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  1. Went here last night for dinner. Hadn't been in probably over 10 years. I was happy that it looks like they have done a slight remodel (new paint and carpet). My wife and I ordered from the korean menu. I had Sashimi Dub Bap and my wife had Dolsot Seafood Bim Bim Bap. Both were very tasty (well mine was at least, the wfie didn't complain which means she liked it). Mine was a mixture of sashimi on a bed of lettuce, including tuna, salmon, flounder, squid, imitation crab, yellow tail, and flying fish eggs. There was also some seaweed salad. They brought us some banchan which were pretty run of the mill. At the table next to us there were to older Korean men drinking soju and beer, they had a huge assortment of banchan, got some sort of whole crab dish and then a huge sahsimi platter that made me jealous. I need to go back and get that sashimi platter!
  2. What is currently the "best" Korean BBQ? I have heard that Honey Pig is not what it once was? Thoughts?
  3. Hmmm . . . everything I've ever read about Yamazoto emphasizes that it's a place specializing in, well, humongous "specialty" rolls, which I've found to be a surefire sign that I won't like it. But if other Rockwellians would confirm its quality . . .
  4. What are your favorite kimchis (brand/type) and where do you buy them? I love kimchi when I get it out at a restaurant, but I never seem to buy ones that I really like, I feel like sometimes they have too much tang and not enough heat maybe. I don't know. I just feel like I could do better. What are your favorites?
  5. Tom Sietsema did a quick write-up on Han Gang last week. Coincidentally, my friends and I (without knowing that the article had been written) had a late dinner there after the D.C. United game on Saturday. We arrived at 11:00 pm and were the only ones in the place. Which is a shame, because the kalbi wrapped in radish slices >>> kalbi wrapped in lettuce anywhere else. For me, the sweetness of the radish greatly enhances the flavor of the meat, whereas lettuce is useful only for its wrapping function. We were also given a very generous selection of panchan. My favorite was the dried anchovies. I ordered the cod stew, which was fine -- next time I'll get the short rib stew, in which the broth is a zillion times richer in flavor. Only downside of the place was an endless loop from Kenny G's soundtrack. It's like the Beatles at Kotobuki, except that I wanted to poke my eardrum out with chopsticks. Prices of menu items are a few dollars higher than at other places nearby, but the quality of ingredients (especially the short ribs) seems better here.
  6. Yeah, I was about to start a similar thread Friday to ask if anybody had ever been to or knew anything about Woo Lae Oak Korean restaurant behind Pentagon Row in Pentagon City. So...anybody know anything about Woo Lae Oak Korean restaurant behind Pentagon Row in Pentagon City?
  7. We ordered stuff from Gah Rham (Korean place in Beltsville). It's been too long since we had their food. It was probably 2 good entrees (two different bibimbaps), a decent dumpling starter (mandu) and then something from their Japanese/Chinese etc part of the menu that was a hot mess (boneless chicken in a spicy sweet sauce (way, way way overcooked chicken swimming in way, way too sweet (to the point of the sugar still being in crystalline form) - which we basically just tossed). We'll order again and stick to what they are good at, but worth a look if you are in the area.
  8. ChiMc is small and a little run down, in a small shopping strip with a pizza joint, a happy ending massage place and a bolivian joint. It is also a mile from our new abode. We get a small half and half {spicy & soy}. The coating is much thinner than at Pelicana, the spicy is really spicy. Standard beers. We do the call ahead for the chicken but I would recommend waiting only 25 minutes if they quote you 35. The surprise here is the kimchee fried rice which is a little greasy and very good. Again, a lot of stuff on the menu that we have yet to try. Recommended but we prefer Pellicana. We will be regulars at ChiMc for this nights we don't want loud or when the 3 minute drive is just too tempting compared to the 7 minute drive. And if we are out to get plastered, we can walk.
  9. We have made a few visits for Korean Fired Chicken in Annandale. I will post a running commmentary of our visits but I htink it would be fun to complie a compenduim of places and experiences! Pelicana is next door to The Block. It is small with a bar on one half and tables along a banquette on the other. The music is loud without being obnoxiously so but the hubub from the guests can get quite loud. The bartenders are earnest rather than really skilled. There are a lot of different was to have chicken. Wings come grilled or fried; the former with a choice of three sticky/messy sauces and the latter can be had original, extra crispy or soy. I prefer the crispy while Kay incorrectly prefers the soy. They fried comes with a sauce and all come with a tiny bowl of pickled daikon cubes. We had the fried gizzards which is a huge plate of chopped gizzards fried perfectly but it is way too much gizzard for two. Again, you get a cup of sauce. We have yet to try much of the appetizers and other dishes but they have a have variety on offer. The onion rings look incredible while the fries look just ok. On the drink side, they have a variety of 22 oz beers from Japan & Korea but with noting unexpected. They offer soju cocktails for $20 a decanter and we had the yogurt one and it seemed quite defective as there must have been a hole int he bottom of the decanter as it emptied was sooner than our drinking would indicate. It was so good that I googled a recipe and it is trivially simple to make: one of those little 2 oz frozen yogurt drinks, 4 oz of soju {did you know soju comes in liter bottles at the VABC?} and 2 oz of sprite or club soda. Hard shakle over ice and strain. Highly recommended but you can OD on fried foods easily. --- ChiMc Annandale (deangold)
  10. Just finished some leftover "Steak Frites" from dinner last night at Mokomandy so I thought I'd start a topic about it. Mokomandy stands for MOdern KOrean by MANDY. The menu is a combination of modernized Korean and modernized Cajun dishes...but not fusion. Everything on the menu is either Korean or Cajun, just not both. My wife has been a few times with friends, but this was my first visit. The space is relatively small, and somewhat modern, but it still feels cozy. Great liquor and wine selections, with a lot of wine options from less-well-known producers (US, South America, France). Wine bottle prices are reasonable, no complaints about the mark-ups. Service was great at all levels. The owner and several members of the wait-staff recognized my wife and even greeted her by name. Bartender was knowledgeable, friendly and professional. Same for the waitstaff. (Small but comfortable bar, could be a little less bright). The menu is organized by Small, Medium, Large, and $2 Sides. You can do a la carte, or, depending on the size of your party, order a couple of the large items to share and then mix in small and medium. Our group of four seemed to like everything we had: Gator croquettes -- awesome, with nice bacon and bechamel sauce. Fried pickles -- if you like pickles, you'll like these. I'm not a huge dill pickle fan, but it's hard to argue against anything fried. Fried Young Chicken -- very interesting with bacon, brussel sprouts (which were surprisingly good), onions, and more. Jambalaya -- Pork, Chicken and Cracklins. I didn't try (besides the cracklins), but my friend who ordered it seemed happy with it. Korean Pot Roast -- I told the waitress to have the chef surprise me, and this is what I got. Great variety of textures and flavors. Thin sliced pears in flower-like shapes atop beef, purple rice, sweet potato puree and more. Doesn't belong in the "Large" section of the menu. More appropriate for its own "Huge" list. Steak Frites -- Great seasoning on the tenderloin medallions, a very good sprucing up of a classic dish. As we were the last table to leave, the chef spent a few minutes chatting with us, and was genuinely interested in how we liked our food. This place has a good menu, good staff, and they are trying hard. I look forward to going back soon.
  11. Opened Wednesday next to MOM's market in Rockville. Mini chain, other locations out west. Soft opening-10% off. I went last night and suggest waiting and paying 100%. Very awkward- from being seated-to waitress-to mgrs-to owners-cooking at your table, etc. They have 2 options. AYCE BBQ or Hot Pot-or both. $24.99 for BBQ at dinner. 16.99 at lunch. more options on dinner selections. I had the BBQ. Your waitress takes your order for up to 5 meats/seafood. They then bring bunch of marinated veggies, nothing special. She also mentioned that you can order as many appetizers as you like. I ordered Japchae. That was delivered with the meats. The meats were just placed next to me. Nobody explained or turned on BBQ/ After about 10 minutes, a mgr asked how everything was- not sure why he didn't notice raw meats sitting there. I asked if I should cook- or how it works. He got the grill going and then he started cooking. Never really answered if I should be doing this. Short ribs with bones, very flavorful. Thick rib eye, just ok-dry, tasteless. Brisket (prime) very thin and boring. Another manager cam by and asked how everything was..I asked if they had sauces I could order. He then said I was supposed to serve myself at the Salad bar...had no idea, nobody had told me. Chalk that up to opening blues. Tried a couple of more BBQ options...still found it hard to figure out who cooked-or to order from. Bottom line is...I think it could be good, just not yet. If/when you're very hungry it could be a good option.
  12. Cathal Armstrong's new restaurant Kaliwa is opening possibly tomorrow at the Wharf (751 Wharf St, SW, DC) (via Laura Hayes' tweet). More info about the restaurant at Washington City Paper: "Kaliwa Brings Food with Full Funk and Fire to the Wharf when it Opens Next Week" by Laura Hayes on washingtoncitypaper.com
  13. 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.
  14. I read the NY Times article that I'll link below a couple of months ago and was curious to see how Bon Chon chicken tasted like and to my surprise a Bon Chicken store opened up inside the new Lotte Plaza Int'l supermarket in Germantown. I looked around their website and it looks a new one is also opening up in Annandale [this link has the new location] on 7/15. Anyhow, if you happened to be up in Germantown, I highly recommend you try this korean-style fried chicken. It has a very light flaky skin and juicy meat that tastes wonderful. They have two flavors, soy garlic and a spicy variation. Both my wife and I were partially to the spicy one. The pieces of chicken are available in drumsticks or wings and come with a radish side dish that some korean restaurants serve as a pan-chan. Feb 7, 2007 - "Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken with a Crunch" by Julia Moskin on nytimes.com
  15. Way too much sauce on the chicken at Pelicana. The joint would function surprisingly well as a sports bar--big TVs, good views of them from all seats--but our meal was ruled a death by drowning in sauce. Should have heeded the server's subtle between-the-lines to get it without the sauce.
  16. I went to Annangol for dinner and enjoyed it overall. It's at 4215 Annandale Center Dr, in same shopping strip as Napoleon bakery. The seafood pancake was alot of green onion, slices of carrot, and a few little bits of octopus and shrimp. But mostly green onion. The fried dumplings were good though a little greasy. For the main dishes, we ordered short ribs on the bone, short ribs not on the bone, and spicy pork ribs. The server brought a plate of lettuce/other greens for wrapping the meat. She also brought a round platter divided into sections with banchan (including kimchi and a scoop of potato salad) and raw garlic, slices of long green peppers, and spicy bean paste to include with the lettuce when wrapping the meat. She also brought a metal bowl filled with slices of onion. Although there's a burner in the center of the table, she brought the meat already cooked. That's a plus or a minus depending on how much you like cooking it yourself. We were glad to receive it cooked because then we could eat it right away without fussing with it. The onion slices went on the burner with the meat. The short ribs had a bit of a smoky flavor, and my parents were glad that the marinade was not too sweet. The spicy pork was 1 bone plus meat, and the pork was not particularly spicy. I liked the beef better overall. (Annangol also has duck on the menu, both with and without special sauce. The server told us it's a minimum of 2 orders though.)
  17. I followed GPS into the Old Crossing Center, across from the insane Alto Plaze. While the latter looks like a run down strip joint or something from Disney World after the apocalypse, Old Crossing is seemingly zombie free and is home to more restaurants than almost anywhere I can think of in the DMV. Certain blocks of 14th street might compete but they do not have a huge Super H Mart! So for su, I drove the entire mall with my video on so I could capture the names of all the restaurants. At some point I ill see if my video can be uploaded. Tomo 2 spots I could not read the names of Ihop Jang Won Chinese Korean CheoGaJip Chicken Super H Mart with a food court and a pharmacy where you can get your statin perscription refilled Honey Pig Korean Red Ginseng which I think is a herbalist not a restaurant Danji Papa Johns LuLu Cafe Eul Shi Gae Dairy Queen Las 3 Regiones Gom E Tang Gom Shabu Shabu Little Italy Deli Red Rocks Tequila Bar and Grill New Great Wall Evergreen Korean Plus several beauty shops, an ice store, banks, travel agencies, bike shops, laundromat etc etc etc. Having re-watched my video, I think it wiser not to upload it in the interest of preventing motion sickness or accusations that I was drunk. I drove thru three neighboring shopping centers and there were another 20 or so restaurant with juxtapositions as a Kabob restaurant sharing the center with an Indian, Vietnamese, A Smoothie place, several american fast food icons etc. To anyone in Centreville or adjacent to whom my previous knowledge of Centreville was that is was somewhere "out there" {with me waving my hand vaguely not in the direction of Centreville, showing my ignorance had multi dimensions,} I apologize. I think my retirement will include a lot of meals in the area. A LOT.
  18. 9619 Fairfax BlvdFairfax, VA 22030 Phone number (571) 459-2875 I saw Tyler Cowen's post regarding Meokja Meokja where he said that it is the best Korean BBQ by on order of magnitude. And while y meal there was very pleasant and I am probably going back, I just want some of what TC was smoking when he made his hyperbolic pronouncement. The Good Their service is simply as good as at any Korean BBQ. I was there by myself and anted to take some lefto overs home to Kay who was stuck working. The server got a to go box and measured out half of each of 4 meats and put them in the box as soon as they were just cooked right so Kay's protions wouldn't be dry. Then, she packed fresh rice, kimchee and their wonderful slivered green onions in a spicy sauce and packed it up in a huge stack of food. Kay got a lunch and dinner out of it. The Galbi and Samgypsal {thick layered porkbelly} were both good. They were properly cooked on the cast iron grill and had a nice bit of char. A lot of tables had their grills switched out ofor the galbi to a wire net style, mine was not but I was their last table. The Kim Chee was both very sour and crunchy. I loved it but Kay was less impressed, calling it very good but not the best she has ever had. Cheesy Corn was 80% cheese and 20% corn and very bubbly when it came out meaning that the last few bites were burnt to the cast iron skillet. The best version of cheesy corn I have had in the DC area. The Bad The steamed egg was heavy, flavorless and dull. For the first time ever, I left over half the steamed egg. Really disappointing and since steamed egg is a regular part of a BBQ meal, a real miss. Here is where the order of magnitude sobriquet starts to fall apart. The soy mean & tofu soup was watery, bland and not worth more than one sip. The banchan consisted of potato salad, Kimchee, shredded onions, salad. They had bean aste bu no samjong sauce. There was salted sesame oil but the sesame oil itself not very good. They also offered a ponzu style sauce with onion that was very good. WHile noting wrong, this simply is not a spread on the order of magnitude of Oedgadjib or SO KBBQ. It wasn't even up to the quality standards of Nak Won. The bulgogi was tasty but shreded into tiny bits so the texture was mushy. In fact, this was better as cold left overs than hot, as the softness of the shredded beef was not as niticible. OK at best. Thin sliced brisket is usually the highlight of any KBBQ meal and theirs disappointed on several levers. FIrst it was bland as can be. Second it wasn't fatty enough to be succulent. Third, the meat didnt really brown so it has high water content which might account for #1. The Ugly Mul Naeng Myun is cold buckwheat noodles in tangy iced beef broth served with a shockingly hot wasabi mustart and white vinegar topped with cucumber, Asian pear and a few slices of thinly sliced long simmered brisket. DOne right, it is the perfect foil for the richness of the meats. When you see a table of Korean folk at a KBBQ they almost always have a bowl. The bowl at Meokja Meokja was the opposite of all that. The broth should be spiked with fermented radish juice almost toe the point of sourness but this was the blandest broth I have ever had. The mustard sauce was flavor- and heatless. Even the vinegar was bland. But the worst offence was the noodles themselves. They had been cooked and allowed to sit to the point where they were a gloppy mass of boredom. The Upshot My first choice for KBBQ remains So in Centerville and Tyler needs to go there to see what really great Korean BBQ is. Next up is the newly revamped back into BBQ Anangol. Then comes Breakers, and Nak Won. I have only has the AYCE at breakers so it might rate higher if I try the ala carte. But the AYCE brisket and bulgogi at breakers and the bulgogi at Nak Won are a world ahead of Meokja Meokja. And if you just want albi, both ToSokChon and Oedgadjib are better choices, but they serve LA Galbi. I don't want to make it sound like MMeokja is a miss. It is fun, the service great and it is far more intimate and "hip" than So. I'd go back. But I would order ala carte instead of the #2 combo, or I might try the prome combo which features a 12 oz rib eye steak that looked good. Their draft makkoli brand is not the usual and it was quite good. But Tyler Cowen is crazy to say this is the best, its not. Its good and fun.
  19. 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?
  20. I have been meaning to try Gazebo Cafe in Kentlands for a while because it has pretty good local press. They don't have a website, but they have some sort of Facebook Page [unofficial].. Located a short walk from my house in the Kentlands, this is a little space with a bar and a few tables inside and outside (probably can't seat much more than 15 people, if that). Whenever we have tried to go, we couldn't get a table because it is so popular. Today we tried and hit it at the right time and nabbed a table. Gazebo is pretty much a coffee car with a breakfast/lunch/brunch menu. It is Korean owned and as a result they have a Korean menu also. All dishes looked very fresh and like they were prepared with care and love. Today I opted for the 2 eggs, with Korean beef with scallions and waffle brunch item with organic ginger/honey tea. I ordered the eggs over medium. They were served on a plate with the beef. I broke the yoke and mixed everything together. The flavors were very good. The waffle was also good, from a Belgian press. The tea came with a bunch of fresh ginger in the bottom. The tea was perfect for me as I have a cold, and the honey coated the throat. My wife and daughter each got half a waffle with ice cream (which holds a spot in my wife's heart from her days dining in Long Island diners). My 5 year old daughter had no idea what she was in for and sat wide eyed in disbelief at what she had ordered. Needless to say she finished every bit on her plate and asked for a spoon to try and get what remained of her cookies and cream ice cream. The waffle had a generous scoop of ice cream, with whipped cream, some drizzled chocolate syrup and couple of sliced strawberries. My wife was equally pleased. The service was very warm, kind of like you were dining at someone's home. We will definitely be back. Oh yes, it wasn't a typo, but they do also have dry cleaning, although I am pretty sure it isn't done on-site. I need to go back and have a pure Korean dish. I am sure it will be good.
  21. The Lady and I had a hankering for local sushi on a Friday night, so we headed to Osaka....but now, it's Izumi. Owned by UnCha Howard and her husband since last summer, the interior hasn't changed much since its Osaka days. UnCha Howard is Korean, and there are many Korean dishes on the menu. The daily special was seafood BiBimBap, for example, but Lady KN and I went there to enjoy the sushi. We ordered a solid $100 worth of nigiri and rolls, all of which came out on a wooden boat. The kitchen sent out a baby octopus amuse, and they were braised nicely, almost sweet. The rest of the fish was pristine, and the rolls were delicious. The tuna and salmon were excellent, and looked fresh with bright shimmering colors, as well as very clean taste. The mackerel was as clean as it gets, with decidedly non-fishy taste. The Spider Roll and Spicy Dragon Roll were really good. We would return for the sushi, but now I'm thinking I have to check out this kitchen's Korean bona fides. Annandale is next door, but Korean food in Springfield needed a shot in the arm, and maybe UnCha Howard will provide it.
  22. 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.
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