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Hi everyone. I just moved to Annandale, VA from Texas over this past weekend. I have no idea what is going on around me and I feel like an ant in this booming place. I'm looking for those restaurants that are a secret to the masses. Also, anything nearby as well. I understand that that there are about ten thousand cities within a mile of my condo.

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[The following posts have been split into separate threads:

Honey Pig Izakaya (Kibbee Nayee)

Annangol (cheezepowder)

Pho Cong Ly (thistle)

Gangnam Sushi House (cheezepowder)]

Edited by DonRocks

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Hi everyone. I just moved to Annandale, VA from Texas over this past weekend. I have no idea what is going on around me and I feel like an ant in this booming place. I'm looking for those restaurants that are a secret to the masses. Also, anything nearby as well. I understand that that there are about ten thousand cities within a mile of my condo.

If you like Korean food, you are going to be one happy camper! Yechon, Bon Chon to name a couple.

PS..welcome! Things will seem less overwhelming once you get a lay of the land.

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Hi everyone. I just moved to Annandale, VA from Texas over this past weekend. I have no idea what is going on around me and I feel like an ant in this booming place. I'm looking for those restaurants that are a secret to the masses. Also, anything nearby as well. I understand that that there are about ten thousand cities within a mile of my condo.

Welcome! Not only do you have dozens of Korean restaurants to choose from, you are just a short drive from Falls Church, which has an incredible area of ethnic eateries -- such as the collection of Vietnamese joints at Eden Center, Lebanese Butcher, Myanmar (Burmese), Hong Kong Palace (outstanding Szechuan, despite the name) at Seven Corners, Peruvian chicken joints such as Super Chicken, authentic Bolivian food at Llajtaymanta and Luzmila's, etc. etc.

Do a search of Falls Church over on Chowhound. Have fun!

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Anyone have a clue as to which one Korean restaurant in the area is really good?

There are a number. What are you looking for in particular? Korean-Chinese? Homestyle? Fish? Soo lan tang? Mool Pajun? Korean restaurants generally specialize in one type of dish (oh yeah, and galbi for the mee-guks :)).

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How 'bout starting by telling me what are the best things to order at To Sok Jip? I had some fried croaker and kimchi pancake there last week for lunch. The lunch menu was kind of small, but there were lots of stuff posted on the wall. The server was actually pointing me towards the wall but I can't read Korean...

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How 'bout starting by telling me what are the best things to order at To Sok Jip? I had some fried croaker and kimchi pancake there last week for lunch. The lunch menu was kind of small, but there were lots of stuff posted on the wall. The server was actually pointing me towards the wall but I can't read Korean...

Only if you say please. :)

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There are a number. What are you looking for in particular? Korean-Chinese? Homestyle? Fish? Soo lan tang? Mool Pajun? Korean restaurants generally specialize in one type of dish (oh yeah, and galbi for the mee-guks :)).

Could that actually be a post listing the restaurant and what their speciality is, please? That would be really helpful to have it in one post rather than in multiple threads.

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Well, let's see...

Gom Ba Woo - Kimchi, mandu, salad with mustard dressing (that you have to special order)

Honey Pig - Loud K-pop, BBQ smelling everything, spicy pork with kimchi

Jang-Won Bahn Jom (The Korean-Chinese place across from K-Mart and beside the tire place) - Jajang-myun, spicy seafood soup, seafood (haemool) jajang-myun (the one served in the LARGE plate - a favorite), anything with the home made noodles

Bon Chon - Chicken (the spicy one, not the sweet, soy sauce one)

Gamasot - Sullong-tang (After the ownership changed, Grover isn't so sure)

Yechon - Duk Mandoo (mandu?) Guk - Probably the best in Annandale. The Korean-style Chirashi sushi.

To Sok Jip - Chicken-noodle soup, any of the fishies (I prefer Belt fish, YMMV), bo-sahm. (Grover swears this is the best haemool pajun in Annandale)

Hee Been - (to expand Dean's post a bit) - Personally I've never, ever been tempted to eat food on THAT side of the buffet. I walk by it quickly on the way to the sushi (which is good and interesting (in a good way). Galbi and bulgogi (yeah, I do eat it here because I can leave the sugary stuff off), soo-do-boo (spicy tofu soup), good selection of banchan.

Il Mee - As long as we're talking about buffets. I haven't been here in over five years, so keep that in mind. At one time had the largest selection of sushi of any buffet I've ever seen. Huge selection of meat for BBQ.

Cafe Breeze (next door to Yechon) - Bing-soo, bing-soo, bing-soo. (Did I mention bing-soo?). If you don't know what bing-soo is, I'd suggest you go to Cafe Breeze and find out. Select one of those 90 degree days. Take a friend. Order the mixed fruit with frozen yogurt. Maybe add red bean. Be prepared to get a severe case of brain freeze. And while you're there, explore the baked goods. They'll make you forget your diet.

Cheogajip - The spicy popcorn chicken. It's the only thing we eat here but I keep considering the pizza with bulgogi. One day I'm going to try it.

Annangol - BBQ pork. Marinated for days (or so it seems). Not as smoky as Honey Pig (and not as loud either)

Han Sun Oak - Bulgogi and the buckwheat noodles in the broth that surrounds the bulgogi cooking surface. Possibly the second best haemool pajun in Annandale.

More to come. I have this terrible feeling I've just been pressed into service to create this list. If that's the case, I'm stating up front, this is all subjective. I'm not going to be responsible for your good or bad experience :).

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Escoffier's list is helpful. I welcome its expansion.

To which I will add a few MUST AVOID places -- Han Gang for its ridiculously high prices, and Hee Been for its horrible buffet.

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Escoffier's list is helpful. I welcome its expansion.

To which I will add a few MUST AVOID places -- Han Gang for its ridiculously high prices, and Hee Been for its horrible buffet.

Do you really think the buffet at Hee Been is *that* bad? Here's my experience there.

As for Han Gang, my experience isn't a "must avoid," but it's definitely overpriced for what it is.

Absolutely agree that Escoffier's list is super helpful - keep editing and expanding it! If your edit privileges expire (I think it's like 72 hours), email me and I'll stick them in. (And don't worry about being responsible. I've had Korean with you and Grover and know your palates to be excellent - any recommendation can backfire if a restaurant has an off-night. (That's the most exasperating thing to me - when I rave about a dish, and then someone goes and spends their good money trying it on my recommendation, and the restaurant botches it. I always feel guilty about it.)

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The cooked food portion of Hee Bin is cringeworthy. The sushi and BBQ is quite good. I think that the Shabu Shabu and the cooked to order soups and stews are quite fine. The kim chee and other salads etc are good to excellent.

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How is the belt fished prepared at To So Jip? I've bought them fried from H Mart and liked them.

They are fried but there is no evidence of grease that I've ever been able to find. Great, crisp, almost crunchy coating that's excellent. Fish is light and flaky and moist. I've never had bad fish here (and I eat it often).

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I noticed a new place had opened up in annandale. It is in the Giant parking lot, in the same place as where the old korean BBQ place was (connected to To Sok Jip). Has anyone been? what's the name?

Soup

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The cooked food portion of Hee Bin is cringeworthy. The sushi and BBQ is quite good. I think that the Shabu Shabu and the cooked to order soups and stews are quite fine. The kim chee and other salads etc are good to excellent.

I agree with Dean. The cooked food is no better than Old Country Buffet. It is avoidable. On my last (literally) visit, the fruit bar for dessert was also indifferent -- the cantalope and honey dew both tasted like cardboard -- and the sushi is just tiny.

Do you really think the buffet at Hee Been is *that* bad? Here's my experience there.

As for Han Gang, my experience isn't a "must avoid," but it's definitely overpriced for what it is.

"Overpriced" is how I would put it. If I'm going to spend $42 for an entree, then Eric Ziebold or Cathal Armstrong had better be in the kitchen.

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Cafe Breeze (next door to Yechon) - Bing-soo, bing-soo, bing-soo. (Did I mention bing-soo?). If you don't know what bing-soo is, I'd suggest you go to Cafe Breeze and find out. Select one of those 90 degree days. Take a friend. Order the mixed fruit with frozen yogurt. Maybe add red bean. Be prepared to get a severe case of brain freeze. And while you're there, explore the baked goods. They'll make you forget your diet.

Curious, how many varieties of bingsoo do they have? I've been going to Shilla because they have mochi and the different flavors of ice cream and froyo.

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Curious, how many varieties of bingsoo do they have? I've been going to Shilla because they have mochi and the different flavors of ice cream and froyo.

You know, that's a really good question. I'm a frozen yogurt, red bean, and mixed fruit bing-soo person (okay, somewhat of a traditionalist) so I haven't explored the full gamut of toppings. There appears to be a large variety (and a lot of gelato flavors) but now I'm going to have to go and find out. What a hardship...eating all that bing-soo :D.

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On Tyler Cowen's favorites list, he mentions Dduk Sarang, specializing in the Korean version of congee, which I have been completely unable to find, and have told him that as a message to his review. I would love to try it. Is it still there, mysteriously hidden in plain sight? Has it moved? Am I missing the obvious?

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On Tyler Cowen's favorites list, he mentions Dduk Sarang, specializing in the Korean version of congee, which I have been completely unable to find, and have told him that as a message to his review. I would love to try it. Is it still there, mysteriously hidden in plain sight? Has it moved? Am I missing the obvious?

I believe Dduk Sarang is now (or was a while back) Juk Story, which seems to be a juk chain from Korea. I loved Dduk Sarang, but I haven't been to the latest incarnation of that space. I am hungering for some jeonbokjuk...

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Juk Story has gone and is now Sakura Express (shabu shabu place). Sad thing is that some good place doesn't stay long enough.

By the way, Jamie, Cafe Breeze is really worth to try.. they have red bean, fruit, gelato and yogurt bingsoo. Of course you can pay extra red bean for fruit, gelato or yogurt bingsoo.

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Aww really? Nuts. I was planning on going there for dinner to try it out. Any recommendations for jeonbokjuk in Annandale? It seems to be available at many of the seafood-oriented places.

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Juk Story has gone and is now Sakura Express (shabu shabu place). Sad thing is that some good place doesn't stay long enough.

By the way, Jamie, Cafe Breeze is really worth to try.. they have red bean, fruit, gelato and yogurt bingsoo. Of course you can pay extra red bean for fruit, gelato or yogurt bingsoo.

I just ate at Juk Story this Wednesday, May 9, 2012!

Address 4231-N Markham Drive, Annandale, VA.

Nothing on the outside of the store is in English but the menu is bilingual.

I just scanned it but don't know how to add it to this post.

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