The food was awesome, and the customer service is amazing. I will recommend to get a reservation at least a day in advance for weekend trips.

Shin M.

My friend and I got the lunch special. It seemed Like it was going to be a lot of food but it was just right. Every course was really tasty! Meat was well seasoned. Love the s'mores option as a dessert even tho it has nothing to do with Japanese cuisine. A bit pricey but that's expected with Japanese food. Nice restaurant ambiance.

Victoria N.

The food is here is pretty stinking good. I know it's not Korean BBQ but same concept only a step up! The cuts of meat were so much better and it was legit! I will start this off by saying that my SO and I are currently doing a detox and we agreed to meet here for a friend's birthday. Our friends are pretty badass and they picked a place where we could have more options to eat. I will say, we were THAT table tonight. We were asking everything that was in the food and told them we couldn't eat a lot of the stuff. (No dairy, soy, gluten, etc.) Our waiter was super nice about it and we felt terrible because I know it's the worst when someone tries to come in and change everything. They were super accommodating and did everything we asked! Then things started to go downhill from there. Our party got the samurai course with 3 extra appetizers and 5 extra a la carte meats. If you look at the menu, the samurai course comes with a boat load of stuff. We got our 5 meats right after salads came out. Then got the rice and noodles and then the meats for the course steadily. The miso soup never came and neither did any of the appetizers. We were eating and chatting away anyway so no big deal. We weren't upset about any of it and just told our waiter not to worry about the appetizers but we'd like the soup. This was when we found out the miso soup machine was down. We didn't know that. Okay, no big deal. We brought cake and were ready to do that anyway. So our waiter started clearing the table to prepare for the dessert and that's when things got really real. He was trying to stack everything up super high to the point where we were kind of impressed. Until we weren't. He ended up spilling the soy sauce all over my SO and it splashed onto me. I've been a waitress and I know that freaking sucks so we tried to stay calm. He asked us about bringing soda water and napkins to clean it. He did and we proceeded to wipe our clothes. Mine wasn't too bad but he was soaked. The thing was more than half full when it spilled and he got the brunt of it. We were calm and didn't make a scene because karma. But then we asked for stuff for cake and he brought us plates and a knife but so silverware. Then he brought the check. Now we weren't here to get anything out of it but as a previous waitress, when you mess up, you fix it. He didn't even help us clean. We wiped down the table and the bench at the booth, not him, and he couldn't even take off anything. I don't know if that's asking a lot but usually free dessert or something is a norm for where I worked. The birthday boy politely made a comment to the waiter about it and he said he would talk to his manager. The manager came back and said he took off a sake and a salad. Oh but wait, the salads were included with the samurai course! What the heck?! So the birthday boy went back to the manager to explain everything to which it seems he didn't know the extent of everything that had happened. He handled it very well and we were very appreciative. Would've given this place 5 stars if it wasn't for service that wasn't the greatest!

Richard Borg

Great Japanese BBQ, great selection. Tasted very good, and prices were not bad. We came in late for our reservation, with an extra person on a Saturday night and they still seated us. Service was amazing.

Paul C.

It pains me to write this review about one of my favorite restaurant franchise. I was super excited when I found out Gyu Kaku was coming to Denver. Tonight was my second time coming since it opened. Honestly, the service was extremely disappointing (especially for a franchise origin from Japan, which prides itself in service). I will say the kitchen (the quality of the food), no complain. It is superb. But you already know that this review is about service. Problems (1) The non-caring attitude: We notified them the ceiling above us was dripping water (multiple times). The manager said that we should move away from the water spot to avoid being dripped on. We playing dodge ball? Then our server gave us a "sorry, i can't help you" face and walked off. So it sprinkled on. I guess if you pretend that this is Rainforest Cafe, then it's a good cooling effect? (2) Forgot our order. Ordered rice, never came. When found out, the response was "uh.... I thought I forgot something". Oh well. (3) Told them we are celebrating two birthdays. By the end of the night, we got the check with no birthday cheers from the staff, at least not until the host of the party reminded them again. We are thankful for the good company we had tonight, no thanks to the staff of Gyu Kaku though. P.S. I have visited Gyu Kaku in Tokyo, Honolulu, Vancouver, Houston, Vegas. By far, DENVER location has the least to offer (no AYCE) and sub-par service.

Jeff Palop

great food. good service, good price

Gloria Reh

Great experience. Nice selection of meats. Japanese fried chicken is soooo good. Love the shishito peppers. Definitely a must try. Been here twice since they opened.

Jeffrey Schiller

Food was terrific and the waitress was great explaining how to prepare the food. Prices are very reasonable. Will totally go back next time I'm in the area!

Zack Hintz

It was absolutely delicious, however, the young woman who was our waitress provided my party with very poor service, compared to what we had seen from other staff members who were attentive and polite to their guests. Our server, however, seemed somewhat oblivious, only changing our grill twice throughout our meal, after being asked to by a member of my party. The food was great but I would guess this young woman was hired for her looks rather than her skills, unfortunately I didn't catch her name, but our standard 15% tip no more should hopefully let her know she could be doing better. I jokingly said to a member of my party after seeing how great other staff members were, "I wish I could tip one of them instead".

Matthew Cisneros

I wasn't expecting a "cook it yourself" experience. It is. The wait staff was super helpful. Food was great. I went with four friends and we had a great time.