Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Washington DC & Baltimore >
Aug 28, 2006 10:29 PM

Korean Food in DC

I need some major help. I am looking for a good (great would also do) Korean restaurant in the DC area for a 1 year old's birthday party. I live in Los Angeles so I am asking for the DC hounds for their very biased opinions (this is a good thing). The food has to be good and the place neds to be able to handle close to 100 people, most of which have not had Korean food.

Please help!!!!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hee Been in Alexandria's West End may be your spot. Hee Been has a fairly large back room that I've seen them section off for private parties. The buffet is decent and the kitchen turns out better food than is on the buffet. It is also easy to find, as it is just west of the 395/Little River Turnpike interesection.

    1. Here's the fullblown list of Korean Restaurants in DC (as rated by Koreans, mostly). You may have to opt for one of the larger ones, since most Korean places in DC aren't really geared to handle a 100-plus crowd. Good luck!

      1. Curious...why do you want to hold a 1 year old's birthday party at a restaurant where most of the 100 invited guests never had Korean food? What do you plan on serving? Most korean joints have their strengths and weaknesses.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chownut

          The reason being is that the mother is Korean and the father is not, hence the fact that some/most of the people have not been in a Korean restaurant is due to the fact that most of the people on the East Coast are his side of the family and are not very diverse in terms of food. The reason for the Korean restaurant is because the parents want that.

          Now that you know can you suggest a restaurant that may work and then tell me their strengthes and weaknesses.


          1. re: jkao1817

            Most joints in this area are too small to handle that size of a party. Your best bet is Hee Been. If possible, I'd talk to them about setting up some sort of buffet instead of sit down meal. Buffet would be sushi, kalbi, bulgogi, chicken bbq, korean seafood pancake, mandoo googi, and maybe chop chae. Hee Been is a "ritzy" looking joint, but does buffet. Also, they have a bar, that will keep the nonkoreans happy. Your other bet is probably Woo Lae Oak of Seoul, a chain, with locations in Tysons and Pentagon City. I would imagine the Tysons location is nicer since it's newer and is located in a wealthy area.


        2. Woo Lae Oak is the old standby for big events and solid food (Pentagon City branch). The decor is a little dated though. (I don't know if the new branch at Tysons holds parties, and the food is more fusion/americanized there).

          2 Replies
          1. re: jeanki

            Woo Lae Oak has had some widely varying reviews, everything from great to poor. Proceed with caution.

            Also, the bill might run very steep for 100 people. If it were my dime, I'd be inclined to go to a less-upscale, less Westernized Korean restaurant.

            1. re: monkeyrotica

              I think the bill will run steep at any full-menu Korean joint. I've been to Woo Lae Oak since I was a kid and the food has always tasted the same every time I've been. It's perfectly solid Korean restaurant staples, with BBQ being always above average.

              Another place I think is solid is Woomi Garden in Wheaton although I'm not sure if their facilities, although large, will hold 100 people. And the decor is well, typical tacky-kitschy Asian.

          2. In DC proper there is nothing I can recommend.

            If you need a place that is metro accessible, I'd recommend Woo Lee Oak (very close to Pentagon city stop on the yellow line). Can easily hold 100 but also the most pricy korean in DC.

            Annandale is the korean enclave near DC. Two places that would hold the kind of crowd you want is Han Song Oak and Sorak Garden (I'd go with Sorak).

            A completely different option and the one I've used over and over (my wedding, both of the kids "dor", 100 day and 1 year celabration, xmas, etc) is Dong Ah Catering. I think (as do my parents) that they are the best catering in the DC area. The cost will be about $13 per person and that will come with about 12 to 13 different type of dishes. We order about 10% less than the head count (e.g., for 100 we would order for 90) because they always provide too much food.

            However, you will need to find a place to hold it (e.g., your parent place). They will bring the food to you with all the things needed for the meal. It will definitely be cheaper than any resturant and better food and more variety of food then most.

            If you interested I can post their phone number.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Soup

              Do you have addresses and numbers for the Han Song Oak and Sorak Gardens?

              1. re: jkao1817

       has the numbers. Han Song oak is spelled differently but it is the resturant on columbia pike, falls church.