Hey there. Just wanted to report on Mandu, a Korean restaurant right on 18th street between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle (near Rosemary's Thyme and Lauriol Plaza.) I hadn't heard of it before, but I was really quite impressed by the food. I had bibimbap in a hot stone bowl, for $11.95, and it was copious and yummy. The menu was pretty short, and included a few noodle soups and a couple barbecue dishes (I didn't see any do-it-yourself grills anywhere though). For those of us who can't make it out to Annandale, Mandu seems like a great option.
I agree. I'm fortunate to live about 5 blocks from Mandu, and I go there often by myself and eat at the bar. I often get the kimchi stew (kimchi jigae), and ask for it spicy. They seem to use the kimchi juice for the broth instead of pure water, which is the right way but few restaurants do it. At least it tastes that way. I only wish they served it boiling in a clay pot, which is traditional. I asked the owner about this, and he said they don't have sufficient storage space for enough clay pots to accommodate every dish that uses them. But the stew is good, as well as everything else I've tried there.
I think their panchan (side dishes) have improved since opening a year ago. Maybe due to customer feedback. And their kimchi has improved as well.
I usually go to Mandu when I want traditional Korean cooking and I don't want to drive to MD or VA to get some. It's good accessible Korean. Translation: if you are use to Korean spicy you are going to have to ask for your food to be spicy. The owner and her son are nice people.
Also they do a an awesome brunch deal on the weekend which includes kimbop and whole bunch of other things. I haven't tried it yet because it's weird for me to pay for kimbop when I can easily make it at home.
We went to brunch there today. It was great. My husband got the brunch plate with beef and I got the veggies and tofu. The beef was really good and the tofu and veggies exceeded expectations. Lots of food for your buck. Get the orange sojutini, skip the rather common spiked iced tea. Delish!