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Found 51 results

  1. I figured we need a topic for the rather interesting The Block in Annandale (Here's their Yelp since their "main" page is the Instagram account, as it is for most of these places.) Currently at The Block are: Snocream Company (Yelp) Pokeworks (Yelp) Balo Kitchen (Yelp) (Facebook) (might be out of soft opening) Roots Thai (Facebook) (I think is still in soft open) Block Bar Munch (ice cream topped donuts, not open yet) So far, I've tried the first three. Snocream is a veteran of Annandale with their shaved-ice-cream concoction (good!). Pokeworks is poke bowls and the one I've tried was good. I've tried Balo Kitchen and I'll say the Street Bread with sausage was yummy, and most of their menu looked intriguing. I'll probably go try Roots Thai soon. (As I don't drink, I can't attest to the Bar.) Now, every time I've gone here I'm fairly certain I might have been the oldest person there. And as it is a big concrete box with hard tables, it does get to "get off my lawn" levels of noise for me, but, well, I'm not the target audience. Anyone else out there have experiences to share? If so, we might want to break these up into separate threads.
  2. In an update, I went to Kimen Ramen this afternoon for dinner. I had their mazemen ramen (ETA: from the menu: soupless ramen, spicy hot minced pork / egg yolk / fish powder / minced garlic / green onion / chives / dried seaweed -- note, wasn't that spicy) and it was good! I'll be back. That said, I'm not sure the music they were playing was of this world. Or I'm getting old.
  3. 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. --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Honey Pig Izakaya (Kibbee Nayee) Annangol (cheezepowder) Pho Cong Ly (thistle) Gangnam Sushi House (cheezepowder)]
  4. Thought people might be interested to hear about Chef Guo, a new restaurant featuring Chef Guo Wenjun's take on Chinese banquets. This is probably the closest the DC area has had to Chinese fine dining, and I'm interested to see how it fares. The chef serves a selection of two tasting menus, the Banquet of Eternal Bliss Hot Pot ($68 lunch, $98 dinner), and the Banquet of Peace and Prosperity ($158 dinner only), both of which feature 10+ courses in the style of imperial cuisine. Scroll through the website to see the full menus, pictures of the dishes, and a press release detailing the overall concept. So far there hasn't been much buzz about this place outside of the Chinese community, but some friends who have gone reported it to be luxurious, visually and conceptually unique, and a lot of (too much?) food, mostly very good to excellent. There seems to be a mix of traditional cuisine and modern/Western techniques. If I understand correctly, the dinner they attended was a special event combining dishes from both menus, with all of the guests at a shared table and Chef Guo himself coming out between each course to explain the concept behind the dish (in Chinese); it's not clear to me how different the experience will be once the restaurant gets settled in, but from their website it seems like they are definitely interested in catering to non-Chinese clientele as well.
  5. Its been a long time since we ahve been to Yechon. Last night, after spending 6 hours at Dino on my "day off", I picked up Kay downtown and after only taking three wrong turns we arrived at Yechon in need of food and drink. The greeting was particularly cheerful as we sat. We looked at the huge menu and finally made some decisions.... sort of. The waitress approached and was very patient as we dithered and switched our order several times, but finally we settled on a couple of soups, a pancake, man doo and cold sake. First to arrive was about 8-9 small dishes: Almond (?) jelly with a bit of peanut and a soy based sauce Cucumbers and assorted veggie garnish in a slightly sweet sauce with a touch of a bite (If Kraft Catalina dressing were actually food and well made and slightly spciy it would taste like this) Potato salad- creamy, traditional American picnic style with carrots and peas Fried tofu with spicy sauce- insanely good. The tofu has an egggy custardy consistency, incredible flavor and just the right amount of soy and spice based sauce. Asparagus- out of season but nice Kim Chee- very crunchy, very spicy Mystery greens in a sesame oil based marinade- wonderful Shredded raddish in spicy sauce- great, standard preparation Next up was the pancake. It was maybe 14 inches across and cut into 8 slices. Korean opancakes may be an acquired taste and we like them in moderation every once in a while. This one had scallions and oyster. The batter was quite eggy and fluffy and very good. It was crispy brown on the bottom giving it more flavor interest than most versions I have had. The only problem with it was the size of the portion. It would ahve been incredible with 8 olk at the table as we could have wolfed it down and been left wanting more. As it was, we ate only half o f it and were stuffed. The oyster falvor was distinct with the creamy milky briny flavor of cooked oyster. I had the cold buckwheat noodle with sliced beef in cold broth. The broth came with ice floating in it too keep it really cold. The beef was incredible and the other garnishes were welcome, especially the pickled mustard green. Kay had a bowl of soy miso broth, tofu, squash soup. It was superb. Many versions of this dish are too salty for my taste and this one had a distinctly miso flavor and the veggies, while well cooked, were not mush. As we ate the soups we asked for some more Kim Chee and we got 5 more dishes of the side dishes- this time we got a cabbage salad. Alas, we did not get a refil of Kimchee but were too stuffed to even dream of asking for it by then. Dessert was a complimentary cup of watermelo and orange juice. This feast was $56. I think it was the best Korean meal we ahve ever had (Gom Ba Woo with Grover and Escoffier would be a close second). I would love to go back with 6 other friends and have more variety. All the food was bright, clean flavored with lots of distinct tangy flavors. We were stuffed but not weighted down. The service was warm and friendly, we were doted over by our waitress. When we asked what another table was having we were told "Fish soup". But then she went over to that table and looked at the dish, went and got us the menu and showed us which fish soup it was (clam and cod). So in ending, what stands out most in my mind is not just the food, but the warm welcome we got at Yechon. If only my local Korean restaurant would learn that lesson!
  6. Got a late start on Saturday night and places were either closed or packed with no tables available until midnight, and we were circling around and ended up at Blue Sand for dinner around 10:00 or so. The menu isn't particularly easy to navigate for non Korean customers, but with some help from the server, we ended up with a double order of pork belly (double order required), and squid tempura. The good: about a half dozen banchan -- seaweed salad, kimchi, pickled eggplant, mung bean salad, spinach, a couple of other things I didn't recognize -- and two different soups came with the meal, a tofu soup/stew and an egg soup that eventually cooked into a soft custard. The squid tempura was very nicely fried, not greasy, tender with just a little chewiness, a good sized order, and came with soy sauce & onion to dip into. The pork belly was cooked at the table grill and was not seasoned or marinaded at all that I could discern, so a little bland. Definitely needed the gochuchang and lettuce wrappers to give it some oomph. For two people, the bill came to $50. The bad: the music. incessant 90s Korean disco pop, loud enough that it was impossible to ignore and we so wanted to ignore it. Also, this is not one of the 24-hour restaurants, and so we closed the place down at 11:00, but the tables that were remaining when we came in were all male and all 50+ in age, so not a hipster joint by any stretch of the imagination. The place was clean but the decor was tired looking.
  7. That would be Hanshin Pocha, whose official site seems to be all Korean, so I suppose Yelp is the best at the moment.
  8. I go to A&J in Annandale on a sporadic basis, essentially going either when I suddenly get a craving for their stuff, or if I happen to be in the neighborhood, which is rare. But I was there this weekend with my partner's Chinese teacher for lunch, and we wound up talking about something I had noticed for some time--with one exception, any non-Chinese there were accompanied by Chinese people. I am not sure whether this is because of the location, or because the menu is a bit restricted, or some other reason, but there is really no reason for "foreigners" not to go here, since the food is fantastic. For those not in the know, A&J is a Taiwan-based chain, called "Ban Mu Yuan" in Chinese (means half-acre field) with locations all over Taiwan, Beijing, California, Rockville and Annandale. They are specialists in "small dishes", such as dumplings, noodles, vegetable dishes, etc, though they also have more substantial fare, like pork ribs, fried chicken and other meats with rice. It's all very authentic, and on weekends you can even get Chinese breakfast foods like soy milk and "you tiao" (fried dough sticks). Prices are very good, too, though be warned that they only take cash.
  9. My youngest has speech therapy on Little River Turnpike at 8:15 a.m. Afterwards, I wanted some brunch. We could've gone back to Yechon or Gom Ba Woo but I thought we give this 24 hr joint a try. We only got 3 banchons - kimchi and two kinds of marinated daikons. The bulgogi was pretty good. The mandoo were very black peppery, otherwise not much flavor. The kimchi jeon (pancake) was too thick and flavorless.
  10. TS offered it up as one of his top bargain eats this week. The name is certainly distinctive...and curiously hard for me to spell. Someone has even video-diaried it in this YouTube clip. So, anybody been?
  11. Jajangmyun is adapted from the Chinese which is why you don't find it at every Korean restaruant (and the reason we haven't suggested Choong Hwa Won is that we were going to in March...I think people are ready for Korean/Chinese food. At the rate Dean finds Korean restaurants, we could have a Korean $20 Tuesday from now until the end of 2008)
  12. I have been wanting to try this hole in the wall place. The only problem is that the menu is in Korean only, and I am not Korean. Anyone being to the place and can recommend a couple of dishes? Thanks
  13. Blue Sand has a daunting menu, so we took the easy way out and ordered set menu #2, which included bulgogi, soy sauce crab, beltfish, etc. Unfortunately nothing was memorable and we really didn't see why this place is better than the other Korean joints we've been to. Starting with the banchans, they were all vegetarian (kimchi, sprouts, kale, cucumber, seaweed, and one stemmy green) and none were special. The crab was marinated but raw. I liked the flavor, but am not generally in favor of eating crabs raw. I like grilled beltfish, I also like them fried. These were good but not different than what you'd get anywhere else. Seafood combo with veggie casserole. I liked the soup itself and I ate most of the veggies. We let the seafood sit in the boiling soup and they definitely got overcooked. There's a wad of soft and coral/brain-like looking thing that had no flavor and I couldn't tell what it was. It kinda creeped me out. The chawanmushi was not particularly refined. The pan-fried stuff were imitation crab, cucumber, Spam (or something similar) and mung bean cake. I barely touched the bulgogi.
  14. In case someone's really dying for Ramen in NoVa and can't drive to DC/MD for their fix, Tanpopo is now open. Some photos are on Yelp. A hand written message regarding their hours indicate that they open at 11:30 Tuesday to Sunday. For the avoidance of doubt, they're closed on Monday. The same hand scribbled message states they're only serving ramen and a few appetizers at this point.
  15. Just throwing out a reminder that the holidays are coming up and you may be cooking, slicing and chopping more than usual. Are your knives up to the task? Maybe it's time to put a fresh edge on them. You can message me on this site or email me at ladygoodknife at gmail dot com. I'm in Annandale, inside the Beltway between the Braddock and Little River Turnpike exits. You can drop the knives off, or we can arrange a meet. I also have loaner knives available if you need a backup while I’m working on yours. Blades 6” or less - $5 per Blades 6”-12” - $7 per Serrated Knives - $8 per Swords & machetes - $15 Ceramic blades – steel blade prices plus $2 per knife Louise Comninaki Lady Goodknife
  16. This restaurant is new, & getting pretty good reviews-would anyone be interested in meeting for lunch or dinner there sometime in the next few weeks? I don't eat a lot of Korean BBQ, but they're running an AYCE special w/ fatty brisket (chadol bakgi), 3 layered pork belly (sam kyup sal), spicy pork belly (jang sam gyup sal), miso pork, & spicy chicken (dak galbi), & 'the works'-steamed egg, soup, sides, & rice, noodles, or rice cakes for $18.99 (Or $27.99 w/ that, plus intestines). I'd also like to try some of the soups, cold noodles, & haemul jun. --- dr.com Dinner at Kogiya, Thursday, May 16th at 5:30 PM here
  17. I had lunch here today with my daughter. We ordered too much food, because we wanted to try all our favorites-chicken ka prow, chicken pad see ew, chicken larb (yes, we overdid it on the chicken) & a spicy salmon roll. We were the only customers at around noon, service was great, & the food was very good. I prefer the larb from Thai Nakorn because it's spicier (& Le Thai, which replaced ThaiBox near Ft. Belvoir, has a great crispy tilapia larb w/ cubes of fried fish), but this was good, tart w/ lime, & they brought out the condiment tray so I could spice it up. i should have tried the papaya salad, because they have some interesting variations, but we went w/ our benchmarks (& my dining companion isn't fond of papaya salad). We now have tons of leftovers to get us through the weekend. Our other food related event was my son's graduation from GMU this weekend-I had incoming family from across the country, smoked 30+ lbs of pork, had various salads, veg, fruit, & poundcake & ordered street tacos from El Paso (a huge hit w/ the fam). I am recovering & get to do it again in 2.5 weeks for Lizzy's HS graduation. & now I realize I should edit, because the giant picture is El Paso's street tacos, I didn't take pics at Nua Haus-maybe later
  18. Lady KN and I were at Honey Pig Izakaya tonight -- we didn't see it specifically mentioned in the Honey Pig Multiple Locations thread, but if that's where it belongs, then please move it there...!) We were sort of aiming for Honey Pig, but ended up at Honey Pig Izakaya instead. We're glad we did -- less boisterous, lower music, no barbecue residue all over us. Owned by the same people as Honey Pig, they gladly took our Living Social coupon. We ordered around the menu and had way too much food, and just the right amount of beer, for what would have been $90 all in, four beers, tax and tip included. Seafood Pancake - Not as large as the one at To Sok Jip, and a bit on the greasy side, but quite good. We had two small wedges left over at the end and I picked through one of them to find about 75% octopus (or squid), and some flecks of white fish flake and shrimp pieces. Of course, lots of scallions too, with the green parts left in long slices and the white parts in very small disks. I would order this again. Grilled Whole Squid - A beautiful dish, about 8-9 inches long, 3 inches wide, perfectly browned and sliced in quarter-inch rings. Despite its appearance, the dish was otherwise a dud. It was quite chewy and had very little flavor. I would not order this again. Spicy Seafood and Tofu Stir Fry - Not too spicy, so I'm assuming they dumbed it down for us meeguks (learned that from Escoffier). The tofu was quite soft, and disintegrated as we picked through the dish. It had lots of octopus, which gave it a chewy mouthfeel, and some tender mussels (not enough for Lady KN's liking), shrimp and squid. I might order this dish again, only spicier. Sushi Special -- Deal of the night at 10 pieces of nigiri (or whatever the Korean word is) for $12.99. Eel, tuna, salmon, white fish, yellow tail, more or less. I would order this again. We perused the izakaya menu and promised to graze it on our next visit....
  19. Has anyone been to IndAroma before? It's in Annandale and has interesting looking sandwiches and baked goods.
  20. I've not seen IndAroma mentioned here. It is a small Indian restaurant/bakery in a strip mall at the Little River Turnpike-Braddock road intersection. (If you don't see it right away, it is next to the Five Guys hamburger joint.) There is a small Indian grocery store next door. It has a web page where you can find more information about it, including its menu. When you are there, go to the counter and order and pay for what you want. Sit down at one of the tables, and when your order is ready they will bring it to the table. For a recent meal two of us shared a tandoori chicken, a samosa chaat, and a chicken samosa. The samosas were very good, but the tandoori chicken was really excellent. All three dishes were spicy; you can ask for a milder version if you want. If anyone else has eaten I would be very interested in your opinion of the food. To me it ranked with some of the best Indian food I have had in this area.
  21. Siroo or Juk Story - whatever it goes by now - has the best shaved ice I've had in the US. I recently tried many of the top kakigori shops in Tokyo and Siroo's bingsu compares favorably. Granted, bingsu is a little different than kakigori. Highly recommended in any case. Next time, I may try the rice porridge.
  22. Lunch today at Pho Cong Ly, had a specialicious coupon to use, & the bonus was they have vegetarian pho- my daughter Elizabeth has been sorely missing pho since she decided to become a pescetarian. She liked her pho, I thought it was interesting, looked more like beef pho, tasted a little sweet, & a bit too much like broccoli for me- it had chunks of fried tofu, broccoli, carrots, onions, & not enough noodles for E. I had pho ga (our 2 friends had the same)- standard pho, broth was a little less complex than Le Bledo, but fresh sprouts, jalapenoes, basil (I brought home practically 2 plants), & lime, & the spring rolls were good, very crispy, a little greasy. Tom ate all my leftover pho & a spring roll & said I put an awful lot of basil in it....
  23. Dropped in last night on recommendation of a friend who's about as Ethiopian as you can be if you were born in Wisconsin. I wasn't too keen on the usual round-up of stewed lentils-- bland -- though others liked the yellow peas (Mrs. B will translate) quite a bit. Spicing that might have been in the lentils was apparently reserved for an excellent kitfo, fresh and very spicy, maybe my favorite ever. And I particularly enjoyed a firfir (also spelled "fitfit," on the menu once or twice) made with a tangy spice mixture tosses with injera and dried beef. Well worth a stop.
  24. I could not find a post for this place that I've been to a few times, but I went back last night and it needed to be written up. With the weather unseasonably warm and nearing the upper 60s, the GOP operative, my staff physicist and I went for a run in Alexandria. We started off in North Ridge neighborhood, up the hill, around the Masonic temple and back down through Del Ray. We worked up quite an appetite, and I told them we were going to feast like kings tonight. I love the mid-Atlantic, because there are days in December that you can wear shorts and flip flops. Yesterday night was one of those days. We drove to Bang Ga Nae, which is at the proximal end of Annandale. It is at the former location of the only North Korean restaurant in the area, in a cute little house. There is ample parking available. When we walked in, there was just one table filled with 3 older Korean men. The waitress/chef sat us at the table behind them and got us waters. I was in the mood for some Soju, so we ordered a bottle of Chamisul and a round of domestic beers. We ordered pan fried dumplings as our appetizer. It is served with a soy based sauce with pickled jalapenos, and I really liked the sauce. Simple, but with a kick. The banchan came with intensity and volume. I don't have a great reference point for it, but I liked how it tasted. I liked that as the kimchi was finished, the waitress would come and re-stock us. That was a nice touch. I'm not sure if it costed anything. For our meal, we ordered the Jun Gol for 3 - "spicy black goat with vegetables". They bring a table side burner and then a large skillet filled with goat meat, vegetables, the broth on the bottom, chili paste, garlic, and other things that I didn't recognize. The cook comes periodically and stirs up the stew. It smelled amazing. I mean, seriously, heavenly. And it's right there at your table. She gave us a mixture of garlic, chili paste, and other condiments - we were to add vinegar and hot mustard to taste. This sauce was to dip the goat meat from the stew into. When the stew was done, she filled our bowls with it and we went to work. The goat meat was not strongly gamey, but it had a deep taste. There were meatier pieces and fatty pieces. They don't skimp on the meat. The broth is intense, somewhat "bitter" (not the word I want to use, but I can't think of an alternative right now). It is spicy, but I get the sense that Korean spicy is not like Lao/Thai spicy or even Indian spicy. It's a slow burn that keeps me sweating throughout the meal, but never gets too intense where I have to stop. I really like that. She kept coming by to fill our bowls and I felt like I was at a family member's house, when they aren't satisfied until you are completely and utterly full. The sauce that we prepared before the stew was done adds a nice complexity to the meat. I suggest using that sauce with the dumplings and even just putting it into the broth. Finally, the last part of the meal is the fried rice that she prepares on another table side burner. I didn't watch the preparation of it, but I love it. It's not sweet or salty. It's, again, a little bit bitter, but with each bite I liked it better and better. I throw on some of that sauce on there, too, and it livened it up more. This place is phenomenal. I've never had a meal like this and I will go back over and over. It's definitely one of my favorite restaurants. Great service, better food, though not the best ambience/lighting. Never a big issue with me. The pictures attached are - 1) before cooking 2) while cooking.
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