Edoya--Ssambap in Herndon
Edoya has opened up in Herndon in a space previously occupied by a series of Korean-owned Japanese restaurants (150 Eldon St.), specializing in Japanese and ssambap. Ssambap are grilled meat dishes served with a heaping platter of assorted greens, used for wrapping the grilled meat. Momofuku's version was highlighted in last weeks New York Times.
We went last night, braving their opening night jitters, because Herndon has been without a Korean restaurant for far too long. The menu is a mix of Japanese and Korean dishes, with a sidebar section about the ssambap. 3 types of ssambap are available: pork belly, bulgoki, and beef brisket. We went with the pork belly. It was unmarinated and grilled at the table. I would have liked thicker slices, but with all the vegetables, you can eat pork belly and fool yourself into thinking you've just had a real healthy meal. Greens included kale, red Swiss chard, mustard greens, baby choy, steamed cabbage, shiso/perilla, red leaf lettuce, and romaine.
We spoke a bit with the manager, who overheard us chatting with the waitress about the NYTimes article. She had not read it, but he had, and feels that David Chang's success can be replicated.
Edoya is a promising start. I'm sure I could do better in Annandale, but this is 5 minutes from the house in Herndon, and we will be frequent customers. I suspect that we'll be able to talk them into doing some special pre-orders for us, such as the raw oysters that are often served as part of a bo ssam platter.