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To Sok Jip, Annandale - Authentic Korean Pillbox on Columbia Pike and Backlick Road

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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

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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
From the review I read, the menu is in Korean and English. If you have any familiarity with Korean food, you can either point at someone elses plate or attempt a bit of Hangol. Koreans are shocked and pleased when Meeguks attempt Hangol.

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I really like the banchan at this place. The stews and soups are solid bets but my favorite are the grilled or braised fish. I have braised blue fish in spicy sauce (have no idea what the name for it in korean is) at it is great.

Soup

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Escoffier and I went there around 6 PM yesterday. It is indeed a small place with 7 four top tables and a six top table, 2 waiting staff, 2 busboys and a cook. The menu is a homestyle. (even more than Gom Ba Woo) We ordered Seafood pancake, young radish bibimbop and fried croaker. The seafood pancake was the best in town so far. The steamed rice comes with seaweed (wakame) soup, which is not served in the regular Korean restaurants. I haven't had the bibimbop for a long time so it refreshed my memory. Two of fried croakers were given with Korean miso stew. We enjoyed them. Service was nice but the kitchen was slow because it was packed. We planned to visit Yo Fruit after the dinner but couldn't go because we were full. If I go there next time, I will try noodles in clam soup.

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The seafood pancake was the best in town so far.
Absolutely. Full of squid and octopus and other seafood. The squid and octopus weren't overcooked so they were nice and tender. It was great.
Two of fried croakers were given with Korean miso stew. We enjoyed them.
Almost Southern (US not Korean) style. Breaded in a great crispy crust, the meat was delicate and excellent (and extremely heat hot). This is a dish you could feed your grandmother and she wouldn't have any problem eating it.
We planned to visit Yo Fruit after the dinner but couldn't go because we were full.
For around $36 (I think; I don't really remember), we ate enough for 4 people. The biggest problem with the food was it was so good, we didn't want to stop eating it.

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The seafood pancake was the best in town so far.

I second that. I finally made to to To Sok Jip yesterday and I loved their seafood pancake. It looked almost physically impossible to put so much seafood into that pancake and yet the octupus was still tender without any rubber band texture. There were also seaweed in the pancake which gave it a unique sweeet flavor. I haven't had alot of kimchi jjigae before, but their version was the most flavorful I have ever had. It was tangy and very spicy.

The menu was in English and Korean, but the lunch specials were written in Korean on a board. The entire restaurants smelled like fried fish and pickle, so I can see that it might scare away some non-Koreans. The quality and value of their food is unbeatable. I took the leftovers home and had two more delicious meals out of it.

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Might be a good $20 Tuesday place but it is a small place.
More then 10 people and the place would come to a standstill. There are at the max 7 tables (roughly what I remember) and they have a pretty consistent clientele. The food is excellent though...(going to have to go there for dinner this weekend, I'm getting hungry and it's only 07:00am in Amsterdam as I write this)

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going to have to go there for dinner this weekend, I'm getting hungry and it's only 07:00am in Amsterdam as I write this

i always get the munchies when i am in amsterdam. (there's a mother/daugher coffee shop along the canal heading to the museums, painted in van gogh, that bakes some pretty mean brownies. i hope they are still in business.)

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I tried to replicate the haemul panjeon at home, but wasn't successful in it. When I put that much seafood in the batter, the batter got too soggy. Maybe it was To Sok Jip's secret batter that made it so good or maybe it was the crack.

Might be a good $20 Tuesday place but it is a small place.

This place was already full at 5:00 PM on Saturday, so you can imagine what it will be like during peak dinner time. I think its possible for a late lunch or an early dinner on a weekend. Somewhere between 2:00-5:00 PM. Food also come out slow since they cook everything to order.

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I can organize it but worry about your meeguk woman. I think she would enjoy the seafood pancake, though.

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I tried to replicate the haemul panjeon at home, but wasn't successful in it. When I put that much seafood in the batter, the batter got too soggy. Maybe it was To Sok Jip's secret batter that made it so good or maybe it was the crack.

Probably they are using Korean pancake mix which creates a bit crispy texture than regular flour.

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Looking at those pictures...hmm...might need to visit this place this weekend. That banchan spread alone is making my mouth water.

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i always get the munchies when i am in amsterdam.
That may have something to do with the "coffee" houses :rolleyes:

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We (4 adults, 10 yr old kid and 2 yr old kid) went to To Sok Jip Saturday around 7:00 PM. The place was packed and people were lined up.

We waited for 25 minutes and got a four top table in the corner. I ordered bulgogi for two, fried croakers and Korean miso stew when we were standing in line (seafood pancake and tofu stew were not available at the time). The quantity was enough for all. Kids loved bulgogi and croakers. A small sized kimchi stew came along with the fish. I would say bulgogi here is more like sukiyaki but was delicious. The price was $60.00 for everything including tip. I thought about having a $20 Tuesday but the place is too small and too crowded so I would rather do 'On a whim' kind of dinner with DR.com friends. We went to Yo Fruit after dinner.

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The entire restaurants smelled like fried fish and pickle, so I can see that it might scare away some non-Koreans.

The smell is very noticeable and unpleasant at first, but I got used to it quickly. I went there just before noon and it was nearly packed. It stayed packed while I was there for lunch (on Thursday). I tried the kimchi pancake (why is their pancake reddish in color?), spicy beef stew, and fried croaker. I gotta say I loved the fried croaker - simple home cooking, just salt and fry (beware of the bones), eat it while it's hot. The spicy beef stew has great flavor, but I'm more of a fan of the veggies than the stringy tough beef. Is there a place that uses oxtails The pancake tastes different than others as well. I will try the seafood version next time.

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I tried the kimchi pancake (why is their pancake reddish in color?), spicy beef stew, and fried croaker.

As you see, Kimchi is red. :rolleyes: If you meant that their pancake was more red than any other Korean restaurants' pancakes, then I would say that the chef didn't scrape the stuffing enough whether it was intended or not.

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Mmm, croaker & seafood pancake sounds delicious! I will definitely have to try this place out for lunch sometime...

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Mmm, croaker & seafood pancake sounds delicious! I will definitely have to try this place out for lunch sometime...
Some damn fine hae-mool pajun and the croaker (and the belt fish and all the other fishes that I've had there that Grover won't tell me the names of but it doesn't matter because they're mighty tasty) and the miso that comes with everything are all great. If you go, either go early for lunch or be prepared to wait 15 to 20 minutes for a table.

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We had a delicious meal at To Sok Jip with Grover and Escoffier. I got to try Bossam for the first time. I was always reluctant to order this because steamed pork just sounds boring, but it actually tasted really good when all the components came together. We also got the old standby seafood pancake. It was greasier than the ones I ordered in the past, but still tasty. Spicy pork and broiled mackerel completed the meal. The restaurant was full when we got there at 5:20, and by 7:00, there was already a line out the door. My 1.5 year old was really fussy at first, but eventually settled into a small area between the chair, table, and the highchair and enjoyed some seafood pancake, mackerel, and rice mixed with seaweed broth.

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