This is probably the best homemade Korean grilled beef dish EVER, no exaggeration. I guess you can think of it as a Korean-style beef teriyaki. It is my daughter's favorite way to eat meat and I've never met an American who didn't like it.
I was surprised not to find any other kalbi recipe on the zaar, though there are many for braised short ribs and the other korean bbq beef, bulgogi. Kalbi is simple and delicious.
Growing up, I typically only had kalbi on special occasions, family holiday dinners, church picnics, and the like. In a restaurant, it can get very pricey but it's a real treat of an experience to have kalbi cooked right at the table and have all sorts of side dishes to eat with it.
This recipe is also very flexible: easily doubled; any sweeteners can work in place of sugar (pear juice, honey, brown sugar); easily fried in a skillet or broiled in the oven or grilled... You can serve with just rice, or go all out restaurant-style and serve with red lettuce leaves for wrapping, spicy bean paste, slices of garlic cloves, sliced up scallions and kimchi. It's up to you! The only important thing to remember is the proportion of sugar to soy sauce to water that will result in the best combination of sweet and savory.
Prep time does not include marinating time.