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Solid Korean BBQ, nice atmosphere?

csk Dec 14, 2011 05:17 PM

My fiance and I are heading out there to visit his parents in Silver Spring, and we'd like to introduce them to Korean food. We're planning on highlighting Korean food at our wedding next year (I'm Korean American), and we'd like to show them what it's like, and ultimately convince them that it's tasty (they have more conservative palates).

So, what we're looking for is your standard tasty, BBQ meats, particularly galbi, a good selection of banchan (preferably a good variety of non-spicy ones). English-speaking staff is not necessary, as I can speak enough to get by.

No Woo Lae Oaks please - we'd like something local. We're willing to drive a bit, but Annandale, which seems to have a sizeable Korean population, feels a bit far, so we're hoping that something closer to Silver Spring would fit the bill.


  1. c
    csk Dec 21, 2011 01:35 PM

    Thank you for the suggestions - this is really helpful. I think we're leaning towards Woomie just to keep it simple and close, and the feedback on this board has been really encouraging!

    1. o
      OldSchool Dec 20, 2011 02:04 PM

      "Vit Goel" on Twinbrook Pkwy (Rockville) for good tofu soups but they also have decent galbi and bulgogi. Pleasant atmosphere. "Hwa Gae Jang Tuh" on Veirs Mill Rd., north of Twinbrook Pkwy (Rockville) for the std. stuff. I thought it was quite good, also pleasant atmosphere and it's near a Shilla bakery.

      You may also consider the little fast food places in the Korean mkts (Korean Korner- Rockville, HMart-Wheaton, Lotte-Silver Spring). Kind of hectic but the food is good. There's a restaurant next to Korean Korner that I've never tried.

      I've only tried Woomi Garden's lunch buffet and I thought it was good.

      2 Replies
      1. re: OldSchool
        AsperGirl Dec 23, 2011 05:30 AM

        I tried the Woomi buffet once, and would recommend ordering off the menu.

        1. re: AsperGirl
          elgringoviejo Dec 23, 2011 10:03 AM

          Haven't been to Woomi since June, but as of then IMO the lunch buffet was a good deal and priced right. Have never ordered off the menu, so I can't address that issue.

      2. c
        csk Dec 19, 2011 08:01 AM

        Thank you for the recs. Woomie Garden has gotten some good reviews, but it also seems like it's been on a downward trend the past couple of years (both in food quality and atmosphere). Anyone been recently and find it to be as good as before?

        1 Reply
        1. re: csk
          AsperGirl Dec 19, 2011 06:05 PM

          I don't really notice any trend.  It's hard times for a lot of restaurants right now, with fewer customers and rising food prices, so I'm not one to care about restaurants re-using menus with old prices blacked out or whether the place needs a renovation or not.

          We usually get a sashimi platter, Ojinkah Bokeum (Spicy Squid), Galbi, Dolsot Bibimbap (bibimbap in the hot stone bowl) and sometimes broiled mackerel.  I sometimes get the codfish Tang.  I don't think I ever really cared for theIr Daeji Bulgogi (spicy pork barbecue).  The bancan (side dishes) are okay but I've had better.  We had the galbi a couple of weeks ago, and it was great.  My husband loves the sashimi there.  He likes the hearty cuts of Korean style sashimi, and Woomi's is satisfying.

          They've been doing a lot of groupons lately where you pay $15 for $30 worth of Bbq or sushi: http://www.groupon.com/now/deals/15-f...

          It's pretty good Korean in Montgomery County.  You can get better Korean food for the same price if you want to drive to VA.  

        2. d
          dining with doc Dec 17, 2011 05:08 PM

          Woomie Garden in Wheaton is the obvious choice

          1. d
            dzoey Dec 17, 2011 03:29 PM

            Ellicott City has a number of Korean BBQ places, such as Shin Chon Garden or Honey Pig. It's not local to Silver Spring, but is closer than Annandale, especially since they've been removing the stop lights on US29.

            5 Replies
            1. re: dzoey
              HowChowBlog Dec 19, 2011 05:38 PM

              Listen to DIning With Doc. He knows his stuff.

              However, it is an easy drive up Rte 29 from Silver Spring to Ellicott City if Woomie isn't your place. (I haven't been.) Right at the exit for Rte 40 East, you can stop at Shin Chon Garden. Casual Korean. You can get barbecue and even a barbecue table. But it's a classy casual place. Very nice atmosphere. Very nice food.

              Check out posts here or various blogs around town.

              Shin Chon
              8801 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City, MD

              1. re: HowChowBlog
                dining with doc Dec 21, 2011 01:19 PM

                Thanks for the props. Went to honey pig next to h mart on route 40. More modern decor than Woomie but we actually preferred the food at Woomie to that of honey pig.

                1. re: dining with doc
                  HowChowBlog Dec 22, 2011 06:17 PM

                  I have to try Woomie. We liked dinner at Honey Pig, but we keep going back to Shin Chon Garden. The food is great, and it's a fun place to take people who are new to Korean food.

                  1. re: dining with doc
                    MikeR Dec 23, 2011 04:08 AM

                    Most of us here in the VA burbs think of Honey Pig as one of the many Korean restaurants in Annandale - funky/hip, noisy, and really tasty the one time I went, for lunch with a group. Is the one you mentioned another branch of the same place? And similar? Or perhaps that's just a common name (or translation of a common name in Korean)?

                    1. re: MikeR
                      dining with doc Dec 23, 2011 11:29 AM

                      They opened another honey pig in Catonsville, MD. Same vibe.

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