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Best Korean Places in Annandale?

Any suggestions? I have yet to explore this area but love Korean food and have been told that there are many Korean restaurants in that town. Rather than go by trial and error, I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas on where to begin. Also, are there asian grocery stores in the area? Any recommendations would be appreciated, thanks!

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  1. Let's begin with the grocery stores: Grand Mart and Super H are the biggest, each with multiple locations and much to recommend them. I tried the newish Ara in K-Mart Plaza, Annandale, and liked it a lot. (You gotta love an Asian grocery next to a 100%-Hello-Kitty store).

    Each of the Annandale Korean places has its strengths and weaknesses, its fans and detractors.

    A&J on Markham Street (Rd?) has wonderful noodles and dumplings.

    Vit Goel ("Lighthouse") has the awesomest Soon Dubu I've tried (try "extra hot" around the time they open, 10am ... the rest of your day will be very interesting).

    Yechon is a 24-hour popular-with-Koreans wonder

    I like Il Mee for its lunch buffet (cheaper without the tableside grill, which I'm tired of just about everywhere)

    See this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585861

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser

      I concur.

      Yechon has a very big menu and is very good across the board.

      Vit Goel has a tiny, specialized menu and has my favorite dish as Wayne said.

      The only thing I'll add is that Gom Ba Woo is another small place with very good ji-gae.

    2. For all around, Yechon is a good choice. their lunch specials are superb. A bowl of cold noodles and bbq rib LA style are around 12 at lunch. But there is somewhere else to go to get almost everything else that is better, but I think no one deos as much as well, especially the banchan.

      Honey pig for BBQ. No comparison anywhere else. Tyler Cowan likes the place with the yellow sign with the cow on it and no English name but its not in the same category at all IMO. Pork Neck #33 is meatier and fattier all at once than the thinck belly #1. The brisket is superb and the chu pan is amazing. Banchan are just OK

      Oe Gad Jib has Dong Dong Ju which is Korean moonshine. I ave been told that you take water, rice and set it in a worm corner till it stops bubbling to make it. While they do an all you can eat stoneware BBQ, I am a fan of their soups and stews more. Kay gets the ginseng chicken soup and I have had both the Man Doo Guk and the Pork & Potato. Great if incredibly large Bossam.

      Vit Goel as mentioned for Soon Du Bu.

      Il Mee for the sushi and BBQ parts of the buffet. The cooked food is no beter than any other buffet. They ahve bowls of soon du bu or pork that they will cook for you. The pork comes in soy bean broth. The cinnamon punch for dessert in great and their sushi is pretty good, especially at 11:30 when it is all fresh. Great Kim Chee and other pickles.

      Not a fan of Hee Bin. I think Il Mee is just as good for a lot less.

      I have only been to Gom Ba Woo once on my own and the Mandoo Guk was very good except the Mandoo themselves were flavorless.

      Gamalsot is supposed to be great Seoul Long Tang but I prefer Yet Gol in Wheaton's version as the broth is brothier, less viscous.

      1. A&J is northern Chinese, not Korean, but a great place; we eat there at least once a month.

        For Korean, the Ara restaurant on Little River Turnpike katty-corner from the Kmart plaza has become a big lunch-time hit for our family. They have an extensive lunch special menu, primarily soups, but with some grilled fish and noodle dishes too. It turns into a loud night club in the evenings, so we've never been there at night. By lunch, it is largely empty and a pleasant space. This weekend's discovery on their menu was that they have added jajang noodles, much to my daughter's delight. The advertised house-made "noddles" were thin, rather than the thick hand-pulled variety we enjoyed in Seoul, but the potato, onion, and black bean topping was the real deal and very good. (Jajang mien is a Korean take on a Chinese standard of pork and vegetables in bean sauce on noodles; A&J serves what I believe is the actual Chinese dish for comparison.)

        Everyone else has also given good recommendations. Annandale is full of solid Korean restaurants, each with its own specialties. The only real disappointment I've had is the Korean-Chinese place near Duck Changs and the pet store (across LRT from K-mart), where we found the jajang mien to be a sad mockery of what we had experienced in Korea.

        3 Replies
        1. re: PollyG

          A&J is definitely Northern Chinese, Manchurian possibly, definitely north of Beijing food. I went there with a Cantonese girlfriend of mine who grew up in NoVAn and has passable Mandarin. She knows all the places to eat around here. The dan-dan noodles at A&J are awesome.

          1. re: dc_food_lover

            It's definitely not Manchurian, but generic northern Chinese where the emphasis is on wheat based food such as noodles and breads, though they do have rice dishes.

            1. re: dpan

              FYI: A&J serves one version of congee (rice porridge) and serves only thee dishes (like pork chop) that come with rice, but none are truly a rice dish. All the other dishes have no rice and if you want rice, they will charge for it.

              Menu link:
              http://www.dc495.com/wiki/index.php?t...

        2. Recommend trying Dduk Sarang for Korean porridge - the tuna and veg one is delish! To see pictures of the Korean porridge, visit the link below:
          http://geeksqueek.blogspot.com/2008/1...

          Also, the tofu dish at Tofu House ROCKS! I tried to search out the address for you, but had little luck. It's in the same center as the Giant grocery store and Gom Ba Woo (which is also good Korean food!

          )

          -----
          Dduk Sarang
          4231 Markham St, Annandale, VA

          Gom Ba Woo Restaurant
          7133 Columbia Pike, C Annandale, VA

            1. re: chaofun

              Hi Everyone,

              Thank you so much (!!!) I am so excited to try these places, especially the 24 hour place, Yechon, for those nights when I don't manage to get home until quite late and everything else is closed for food. Thank you also for the addresses, I am horribly directionally challenged, so this helps a lot. :) Where I went to undergraduate, there was a tiny Korean grocery store more or less on campus that had ready-made food, including kim bap, which was to die for. I was just visiting Boston 'x' months ago and had to squeeze in a visit to the campus and to that exact store. I miss it dearly, hopefully I will find that at one of the grocery stores mentioned above. I have always found it hard to find them in restaurants, for whatever reason.

              Totally on a side note - has anyone been to the seafood market on Maine street . (Is that correct, how I phrased that?) I was watching glimpses of "No Reservations" the other night, and they had visited there. Just curious.

              Oh, sorry, another question...is parking relatively or moderately easy in Annandale? Thank you so much (!!!) again, sincerely

              1. re: Lucky Basil

                There's plenty of parking in Annandale. No need to worry about that. If you're used to the Boston Korean food scene, you will be astounded by the options in Annandale!