NOVA: Best options for Korean Barbecue
Where do you recommend for Korean table top BBQ?
Annangol does some at a large grill in the back and brings it to your table on a warming tray. Other items are tabletop. They ahve duck which is fantastic. It is very good. Under new ownership recently. Outstanding side dishes.
Soowon Galbi in Centreville or Han Gang in Annandale. However, I *think* the Soowon Jumbo Galbi was served to me on a platter, not cooked at the table, but you could ask about that.
At Han Gang in Annandale, get the #1 galbi.
Both of these dishes are on the expensive side, but highest quality around.
re: dining with doc
While I like Honey Pig for the octopus with pork followed by the fried rice made in the drippings, the BBQ itself is not my favorite. The side dishes pale in comparison to Anangol or Yechon. Yechon has its off nights but is quite good too.
I don't get the love for Hang Gang. Very expensive, only a few of the sides really excite me. The flavors seem on the tame side. I paid almost twice as much for my last dinner at Han Gang as at Annangol and I would take the latter straight up.
This is a crown yet to be taken (or passed on). What makes a good/great korean BBQ?
For me it is the meat (quality and amount), cooking fuel - charcoal, banchan (including ssamjang, and freshness of the lettuce).
I haven't found any korean places that serve really amazing quality meat. In LA you could find places that serve Waygu Beef and they are amazing. Second, the only placed that used charcoal vs gas has closed :-(. I've not found another one yet. If any of you has a place, please let us know. Third is banchan (honeypig really fails on this and also subjecting the patrons to the constant Kpop). Korean meals with out great banchan is somehow less satisfying.
I keep looking. There are many korean places that will get the job done if you are craving korean BBQ. However, not sure I've found a place that can claim the crown.
I haven't successfully been out for Korean barbecue yet; after one try at a buffet place where you pick out the meat and they cook it for you, and one try at a place where they didn't speak enough english for me to get by, I am just experimenting at home, with recipes from David Chang's Momofuku book and from what I can find on the internet. It's going real well, the big grocery in Centerville has all the right cuts of meat and I got two different burners and two different cooking pans for about seventy bucks total. I have experimented with making ssamjang and David Chang-style pickles, hope to start making my own marinades soon, made some KILLER braised short ribs, bought a rice cooker... and the cost advantage is huge, as you might imagine. Boneless chicken thighs and beef short ribs cost a hell of a lot less raw than they do in a restaurant.
If anybody out there knows a place, especially in Centreville, where I could explore the real thing with some help from a server who is pretty fluent in English, I would love to learn more, but for now I am quite happy to get by on my own doubtless-inauthentic efforts.