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Best Korean Restaurants in DC

  • j

It has been a while since I had korean food.
I am so behind on the good korean restaurants in the area. Any recommendations?

I appreciate it.

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  1. I think the ONLY Korean restaurant IN DC is Goong Jeon and it's not that great.

    Best bet is to check out koreandc.com. Real reviews by real Koreans.

    Woo Lae Oak doesn't rate very highly. Han Sung Oak in Falls Church is a personal favorite.

    Link: http://www.koreandc.com/restaurant/li...

    1 Reply
    1. re: wg

      Is Yee Hwa on 21st St. still open? It's not the best but it's pretty good.

    2. I've enjoyed some BBQ at Yechon and Annangol, both in Annandale, in the past month.

      1. My faves of the ones I've tried in descending order:
        1. Han Sung Oak - Falls Church, the best bbq and hanjeonshik (multi-course meal)
        2. Woomi - Wheaton, pretty decent selection of many traditional dishes including tabletop bbq.
        3. Dae Sung Gwan - Wheaton, Korean-Chinese cuisine. jja-jang myeon and jjamp-pong, as well as korean versions of chinese dishes.
        4. Woo Lae Oak - Pentagon City, good but expensive, not as many interesting or varied pan-chan (side dishes). known for their naeng-myeon (chilled cold noodle soup) and bibim-naeng-myeon (really spicy chilled noodle salad).
        In DC proper, the only restaurant I'm aware of is Kuma, a korean-japanese place which is just ok.
        There's a divey takeout Korean place called Adam Express in Mt. Pleasant that supposedly has decent korean items but I have yet to try it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sunshine

          I haven't been to han sung oak, but Woomi and Woo Lae Oak are definitely my favorite full scale Korean places in the area too. Excellent BBQ and soups.

          1. re: sunshine

            Another Korean place within DC limits - and like Adam Express, another dive - is Young's Deli at Capital City Market in NE, near the NY Ave Metro station and near Litteri's. Had a delicious & dirt cheap lunch there the other day even tho it's a hole in the wall in a rough & tumble neighborhood. $6 for entree, soup & 3 sides! Made fresh to order - my entree was not sitting on a steam table under a lamp.

            1. re: Sal-Monella

              Although most of Asian Bistro's (on L between 19th and 20th) menu is Vietnamese, they're Korean-owned these days and have a couple of Korean dishes on the menu. I've had their bibimbap and liked it. No panchan, though.

          2. I very much enjoyed the soo yuk at Gom Ba Woo in Annandale. Annandale is the center here for Korean restaurants. At least twenty places, I think, some with no signage in English.

            1. Han Sung Oak is very good and always consistent. I worked within walking distance for 2 months near there and tried to eat there when I could.

              1. Yee Hwa at 1009 21st St NW is fairly good. If you don't want to go to Annandale, VA (where the best Korean food is), your best shot is here.

                The Adam Express in Mt Pleasant seves great jap chae, bulgogi and mandu. You have to ask/read the menu because the place bills itself as a Chinese takeout. But the cook and his wife are Korean.

                There's a small place right above the McPherson metro (the 14th st exit) that serves Korean. It's not all that great but if you want a quick lunch, it's a good option. They have bulgogi, bi bim bap and some other items.

                1 Reply
                1. re: badtzmaru

                  As follow-on to badtzmaru, I also think Adam Express' food is pretty good and I've got a couple friends that really like the food.

                  Since I've got a menu handy, I'd let you know that they've got bulgogi, bibim bap, chap chae, o-jon-a bokum, tang su yuk, kan pung gi (shrimp & chicken), seafood pajun as well as some simple sushi and chinese food. The price for the Korean dishes runs between $6-$10 so it's an excellent deal as well but definitely more of a "dive" restaurant with maybe 5-6 stools where you could eat your food, counter-style.

                2. In the DC metro area, it is hard for me to pick a resturant without picking a dish because they are not universally good on all item. For example, Viet Gol is great for Soon DuBu but their ribs are ok. So here is my list with the favorite dishes:

                  1. Woo Lee Oak (one on Joyce which is currently closed not the one in tyson's) (Nang Mun and boneless ribs. Also good banchan quality, do the Jung Sik)
                  2. Viet Gol (Seafood tofu stew, and octopus with noodles, BTW, water kimchi is the best)
                  3. Seoul Soon Dae (Soon Dae, Soon Dae Gook and BoSam)
                  4. To Sok Jip (Grilled fish)
                  5. YeChon (Hae Jang Guk)

                  If the post was strickly limited to DC, my experience in DC haven't been all that satisfying.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Soup


                    I defiantly think that your choices rock!

                    I work near Annandale so I do lunch there 4 times a week

                    I go to Viet Gol once a week and YeChon twice a week. The girl know me @ this point

                    I just wish i could speak Korean

                    Anyways I like spicy spicy food is there anything like and Viet Gol octopus with noodles else ware you only can order number 13 so many times.

                    Also I love the chewy rice cake spicy I can’t find it any ware and when I ask they look @ me like a deer in the headlights

                    Let me know

                    1. re: washdcrealestate

                      Duck Poke Kee is I believe you are looking for. It has a sweet spicy thick sauce with rice cake. Most versions at the resturants have the long log shape rice cakes and the home as oval shape ones. If this is what you are referring to the following places have pretty good version...Any of the korean grocery store (about $3 for more than I can eat in one sitting).

                      Lunch box(korean chinese place right behind Yeachon, next to the bank) or the Choong Wha Won (sp?) korean chinese place next to popeyes on Rt 236. Both have pretty good version. I can't remember if Viet Gol has it?

                      1. re: Soup

                        Perfect I will try this week and let you know how it went

                        Soup It sounds like you really know what your talking about when it comes to Korean. But here's my question. For the last couple weeks I have been attempting to work my way around to every Korean restaurant in Annandale but everytime am disappointed. I always find my self going back to Viet Gol & YeChon. Are there any other restaurants that are better quality? It seems that these others restaurants pull all of their kimchi out of a Super H jar and aren't homemade. Im going to try your list of restaurants but if you can think of anymore let me know

                  2. My book group met at Mandu on 17th St. recently (http://mandudc.com/), and we all really enjoyed ourselves. I have no idea if it was authentic or not, but we all loved the beef and pork mandu and the dolsot bibim bap. And it is in DC! :-)

                    1. Don't laugh, but Dan the Man's Subs and Teriyaki has some damn good bulgogi. They do mostly carryout but they have tables and the bulgogi tastes better than Yee Hwa.

                      1. Hit up Yechon in annandale. open 24 hours. busy even at 2 in the morning.

                        1. Yet Gol is in the shopping center at Georgia and Randolph Road by the Glenmont Metro stop. Their best dish is Seoul Long Tang, beef bone soup with tripe & beef in it. The broth is milky white and comes alive with the addition of salt and of red pepper paste. I have yet to try Gamalsot's SLT but this rivals Gahn Mee Oak in New York. We also like their seafood pancake and the Soon du Bu is better than at Lighthouse Tofu (thicker soup, richer flavor in the broth). Family run and sometimes disorganized with loud Korean TV blasting away sometimes.