Nestled in Lamar Union, a plaza known for its foodie offerings, is Jjim Korean BBQ.

Jjim—pronounced “jeem”—means “braised” in Korean, a hint to what patrons will find on the menu.

Unlike the popularized version of Korean barbecue in which guests grill their own thinly sliced meats right on the table, Jjim offers a lesser-known barbecue experience with slow-cooked meats and vegetables.

Jjim’s star item is the Beef Galbi Jjim, which includes 18-hour braised beef that falls off the bone along with potatoes, carrots, shishito peppers and scallions swimming in a savory pan sauce.

“When Korean people come in, they will say, ‘This is how my grandma used to cook it,’” co-owner Charlie Oh said.

Jjim’s menu features other Korean staples, including spicy pork bulgogi, LA-style Galbi, and sides of soft-boiled marinated eggs, crispy tofu and sour kimchi.

Oh said everything at Jjim is authentic, although some items have an added twist, such as the extra light and crispy kimchi pancake and kimchi fried rice made with brisket. The restaurant also offers a nontraditional but popular option to add mozzarella cheese on top of its braised beef and chicken entrees.

Jjim was opened in February 2021 by Brian Kim, Young Noh and Min Choe—all members of the CKN Hospitality group that opened Roba Katsu & Teriyaki and Donkey Mo’s, a now-closed Korean fried chicken restaurant.

Kim and Noh both hold degrees from The Culinary Institute of America and have experience working on Michelin-starred restaurants, and Choe brought in business experience as a The University of Texas McComb School of Business alumnus and CEO of Tso Chinese Delivery. Oh stepped in for Choe about a month after Jjim’s grand opening, adding additional restaurant management experience.

“The Korean community is small in Austin,” Oh said. “That’s how we got to know each other.”

While the group of friends and business partners has already made a substantial mark on the Austin restaurant scene, they have ambitious plans ahead. A new Donkey Mo’s location is under construction in North Loop. The new location is slated to open this fall with draft beer and a big patio at 5312 Airport Blvd., Austin, near Home Slice Pizza. Plus, Oh said a Korean rice bowl concept called BYC is also on the horizon.