Tasty Korean Fare
I've found one or two good Korean restaurants in the area, but nothing yet that really satisfies my native tastes. There are myriad restaurants in Annandale, but the vast majority of them are geared toward American (i.e., bland) tastes. I'm dying for some good dukbogi. Any recommendations?
> There are myriad restaurants in Annandale, but the vast majority of them are geared toward American (i.e., bland) tastes
If that is true, they are geared towards bland *Korean*-American tastes because I rarely find any waitstaff that speaks English in Annandale -- the clientele is almost always mostly Korean. Maybe you can start by telling us where you have found the food bland.
There is a Korean BBQ place in Annandale that is wonderful, and very reasonably priced (I believe $14 for an all-you-can-eat buffet lunch and $18 for dinner). My roommate is Korean and adores it, and she did not think it was geared toward "American" tastes at all. (When I went, most of the patrons in it were Korean.)
Unfortunately, the name is escaping me. I remember that it was in a shopping complex off a main highway, and there was also a Korean bakery in the complex. That probably doesn't help much...anybody have any clues? My roommate doesn't recall the name, either.
I'm a big fan of Gamasot in Springfield. But, that could be due to my love for Korean soups. They specialize in seolleongtang and I seem to go there two, three times a month for it. And this from someone who mainly eats at home.
My usual rec. is Gom Ba Woo in Annandale. We're usually the only non-koreans in the place if that can be read as an indication of how American/Korean it is.
Great dukbogi is pretty hard to find. I have yet to find one actually. I make it at home and it is actually very easy to make.
As for the korean resturants in annandale, I don't think I've ever come across anything that is geared towards americans specifically. I find the food generally pretty good (unless you compare it to LA or Seoul). However, there are a few places that I think are outstanding (to be specific, have an outstanding dish) and would stand up equivalent place in korea or LA.
Seoul Soondae (soon dae)
To Sok Jip (blue fish chigae)
Woo Lee Oak (nang myun) (BTW, has it re-opened)
Go Yang Jip (gam ja tang)
Check out Chung dai kam for BBQ. You cook at the table over gas fired charcoal so you get charcoal flavor on the kalbi and so on. Great place. 7215 Columbia Pike, Annandale. 703-894-0431 (there's usually an english speaker around.)
I love Mandu on 18th st near Lauriol Plaza. Food is great, not too pricey and also have amazing drinks. You have to try the dish in the hot bowl with the fried egg on top. Fried eggplant is also amazing.
My Korean husband and all of his Korean friends frequent Annandale Korean restaurants for their authenticity and good eats. Some of our favorite places include Sorak Garden, Lighthouse Tofu, Yechon, Gamosot, and Cho's Garden. We hardly ever see any non Asians eating at those places. Woo Lae Oak at Tyson's is good-- has a little more upscale ambiance, more $$$, and caters to more mainstream tastes.
Love Gamasot! My husband and I go there almost every weekend for our seollongtang fix. It's one of our favorites. Clean, fresh, and yummy. Great panchan too. After Gamosot, we shop at the eMart for fresh veggies, fish, and fruit.
woomie garden in Wheaton and the korean restaurant in the days in hotel in college park maryland. everytime i have been to either place, I am the only non asian (and I assume non Korean) in each place. usually large tables of families eating bbq.